Hurricane delays primaries till Oct. 4

Hurricane Gustav has delayed the Louisiana primaries until Oct. 4, making it possible that the state won’t conclude some of its races until December.

The state was scheduled to have its primaries Saturday, but the hurricane struck Sept. 1 and left hundreds of thousands without power.


Primary runoffs will be held in races where no candidate reaches 50 percent, and those runoffs will be held on Nov. 4, the date of the general election. That would push the final contest in those races to Dec. 6.

Every race that doesn’t require a primary runoff, however, will still conclude Nov. 4.

The state’s Senate race, featuring Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuBottom line A decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face MORE (D) and state Treasurer John Kennedy (R), will be unaffected, but the races in the 2nd and 4th districts could be prolonged.

In the former, indicted Rep. William Jefferson (D) is again fighting a crowded field for his political life. In the latter, three well-funded Republican candidates are vying for the GOP nod in retiring Rep. Jim McCrery’s (R) district.

The state overhauled its open runoff system this year in favor of regular party primaries, partly to prevent elections from being decided a month after the rest of the country. Now, thanks to the hurricane, it might be dealing with the same situation.