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Five Louisiana Congressmen Win Easily

October 2, 1988

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ The Republican congressman elected last spring to fill Gov. Buddy Roemer’s unexpired term defeated the governor’s mother in Louisiana’s primary election, and another GOP House member faces a repeat of a 1986 runoff.

Rep. Jim McCrery defeated Adeline Roemer and another candidate Saturday to win his first full term to represent the 4th District in northwest Louisiana. But Rep. Clyde Holloway will meet Faye Williams, a Democrat he beat in a 1986 runoff, on Nov. 8 in another runoff for the 8th District.

Under Louisiana’s open primary system, all candidates run in a unified primary, regardless of party affiliation. If a candidate does not receive a majority, the top two meet in a runoff.

With all of the votes tallied, Democratic Reps. Billy Tauzin, Jerry Huckaby and Lindy Boggs and Republican Bob Livingston joined McCrery in claiming victories without runoffs.

Republican Richard Baker in the 6th District and Democrat Jimmy Hayes in the 7th District, both freshmen, were unopposed.

Only 32 percent of the state’s registered voters participated, below the original prediction of 38 to 42 percent, the secretary of state’s office said. Election officials had said the opening of squirrel hunting season and a televised Louisiana State University football game would keep many voters away.

Boggs’ margin of victory in the 2nd District’s 1986 race was larger than the total number of voters who showed up Saturday.

Boggs had 63,327 votes or 90 percent, while Republican opponent Roger C. ″Captain″ Johnson had 7,665 votes or 10 percent. Boggs has held the seat since winning a special election in 1973 to replace her husband, Hale Boggs, who died in a plane crash in Alaska.

Holloway had 58,479 votes or 44 percent to 44,904 or 34 percent for Williams, a black lawyer. Three other Democrats - state Sen. J.E. Jumonville Jr., former Lt. Gov. Bobby Freeman and former Alexandria Mayor John ″Tillie″ Snyder - trailed far behind. All of the challengers are Democrats. Turnout was 25 percent below 1986.

McCrery won with 72,128 votes or 69 percent to 27,829 or 27 percent for Mrs. Roemer. Robert Briggs, a retired military officer, had 5,103 votes or 5 percent. Both challengers are Democrats.

In the April election to fill Roemer’s unexpired term, the Democratic governor supported McCrery, a former congressional aide, and raised the ire of state Democrats.

But McCrery’s conservative voting record didn’t set well with the governor’s mother, who charged that he was ignoring the plight of the majority of his constituency, women, blacks and blue collar workers.

However, Mrs. Roemer called McCrery an honorable man and a friend. ″I think because of this campaign he’ll be more aware and I hope to work with him,″ she said.

The only constitutional proposition on the ballot, a proposed tax break for owners who improve residential property occupied by low- and moderate-income families, was turned down 65 percent to 35 percent.

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