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How Garret Graves' congressional departure will affect House of Representatives

3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago Monday, June 17 2024 Jun 17, 2024 June 17, 2024 9:17 PM June 17, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - After almost a ten-year stint in Congress, Garret Graves announced that he would not be seeking re-election.

The decision came after a long legal battle over Louisiana's congressional maps. Graves' district was completely reshaped when a federal judge ordered Louisiana lawmakers to redraw district lines to create a second majority-minority district.

Political analyst James Hartman says changing one of the candidate's districts was inevitable. 

"Somebody had to be forced into a majority-minority district. One of the five Republicans had to be [chosen]. It didn't have to be him. But it certainly couldn't be Speaker Johnson. It couldn't be Steve Scalise."

Graves serves on the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. Hartman says his impact has been hugely beneficial for South Louisiana since neither of them has a large number of representatives from the Gulf Coast. With his departure, Hartman says both committees will be losing a figurehead.

"Congressman Graves' departure will be a huge loss for us. He's been an extremely effective legislator. And his positions on [the] Transportation and Natural Resources committees have been a tremendous boom for Louisiana," he said. 

With the sixth district being redrawn, the seat will likely go to a Democrat. The map is set to be redrawn again after the elections, which sets an interesting challenge for Louisiana's next representative.

Hartman says that many eyes are on State Senator Cleo Fields to fill the position. 

"Even if it is Senator Fields, he will have the challenge of reintroducing himself to the people of the district," he said.

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