Louisiana Primary Election Results

Last Saturday, October 14th 2023, Louisiana voters went to the polls to vote for a new governor and in numerous legislative and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) races. The turnout was a disappointingly low 35.8 percent, but gubernatorial candidate Jeff Landry (R), one of a field of 15 candidates, garnered 52 percent of the vote and emerged as the winner. Congratulations to Governor-elect Landry.

We at Stand for Children look forward to this administration and working with it to create more and better opportunities for Louisiana’s families. The inauguration will be held January 8.

Stand for Children endorsed candidates in select legislative races. Many thanks to the Endorsement Committee, who were STAND educator fellows and parent volunteers, for their effort in screening and interviewing candidates.

Some of the races were decided on Saturday, while other candidates are in a runoff. Those races will be decided in the November 18 general election. Congratulations to the winning candidates and thank you to all the candidates who ran in order to improve our state.


In BESE District 1, Stand endorsed current House member, Paul Hollis (R) who, with 71 percent of the vote won easily against Lauren Jewett (D), who received 29 percent.

In BESE District 2, Dr. Sharon Clark was elected when the other candidate was disqualified. Sandy Holloway was re-elected in District 3 without opposition.

In BESE District 4, Stand endorsed Stacey Melerine (R). Melerine had two opponents, Paige Hoffpauir (R) and Emma Shepard (D). Melerine received 47 percent and is in a runoff with Shepard, who received 30 percent. Hoffpauir came in third at 23 percent.

In BESE District 5, Stand endorsed current House Education Chair, Lance Harris (R). Harris ran against Toby Brazzel (R). Harris won outright with 67 percent of the vote. Brazzel received 33 percent.

In BESE District 6, Stand endorsed incumbent Ronnie Morris (R), who was challenged by Jodi Rollins (R). Morris won outright with 69 percent while Rollins received 31 percent.

In BESE District 7, Stand endorsed Erick Knezek (R), who ran against two other Republicans, Cathy Banks and Kevin Berken. Knezek is headed into a runoff with Berken. Berken led the field with 37 percent while Knezek was a close second with 34 percent. Banks came in third with 29 percent.

In BESE District 8, Stand endorsed incumbent Preston Castille (D), who was challenged by DeeDee Cormier-Zenon (D). Castille won with 70 percent while Cormier-Zenon received 30 percent.


In House District 6, Stand endorsed Michael Melerine (R) who ran against Bobby Darrow (D) and Evan McMichael (NOPTY). Melerine won outright with 68 percent of the vote. Darrow received 28 percent and McMichael 4 percent.

In House District 53, Stand Endorsed Jessica Domangue (R), who ran for an open seat against Dirk Guidry and Willis Trosclair, Jr. All of the candidates are Republicans. Domangue is in a runoff with Guidry. She received 43 percent, while Guidry received 36 percent and Trosclair 21 percent.

In House District 70, Stand endorsed Barbara Freiberg (R), the incumbent representative and member of the House Education Committee. Freiberg was in a crowded race but received 39 percent, putting her in a runoff with Steve Myers (D), who received 27 percent.

In House District 73, Stand endorsed Braville LeBlanc (R) who was running against Republicans Michael Chatellier and Kim Coates. LeBlanc came in second with 37 percent but Coates was elected outright with 54 percent. Chatelier received 9 percent.

In House District 88, Stand endorsed Willie Robinson, who ran against incumbent Kathy Edmonston and Don Schexnaydre. All three are Republicans. Edmonston was re-elected with 64 percent, while Robinson received 12 percent and Schexnaydre 24 percent.

In House District 89, Stand endorsed Kim Carver (R). Carver ran in a field of four candidates and is in a runoff with Josh Allison (R). Carver led the field with 44 percent while Allison received 27 percent.

In House District 90, Stand endorsed incumbent Mary DuBuisson (R) who ran against Heide Alejandro-Smith (LBT) and Brian Glorioso. Dubuisson is now in a runoff with Glorioso. Dubuisson received 48 percent; Glorioso received 44 percent; and Alejandro-Smith received 9 percent of the vote.

In House District 91, Stand endorsed Madison O’Malley (D) who challenged incumbent Mandie Landry (D) and Ed Carlson (D). In spite of a tough campaign and O’Malley’s high-profile endorsements, Landry was re-elected with 66 percent of the vote. O’Malley received 26 percent and Carlson 9 percent.


In Senate District 6, Stand endorsed Rick Edmonds (R), who won outright with 62 percent. Edmonds faced challenger Barry Ivey (R), who received 38 percent of the vote.

In Senate District 21, Stand endorsed Stephen Swiber (R) who ran against Robert Allain (R) and Bo LaGrange (R). Swiber ran a great race but came in third with 25 percent of the vote. Allain received 44 percent and LaGrange, 31 percent. Allain and LaGrange are in a runoff.

We will be back in November with results from the runoff.

Brigitte Nieland

Stand For Children Louisiana Government Affairs Director

Session Wrap Up

On Thursday, June 8, following a mad scramble to pass a budget and vote on other last-minute concurrences, the Legislature adjourned sine die. Included in the budget was $197 million dedicated to a teacher and support personnel bonus. Teachers will receive $2,000 and support workers, $1,000. The MFP did not pass, which means that this is a one-year appropriation but the House passed a resolution to ask BESE to include this amount when it creates next year’s MFP. Also included in funding were dollars for apprenticeships and differentiated funding for stipends for teachers who work in schools with a majority of students who are economically disadvantaged. It could also be used for courses where there are shortages. Additionally, $44 million was appropriated for early childhood education.

Though a fiscal session, there was quite a bit of activity in the education and criminal justice arenas. We are very happy to report that, due to your contacts with legislators, Stand’s primary legislative goals were achieved.

A priority bill for Stand was SB 111 by Sen. Royce Duplessis, which would provide resources for system upgrades to the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information and the Louisiana Supreme Court Case Management Information System in order to make the records expungement process more efficient and less costly.

The bill was passed favorably out of four committees and passed both the Senate and House floors with large margins. On June 6, the Senate concurred in the House amendments and on June 8 the bill was sent to the Governor to be signed.

Stand worked with the NEO coalition to pass the bill, which has been introduced in the Legislature for years but has previously not been successful. A recent poll commissioned by Stand showed that the concept was very popular with Republican and Independent voters and Stand effectively communicated that message to the largely conservative members of the Legislature.

As passed, SB 111:

  • Clarifies that the legislation does not impair the use of expunged records by law enforcement particularly for the purposes of bail setting and sentencing.
  • Authorizes the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information to assign a case number to each record in its database and final dispositions for those records already eligible for expungement.
  • Beginning January 1, 2025, a defendant may make an online request for an automated expungement. The expungement must be initiated within 30 days of the receipt of the request. The expungement is then sent to the Louisiana Supreme Court Case Management Information System. Within 30 days of receipt of the request of the records, the Louisiana Supreme Court must send notice of the expungement to the clerks of Louisiana’s district courts who then transmits the information to District Attorneys, Sheriffs and arresting agencies, who must acknowledge the expungement and sequester the records.
  • The bill did not expand the list of offenses eligible for expungement.
  • The legislation may be found here

Many thanks to Sen. Duplessis and the other legislators who passed this critical bill. This legislation will allow more citizens to get jobs, housing, and better the lives of themselves and their families while helping to improve the economy via a stronger workforce. Many thanks also to all of you who reached out to legislators throughout the committee and floor processes to support SB 111. Your contacts worked.

A second priority bill was SB 177 by Sen. Patrick McMath. This bill provides for high-dosage tutoring for students who score less than proficient in reading and/or math on state tests. The bill easily passed in both the House and Senate but a late amendment which would have gutted the bill threw the bill into Conference Committee. Fortunately, with little time to spare, the Conference Committee deleted the bad amendment and the Conference Committee report was accepted by both chambers.

In other legislation previously reported on:

  • HB 164 by Rep. Kenny Cox which would have lowered from 17 to 15 the required ACT score to qualify for a TOPS-Tech award. TOPS-Tech is a merit-based scholarship and lowering the ACT would result in watering down standards. When the bar is lowered, too often students do not get the specialized attention they may need to be successful. The bill garnered substantial opposition, including Stand, and it died in the Appropriations Committee.
  • Stand supported HB 462 by Rep. Rick Edmonds which would require public school governing authorities to post fiscal information on their websites. HB 462 passed in both chambers and has been sent to the Governor for his signature.
  • Stand also supported HB 242 by Rep. Stephanie Hilferty which would prohibit any form of corporal punishment in public schools unless a parent or legal guardian provides written consent for the use of corporal punishment as a form of discipline for the child. It also requires the state Dept. of Education to create the document with which a parent would provide consent each school year. This bill prohibits any form of corporal punishment for students with exceptionalities. SB 242 passed the Legislature and has been sent to the Governor.
  • In an effort to improve Louisiana students’ math performance, Rep. Richard Nelson introduced HB 326, a bill that Stand supported that would require foundational numeracy skills standards as a component of teacher education programs. SB 163 by Sen. Sharon Hewitt also passed. This bill requires numeracy professional development for certain teachers.
  • Stand opposed SB 71 by Sen. Joe Bouie which would have put duplicative (with existing law) requirements on Learning Pods. It would also have require that Pods provide transportation, though some pods are created and operated by charter schools, which are not required to provide transportation. This bill was not needed and was a transparent effort to harm this innovative public school initiative. Thanks to all of you who took action to defeat this bill. It was killed in the Senate by a vote of 15-23.
  • Bills of interest that Stand followed but did not take a position on included HB 12 by Rep. Richard Nelson, which prohibits promotion to the 4th grade for students whose reading deficiencies have not been remedied by the end of 3rd grade; and SB 197 by Sen. Barrow Peacock and SB 81 by Sen. Patrick McMath, both of which changed teacher certification requirements to allow certain people to teach before they become certified.

Session has concluded,

Brigitte Nieland

Stand For Children Louisiana Government Affairs Director

It is so incredibly disappointing that this board has not followed through on its promise of executing a long-term contract for Dr. Sito Narcisse. As a result, he is now in consideration for the Broward County, Florida Superintendent job. Here is a partial list of Dr. Narcisse’s tremendous accomplishments in just two years leading the East Baton Rouge Parish School District:

• 2,200 additional quality preschool seats

• a $20 million investment in instructional materials and 53 new literacy coaches to boost third grade reading

• Focus Choice Schools and Pathways to Bright Futures that are providing students the greatest scope of career and college preparation options ever offered in East Baton Rouge

• Innovative programming that has lifted the percentage of student who finish their make-or-break ninth grade year on-track to graduate on time from 67% to 84%

• Balanced budget for two years in a row with a $111 million surplus balance at the end of the 2022-2023 school year – the largest surplus in district history – with a promised teacher pay raise

• $80 million from EBR voters through four millage renewals this spring for student resources and teacher raises

Despite these tremendous strides forward for students, educators, and our community, the board has not ensured Dr. Narcisse will stay long-term.


After years of drift and because of Dr. Narcisse’s student-centered effective leadership, we are FINALLY seeing gains for ALL students in Baton Rouge. Fear, reluctance to change, and a refusal to acknowledge the strong gains being made – in spite of the facts and data – by some board members may, yet again, let our students and community down.
Our students deserve better, and we DEMAND better.

We call upon board leadership to take immediate action to execute a contract with Dr. Narcisse that assures our school district has the sustained, effective leadership we sorely need. Dr. Narcisse

Thank you for Standing with us,

Carrie Griffin Monica,

Stand for Children Louisiana Executive Director

Last week was the first full week of legislative committee meetings and it wasn’t long before the House and Senate took up important and sometimes controversial legislation. All bills and committee agendas may be found on the legislative website at legis.la.gov or the #LA LEGE app.

Last Wednesday in the Senate Education Committee, two bills that Stand is tracking were heard.

· SB 150 (Sen. Robert Mills) would create The Louisiana Literacy Advisory Commission within the State Department of Education. It was reported favorably as amended.

· SB 197 (Sen. Peacock) would revise teacher certification requirements such as the required 2.2 GPA for entrance into a teacher education program. If a student does not have the mandatory GPA, if this bill passes the student could still enter a program on a conditional basis. It also would allow a certification candidate who did not pass PRAXIS examinations to be issued a conditional teaching certificate. SB 197 was reported favorably as amended.

On Thursday, the House Education Committee met and reported favorably HB 191 (Rep. Jefferson), which would add in statute that a teacher providing instruction in a public school but not employed by the public school governing authority may be credited with his years of teaching if he is performing services for the school pursuant to a corporate contract with a company approved by BESE to provide these services and he receives a successful evaluation according to BESE policy. Stand LEAD Fellow Tibberly ______ testified in support of the bill.

This week is a very full week of committee activity. Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary C Committee will hear SB 111 (Rep. Duplessis), which would provide resources to update the technology systems at the Louisiana Supreme Court and State Police. With updated technology, expungement of criminal records of those already eligible will be more streamlined which would lessen the cost and make the process more efficient. Stand strongly supports this legislation, which would allow more citizens to get jobs, housing, and better the lives of themselves and their families while helping to improve the economy. Keep an eye out for Stand’s Action Alert requesting contacts to Judiciary C members in support of SB 111.

The House Education Committee will meet twice this week, with both days having full agendas. On Tuesday, Stand will be present to oppose HB 164 (Rep. Cox) which would lower from 17 to 15 the required ACT score to qualify for a TOPS-Tech award. TOPS-Tech is a merit-based scholarship and lowering the ACT would result in watering down standards. When standards are lowered, too often students do not get the specialized attention they may need to be successful.

We will also be there to support HB 462 (Rep. Edmonds) which would require public school governing authorities to post fiscal information on their websites.

On Wednesday, Stand will support HB 242 (Rep. Hilferty) which would prohibit any form of corporal punishment in public schools unless a parent or legal guardian provides written consent for the use of corporal punishment as a form of discipline for his child. Requires the state Dept. of Education to create the document with which a parent would provide consent each school year. This bill prohibits any form of corporal punishment for students with exceptionalities.

Stay tuned for Action Alerts and Updates!

The Louisiana legislative session convened at noon on Monday, April 10. Following Gov. John Bel Edwards’s State of the State speech, both the House and Senate began the process of introducing, or “reading in” bills. To date, 608 House Bills have been filed, 23 House Concurrent Resolutions, and 25 House Resolutions. In the Senate, 220 Senate Bills were filed, 15 Senate Concurrent Resolutions, and 21 Senate Resolutions. Thus far, Stand is tracking 99 bills of interest but that number could increase. Legislators have until 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19 to introduce bills. As this is a fiscal session, the number of bills of a general nature that a legislator may introduce is limited to five. No Education Committee meetings were held in either chamber, but Department of Education officials presented their proposed 2024 Fiscal Year budget to the House Appropriations Committee (HB 1 by Rep. Zee Zeringue) on Tuesday, April 11.

The budget includes the $4.031B MFP for the 2023/2024 School Year submitted by BESE (SCR 2 by Sen. Cleo Fields). The Legislature cannot amend BESE’s requested funding resolution, it can only approve or reject it. If a new MFP is not approved, the formula reverts to the prior year’s. The MFP, as approved by BESE on March 8, includes $196,479,514 for teacher salary increases of $2,000 for certificated teachers and $1,000 for support personnel. (If the Revenue Estimating Conference recognizes additional state dollars, that number could increase to $3,000 for teachers and $1,500 for support staff.)

The proposed MFP adds an additional $61M block grant for differentiated teacher compensation. Under this grant, school systems would be given the flexibility to pay teachers stipends if they meet designated specific needs such as teaching in critical shortage areas or in high needs schools (those with an economically disadvantaged student population of 85% or higher). Further, this MFP includes $21.5M to help systems meet operational costs such as employee health insurance and retirement.The Department of Education will be in Senate Finance Committee today, April 17. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Interested citizens may watch any hearing or floor action livestreamed via the legislative website or on the newly launched free app LA LEGE.

The Senate has not yet released next week’s Education Committee agenda, but they are expected to meet on Wednesday. The House Education Committee is scheduled to meet at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 20. Please click to see the agenda.A key bill of interest on the agenda is HB 191 by Rep. Patrick Jefferson. HB 191 is a bill requested by the Department of Education which would change state teacher certification requirements. This proposal could give credit for experience in teaching out-of-state, in nonpublic schools, or in a public school via a contract with an approved company if other requirements are met. It also would align traditional and alternate teacher education programs re reading and literacy competencies.

Stay tuned for updates as session progresses. And, for some bills, we’ll reach out to you and ask that you contact legislators to support or oppose them. Contacts from their constituents have a major impact on a bill’s outcome.