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Editor’s Note: This column by Sam Hanna Jr. was first published the week of Dec. 25, 2017. It is timely today in light qualifying for the Monroe mayor’s race scheduled for Jan. 8-Jan. 10.

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We’ve all read the same statistics, and we’re all well aware that Louisiana more often than not ranks dead last in just about every ranking that purports to grade states on economic activity and quality of life.

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If you’re a longtime reader or an occasional follower of Louisiana politics, then you’re likely aware that the state House has an upcoming election for speaker in January. In fact, you probably became aware of the 2020 internal leadership election back in 2016, when the current speaker was elected.

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Unbeknownst to the average citizen, there’s some serious politicking still going on Louisiana, some two weeks after voters had their say in the general election.

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Some folks are still sitting around trying to figure out how Gov. John Bel Edwards won a second term and shut down a challenge from Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone. Others are still wondering why the GOP secured a supermajority in the Senate but not in the House.

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Editor’s Note: This column was first published the week of Nov. 18, 2013. It was edited to reflect the passage of time.

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How did Gov. John Bel Edwards win this year’s top race in Louisiana? Unlike previous cycles, which were soaked in twists and turns and mired by complex themes and players, Edwards pulled it off in a rather rudimentary A-to-B fashion.

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By the time the final whistle is blown in LSU’s grudge match at Ole Miss Saturday night we should have a pretty good idea who was elected governor, assuming there is no overtime.

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It seems every time Louisiana holds a major election voters are asked to entertain a slew of proposed amendments to the state Constitution.

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It seems every time Louisiana holds a major election voters are asked to entertain a slew of proposed amendments to the state Constitution.

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If voter turnout during the first couple of days of early voting is any indication, Gov. John Bel Edwards has a problem on his hands.

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Timing isn’t the only factor worth considering in politics, but if you get it wrong, you’ll discover the misstep sooner rather than later — usually in a very public way, with the missed opportunity and unmissable regret on display for all to see, hear and feel. The difference between victory…

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Every gubernatorial election has a turning point, when things get just weird enough to justify the price of admission. As many of you surely know, that turning point is happening right now.

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The locker room chatter in and around the gubernatorial campaign of Congressman Ralph Abraham can be summed up in five words: “Not Ready for Prime Time.”

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Can Ralph Abraham or Eddie Rispone make enough headway over the next month to stop Gov. John Bel Edwards from winning re-election in the Oct. 12 primary?

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Reporters, talking heads, columnists, editors and producers are slowly taking more of an interest in Louisiana’s race for governor, based on a recent analysis from LaPolitics.com of state and national news published between May 30 and Aug. 29, 2019.

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The Pelican Institute recently held a constitutional convention forum in Baton Rouge. A few bigwigs showed up, ranging from mega-donors and politicians to out-of-state academics and lobbyists. The policy issue remains all the rage, even though we’re unlikely to see a gathering on the scale o…

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No matter what kind of politician you might be, regardless of your war chest or name recognition, winning in the first round is the easiest way to go, aside from escaping opposition altogether.

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The two big Republicans running for governor have about two weeks to get their houses in order or Gov. John Bel Edwards is going to run away with the race.

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It’s no big secret that the Louisiana Legislature has been undergoing significant changes over the last few election cycles, and that both the House and Senate have been in a constant state of transition. Few political observers, however, recognize that the transition will conclude with the …

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Supreme Court Justice Jeff Hughes’ handling of a couple of child custody cases when he was a district court judge in Livingston Parish almost 20 years ago prompted The (Baton Rouge) Advocate to take a deep dive into why Hughes’ actions were kept secret from the public.

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Lobbyists, candidates, incumbents and consultants have been on pins and needles this week. They’re ready for qualifying to come and go, for the sign-up process for elections brings with it some certainty.

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone has quashed any doubts that he would actually spend a sizable share of the more than $10 million of his own money that he’s already pumped into his campaign for governor.

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All credit goes to state Rep. Sam Jones, who probably stole it from someone else before I stole it from him and made it a staple of LaPolitics’ annual election reporting.

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Perhaps you’ve read that President Trump is about to toss millions of the poor off food stamps for no other reason than cruelty. You wouldn’t know from this faux horror that the Trump Administration is merely policing a blatant abuse of public resources for the needy.

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It’s getting close to redistricting time for legislators in Louisiana. By federal law, all election districts must be reapportioned every 10 years to reflect the latest census figures. But should legislators, who have a vested interest in how the redistricting lines are drawn, actually do th…

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It’s getting close to redistricting time for legislators in Louisiana. By federal law, all election districts must be reapportioned every 10 years to reflect the latest census figures. But should legislators, who have a vested interest in how the redistricting lines are drawn, actually do th…

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Down here in south Louisiana, where politics and football are too easily labeled as theater and where forgotten pirates and fallen pastors maintain high regards, the weather is a staple character of life.

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Last week’s Louisiana Supreme Court ruling curtailing immunity for judges sent shock waves through legal circles, particularly the judiciary. And rightfully so.

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On one side of the ballot, prognosticators and at least one poll are predicting that young voters will cast a long shadow over next year’s top tier federal elections, when President Donald Trump will stand for re-election. Closer to home, reporters and consultants have identified an unmistak…

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Editor’s Note: This column, which earned Sam Hanna Jr. a first place award for best regular column in the Louisiana Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest, was first published the week of April 2, 2018.

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Huey Long would have been right in the middle of the current presidential election if he were still alive. He began a legacy of a long list of Louisiana politicians who had national aspirations. Later governors John McKeithen, Edwin Edwards, Buddy Roemer and Bobby Jindal all fell by the ways…

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