A Democrat and a Republican will advance to a December runoff election to decide who will succeed GOP Rep. John Fleming in Louisiana’s 4th District.
Democrat Marshall Jones and Republican Mike Johnson will face off on Dec. 10, the Associated Press projects. With nearly 100 percent of precincts reporting, Jones led Johnson 27 percent to 25 percent. As neither candidate was able to garner more than 50 percent of the vote, they are headed for a runoff.
Fleming, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, vacated his House seat for a Senate run to succeed retiring GOP Sen. David Vitter. He was first elected to Congress in 2004, and took 73 percent of the vote to win re-election in 2014.
Louisiana’s 4th District encompasses a sizable portion of the northwestern corner of the state, bordering Arkansas and Texas. Barksdale Air Force Base is a top employer in two of the larger cities in the district, Shreveport and Bossier City. Republican candidates do well in this conservative district.
As a Democrat, Jones is a long shot to win the runoff, as Republicans have held the seats since 1997. But he has highlighted his conservative positions during his campaign. He is pro-Second Amendment and anti-abortion rights, and also emphasized his support for the oil and gas industry and the military.
This is Jones’ second run for the seat — he ran unsuccessfully in 1988. He has previously worked as an oil and gas lawyer who practiced at the federal level. He also has experiencing with farming and hopes to focus on energy, agriculture and spending issues.
Johnson was elected to the Louisiana House in 2015, and had previously worked as a lawyer specializing in constitutional law. Johnson argued cases in state courts, including arguing against gay marriage, and in support of the state’s school prayer and abortion policies.
The conservative FreedomWorks PAC endorsed Johnson’s campaign. If elected to Congress, Johnson hopes to promote conservative principles and to weigh in on federal regulations he believes are hindering his state’s economy.
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