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Speaker's race could be contested for first time since 1984

11 months 4 hours 1 minute ago January 08, 2016 Jan 8, 2016 Friday, January 08 2016 January 08, 2016 2:49 PM in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Melinda Deslatte

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana House of Representatives is on track to do something it hasn't done in 32 years: publicly choose between candidates vying to be House speaker.

This sort of decision is usually hashed out behind the scenes, with an anointing of sorts when a new term begins, rather than a contested vote.

But unless a compromise is brokered within days, lawmakers in the House will face a head-to-head match-up between Democrat Walt Leger and Republican Cameron Henry as the new term begins Monday.

Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards is pushing for Leger, even though Republicans hold a majority of House seats.

Some lawmakers continued to work behind the scenes to find a third, compromise candidate that could garner support from Edwards and Republicans alike. But so far, that candidate hadn't emerged.

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