New Louisiana map sets up GOP primary battle

After weeks of wrangling between lawmakers in Louisiana and tension among the GOP members of the delegation in Washington, a new congressional map won approval from state legislators late Wednesday.

As expected, the map draws Republican Reps. Charles Boustany Jr. and Jeff Landry together in a new district that advantages Boustany.

The state must shed a congressional district ahead of 2012 and the new map will force Landry, a freshman Republican, into a district that includes much of the territory currently represented by Boustany. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has indicated that he will sign the plan into law.   

Throughout the debate over the re-draw, the majority of the delegation were behind a plan that put Landry and Boustany together, leaving the other GOP members of the delegation in safe districts.

But tensions ratcheted up after Boustany began to push a plan put forth by a Democratic state lawmaker, which would have created a much more competitive district for fellow GOP Rep. John Fleming. While it's not the plan that ultimately won approval, tensions could linger.

"I don't feel like I can trust anything he says," Fleming said of Boustany late last week. "Everything he told me, he reneged on."

Approval of the map came just as a special session of the State Legislature was about to wrap, which would have pushed a new congressional map off until next year. Over the past several days, a handful of members of the state's delegation, including Landry, publicly said a delay might be the preferred option. 

"I commend the legislature on finishing the difficult task of redistricting," Boustany said in a statement. "It has always been in the best interest of voters across the state to complete this and avoid uncertainty or confusion in the coming months."

Landry, who defeated a candidate endorsed by Boustany in a GOP primary last cycle, has said he intends to run again in 2012 no matter what. 

-Updated at 8:23 p.m.