When Louisiana was forced by the courts to create a second majority Black district to represent the state better (It’s nearly 1/3 African American), Republicans knew that spelled trouble and resisted it for as long as they could. One of them would have to be sacrificed to comply with the law, and Garret Graves got the short straw. (Actually, there’s been some conjecture that because Graves backed someone else besides Jeff Landry for Governor last year the die was cast.) And he’s not too happy about this turn of events, to put it mildly.
Source: The Hill
Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) is warning that Louisiana’s “boneheaded” new congressional map could put House Republicans in jeopardy of losing their majority come November, after his district was redrawn to create a majority-Black district.
“In doing so [Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.)] has a two-seat majority and they effectively just took one of those seats away voluntarily,” Graves told USA Today Network in an interview. “What happens if that causes Republicans to lose the House?”
“It was a boneheaded move to do what was done last week — a real head-scratcher. Nobody campaigned on these issues,” he added.
Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry (R) on Monday approved the new map, which will redraw the state’s 6th Congressional District — currently represented by Graves. The new map followed a lengthy legal battle over the lines, which ended with a decision from a federal appeals court that said the state had to add a second majority-Black district by the middle of this month.
The new 6th District would run through the state from Baton Rouge to Shreveport which, according to The New York Times, would make the district include about 54 percent of Black voters. It will be the second majority-Black district in the state, alongside Rep. Troy Carter’s (D-La.) 2nd Congressional District.
Dave Wasserman at the Cook Political Report noted that Graves has been thrown under the bus by his own party.
Life comes at you fast. Less than a year ago, Republican Rep. Garret Graves (LA-06) had become such a top confidant of newly-elected Speaker Kevin McCarthy that McCarthy elevated him to a specially created House GOP leadership slot. Now, Graves’ own party back home has dismantled his seat in court-ordered redistricting, leaving the five-term pragmatist from Baton Rouge with dismal reelection prospects in 2024.
On Monday, GOP Gov. Jeff Landry signed into law a new congressional map creating a second Black-majority district, complying with a federal court order that the current plan featuring just one — the New Orleans-based 2nd District — violates the Voting Rights Act.
The new map won’t win awards for aesthetics. The revamped 6th District machetes its way from Baton Rouge to Shreveport, picking up heavily Black portions of Alexandria and Lafayette along the way, morphing Graves’s seat from Trump +34 to Biden +20 — a solid Democratic seat. Most of Graves’s base in the Baton Rouge suburbs is folded into GOP Rep. Julia Letlow’s 5th District, where Letlow continues to have a significant advantage.
Graves isn’t giving up though, vowing to take it to the courts (perhaps not realizing how these things work). After he loses there, he’s vowing to run again, presumably in another district, and probably against GOP Rep. Julia Letlow, where he’d lose again.
Oh well. Sucks to be Garret Graves.