Democrat Troy Carter wins Louisiana special election for US House seat

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Louisiana state Sen. Troy Carter will represent the state’s 2nd Congressional District on Capitol Hill following a victory over state Senate colleague Karen Carter Peterson in a special runoff election Saturday.

Carter’s victory was confirmed by The Associated Press.

Carter and Peterson were the top two vote-getters in a March 20 special election to succeed U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, who stepped down from his seat to take a role in the Biden administration as the White House’s director of public engagement. The race proceeded to a runoff because neither candidate earned at least 50% of the vote.

The vote followed a contentious campaign for the two candidates, each of whom previously staged unsuccessful bids for the second Congressional district seat. Carter aligned with the moderate wing of the Democratic party, securing endorsements from Richmond as well as House Majority White James Clyburn of South Carolina.

Peterson positioned herself as more progressive than her Democratic rival, suggesting Carter of seeking support from Republicans to boost his candidate. She received endorsements from several prominent progressives, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

Both candidates shared many of the same views on policy, such as support for an increased federal minimum wage and law enforcement reform.

The election result adds to the Democratic Party’s slim majority in the lower chamber. Prior to Louisiana’s special election, the House had a total of five vacancies, including Richmond’s seat.

The Democrats currently hold 219 seats in the House, while the GOP holds 212.  

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