Louisiana gubernatorial election, 1979

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Louisiana gubernatorial election, 1979
1975 ←
December 8, 1979 → 1983

  Dave Treen.jpg
Nominee David Treen Louis Lambert
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 690,691 681,134
Percentage 50.35% 49.65%

Governor before election

Edwin Edwards

Elected Governor

David Treen

The Louisiana gubernatorial election of 1979 resulted in the election of David Treen as the first Republican governor of Louisiana since Reconstruction.


Elections in Louisiana—with the exception of U.S. presidential elections—follow a variation of the open primary system called the jungle primary or the nonpartisan blanket primary. Candidates of any and all parties are listed on one ballot; voters need not limit themselves to the candidates of one party. Unless one candidate takes more than 50% of the vote in the first round, a run-off election is then held between the top two candidates, who may in fact be members of the same party. Texas uses this same format for its special elections. In this election, the first round of voting was held on October 27, 1979. The runoff was held on December 8, 1979.


First voting round, October 27

Candidate Party affiliation Votes received Percent
David Treen Republican 297,674 21.79%
Louis Lambert Democrat 283,266 20.74%
Jimmy Fitzmorris Democrat 280,760 20.56%
Paul Hardy Democrat 227,026 16.62%
E.L. "Bubba" Henry Democrat 135,769 9.94%
Sonny Mouton Democrat 124,333 9.10%
Luther Devine Knox Democrat 6,327 0.46%
Ken Lewis Democrat 5,942 0.44%
Greg Nelson No Party 4,783 0.35%
Total 1,365,880 100%

Runoff, December 8

Candidate Party affiliation Votes received Percent
David Treen Republican 690,691 50.35%
Louis Lambert Democrat 681,134 49.65%
Total 1,371,825 100%

Preceded by
1975 gubernatorial election
Louisiana gubernatorial elections Succeeded by
1983 gubernatorial election


State of Louisiana. Primary and General Election Returns, 1979.