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Head, Willard-Lewis, Santorum Top Local Ballots

The New Orleans at-large City Council race is headed for a runoff, and Rick Santorum claimed the favor over Louisiana in Saturday's voting, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State's office. In the City Council race, current councilwoman Stacy Head and former councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis finished atop the race, setting up a April 21 runoff election. Head picked up just over 42 percent of the vote, with Willard Lewis registering about 34 percent.

Footing the Bill

What to Watch at the 2012 Louisiana Legislative Session

It's time once again for a lot of guys named Buddy and Butch to gather in the House That Long Built. Up in Baton Rogue, the annual legislative session convenes today. This year's sesh doesn't have to wrap up until June, giving legos time to debate complex laws about the budget and education, with plenty of time left over to talk about issues near and dear to their hearts: hunting and gambling!

Teen's Campaign to Repeal 'Creationism in Schools' Bill Returns

This year, Zack Kopplin has a high school diploma in hand, a little cable talk experience and a few dozen more Nobel laureates. So the teen who tried to bring down the Louisiana Family Forum and NOLA-area Sen. Karen Carter-Peterson are bringing their fight to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act back to the state legislature this year. When the annual lawmaking session opens next week, Kopplin and Carter Peterson will be pointing out that 75 Nobel Laureates stand with him to bring down the law that many feel opens the door to teaching creationism in schools.

Charlie Smith, Champion of Lost Causes and King of Jazz Fest, Passes

Louisiana politics lost yet another of its one-of-a-kind characters last week when longtime lobbyist Charlie Smith passed away on March 1 at the age of 69. Smith spent a long time as "a representative of the forces of greed and avarice, the things that made America great," he once told the Da Paper. Then he went on to push political buttons for what he called "formerly lost causes." And, unlike many pols, colorful wasn't only an abstraction, at least when it came to his JazzFest outfits. Obits: NOLA Femmes The Hayride T-P

Louisiana Democrats 'Getting Back to Basics' with Tour du Parishes

When ideas aren't quite clicking and candidates aren't quite signing up, sometimes you just need to hit the road, clear your head and start pressing some flesh. So it is with the Louisiana Democrats, whose recent election cycle showing was upstaged by an 84-year-old that was fresh out of the pen. Beginning Thursday, the Dems are launching a weeklong 35-city "Getting Back to Basics" tour. Party Chairman Buddy Leach and other party officials will appear to meet face-to-face with Democrats and distribute resources to the parishes.

Edwin Edwards Eulogizes Late Longtime Ally, Sammy Nunez

With a who's-who of state Democratic pols and Ronnie LaMarque attending, former State Senate President Sammy Nunez received funeral rites today in St. Louis Cathedral. The man for whom Nunez often tamed the legislative wilds of the state capitol, former Gov. Edwin Edwards, gave a eulogy that was full of praise, and not without at least one quip. Former Congressman Bill Jefferson and U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu also spoke, with Landrieu sharing a letter from President Bill Clinton with kind words for the Senator, who died Sunday at 81 years old. The AP has a full rundown.

Bobby Jindal's Inauguration is Monday, Too

Tonight, he'll dance at a black tie ball. Tomrorow, he'll be serenaded by Deacon John and flown over by really impressive jets. And, if he's lucky, a few people might even get their minds out of the football long enough to pay attention. At a midday Monday ceremony at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rogue, Bobby Jindal will be inaugurated into his second term as governor. The 40-year-old spent the run-up to the Big Day like any other guy: betting on football and talking up his friends. Jindal is ceding most of the festivaling to New Orleans and the BCS Championship, but at least that means Edwin Edwards won't be there to upstage him. AP has details on all the pomp.

Election Results, All in One Place!

The uncertainty and nastyass-ness of the campaign has now moved to the cold, hard reality of the vote tally. The results of yesterday's elections are in. After Republican slugfests on the statewide ballot, there will be little change coming to Baton Rogue in January. In local races, vacancies and redistricting meant we would have to bid farewell to old faces. Read how it all panned out after the jump.

Billy Nungesser's Art House Campaign Ad

Billy Nungesser is no stranger to left-field tactics from behind the camera. During the Big Oozy, he was known to deploy the old "get-really-mad-and-red-in-the-face," or the even older, "get-really-mad-and-just-start-swearing." Now that he's running for lieutenant governor, though, Nungesser seems to feel that it's time to diversify. He's already pulled out the "get-a-country-music-singer-to-get-heartfelt-for-me." For his latest TV spot, "Other People's Money," it was apparently time to go all arty.

Blue Dogged

Bad Omens Trump Numbers for State Democrats' Election Hopes

It's official: The state Democratic Party won't field any statewide candidates this year. Still, poll numbers showed they had at least a chance. Are party brass starting to believe their own bad press?

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


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