Louisiana's 3rd congressional district

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Louisiana's 3rd congressional district
Louisiana US Congressional District 3 (since 2013).tif
Louisiana's 3rd congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
U.S. Representative
  Clay Higgins
RPort Barre
  • 73.4[1]% urban
  • 26.6% rural
Population (2016)785,686[2]
Median income$47,741[3]
Cook PVIR+20[4]

Louisiana's 3rd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The district covers the southwestern and south central portion of the state, ranging from the Texas border to the Atchafalaya River.

The district is currently represented by Republican Clay Higgins, a law enforcement officer from Lafayette Parish in the 5th district known for his controversial Crime Stoppers videos. He won the December 10th runoff against public service commissioner Scott Angelle to replace Charles Boustany.[5]


Louisiana gained its 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts in 1823 as part of the 18th United States Congress. Since at least the 1870s, the district has been strongly influenced by southern Louisiana's Acadian culture.

Although the 3rd Congressional District had been Democratic through much of its history, it is the sole district in Louisiana to have been represented by three parties during the 20th century, in that Whitmell P. Martin represented the district as a "Bull Moose" Progressive from 1915 to 1919, when he switched to the Democratic Party. Since the turn of the 20th century, it had dominated Louisiana as a one-party state after the legislature passed a new constitution that effectively disenfranchised African Americans through the 1960s. Martin remained in office as a Democrat until his death in 1929.

The district became more competitive for the Republicans later in the 20th century, when conservative whites shifted into the Republican Party after passage of civil rights legislation by Congress. In 1966, Hall Lyons of Lafayette, polled 40 percent of the vote as a Republican candidate against veteran Democratic incumbent Edwin E. Willis. In 1972, the district elected David C. Treen as the first Republican U.S. representative from Louisiana since 1891.

The state legislature redistricted in the 1980s, pushing the district out of the fast-growing suburbs of Metairie and the city of Kenner, to help keep the seat in the hands of Treen's Democratic successor, Billy Tauzin. Tauzin eventually switched to the Republican Party in 1995, making the 3rd Congressional District unique in 20th-century Louisiana politics as the sole district to have two representatives who switched parties (Martin, who switched from the Progressives to the Democrats in 1918, and Tauzin, who switched from the Democrats to the Republicans in 1995). As a Republican, Tauzin continued to serve until retiring from Congress in 2005. Democrat Charlie Melançon won the seat in 2004 (seated in 2005), was reelected in 2006, and was unopposed in 2008.

For most of the time from 1823 to 2013, the district contained large portions of southeastern and south central Louisiana, including the River Parishes and East Acadiana, In its final configuration, it included many exurban and rural areas near New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. It contained the cities of Chalmette, Gonzales, Houma, Thibodaux, Morgan City, and New Iberia.

However, when Louisiana lost a district after the 2010 census, the old 3rd was dismantled. The new 3rd included most of southwestern Louisiana, including Lafayette and Lake Charles. Most of this territory had been the 7th district before the 2010 census. The old 3rd's last congressman, freshman Republican Jeff Landry, had his home in New Iberia, along with much of the western portion of his district, drawn into the new 3rd. He opted to challenge the 7th District's four-term incumbent, fellow Republican Charles Boustany, in the GOP primary. However, Landry could not overcome the fact that he was running in a district in which more than 60 percent of his constituents were new to him. He lost to Boustany in the primary, ending his brief congressional career. The new 3rd, like both the old 3rd and 7th, has a rich Cajun culture.

List of representatives[edit]

Representative Party Term District home Notes
District created March 4, 1823
No image.svg William Leigh Brent Adams-Clay Democratic-Republican March 4, 1823 –
March 4, 1825
Saint Martinville, St. Martin Parish Retired
Adams March 4, 1825 –
March 4, 1829
No image.svg Walter Hampden Overton Jacksonian March 4, 1829 –
March 4, 1831
Rapides Parish Retired
Henry Adams Bullard.jpg Henry Adams Bullard Anti-Jacksonian March 4, 1831 –
January 4, 1834
Natchitoches Parish Resigned to become judge of Supreme Court of Louisiana
Vacant January 4, 1834 –
April 28, 1834
No image.svg Rice Garland Anti-Jacksonian April 28, 1834 –
March 4, 1837
Opelousas, St. Landry Parish Resigned to become judge of Supreme Court of Louisiana
Whig March 4, 1837 –
July 21, 1840
Vacant July 21, 1840 –
December 17, 1840
John Moore Louisiana.jpg John Moore Whig December 17, 1840 –
March 4, 1843
Franklin, St. Mary Parish Defeated for re-election
John Bennett Dawson.jpg John Bennett Dawson Democratic March 4, 1843 –
June 26, 1845
St. Francisville, West Feliciana Parish Redistricted from the 2nd district
No image.svg John Henry Harmanson Democratic ????, 1845 –
October 24, 1850
Avoyelles Parish Died
No image.svg Alexander Gordon Penn Democratic December 30, 1850 –
March 4, 1853
St. Tammany Parish
No image.svg John Perkins Jr. Democratic March 4, 1853 –
March 4, 1855
Madison Parish
ThomasGDavidson.jpg Thomas Green Davidson Democratic March 4, 1855 –
March 4, 1861
Springfield, Livingston Parish
Civil War and Reconstruction
JPNewsham.jpg Joseph Parkinson Newsham Republican July 18, 1868 –
March 4, 1869
Saint Francisville, West Feliciana Parish
ChesterBidwellDarrall.jpg Chester Bidwell Darrall Republican March 4, 1869 –
February 20, 1878
Morgan City, St. Mary Parish Lost election contest
Joseph H. Acklen.jpg Joseph H. Acklen Democratic February 20, 1878 –
March 3, 1881
St. Mary Parish Did not seek re-election
ChesterBidwellDarrall.jpg Chester Bidwell Darrall Republican March 4, 1881 –
March 4, 1883
Morgan City, St. Mary Parish Lost re-election to William Pitt Kellogg
William P. Kellogg - Brady-Handy.jpg William Pitt Kellogg Republican March 4, 1883 –
March 4, 1885
New Orleans Defeated by Edward James Gay
Edward James Gay.JPG Edward James Gay Democratic March 4, 1885 –
May 30, 1889
New Orleans Died
Vacant May 30, 1889 –
December 2, 1889
[Data unknown/missing.]
AndrewPrice.jpg Andrew Price Democratic December 2, 1889 –
March 4, 1897
Franklin, St. Mary Parish
Robert Foligny Broussard.jpg Robert Foligny Broussard Democratic March 4, 1897 –
March 4, 1915
New Iberia, Iberia Parish Retired to run for United States Senate in 1914.
WhitmellPMartin.jpg Whitmell P. Martin Progressive March 4, 1915 –
March 4, 1919
Thibodaux, Lafourche Parish Died
Democratic March 4, 1919 –
April 6, 1929
No image.svg Numa Francois Montet Democratic August 6, 1929 –
January 3, 1937
Thibodaux, Lafourche Parish Lost renomination
RobertLMouton.jpg Robert L. Mouton Democratic January 3, 1937 –
January 3, 1941
Lafayette Lost renomination
James R. Domengeaux.jpg James Domengeaux Democratic January 3, 1941 –
April 15, 1944
Lafayette Resigned to join the Armed Forces
Vacant April 15, 1944 –
November 7, 1944
James R. Domengeaux.jpg James Domengeaux Democratic November 7, 1944 –
January 3, 1949
Lafayette Elected to finish his own term
Retired to run for U.S. Senate
Edwin E. Willis.jpg Edwin E. Willis Democratic January 3, 1949 –
January 3, 1969
Arnaudville, St. Landry Parish Lost renomination
Patrick Caffery.png Patrick T. Caffery Democratic January 3, 1969 –
January 3, 1973
New Iberia, Iberia Parish Retired
Dave Treen.jpg Dave Treen Republican January 3, 1973 –
March 10, 1980
Metairie, Jefferson Parish Resigned to become Governor of Louisiana
Vacant March 10, 1980 –
May 22, 1980
Billy tauzin.jpg Billy Tauzin Democratic May 22, 1980 –
August 8, 1995
Chackbay, Lafourche Parish Retired
Republican August 8, 1995 –
January 3, 2005
Charles Melancon.jpg Charlie Melancon Democratic January 3, 2005 –
January 3, 2011
Napoleonville, Assumption Parish Retired to run for U.S. Senate
Jeff Landry, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg Jeff Landry Republican January 3, 2011 –
January 3, 2013
New Iberia, Iberia Parish Lost runoff election
Rep. Charles Boustany.jpg Charles Boustany Republican January 3, 2013 –
January 3, 2017
Lafayette Redistricted from the 7th district
Retired to run unsuccessfully for the Senate
Clay Higgins official portrait.jpg Clay Higgins Republican January 3, 2017 – present Port Barre, St. Landry Parish Incumbent

Recent Election Results[edit]


Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District Election (2002)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Billy Tauzin* 130,323 86.68
Libertarian William Beier 12,964 8.62
Independent David Iwancio 7,055 4.69
Total votes 150,342 100.00
Turnout   44.2
Republican hold


Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District Runoff Election (December 4, 2004)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Charlie Melançon 57,611 50.25
Republican Billy Tauzin III 57,042 49.75
Total votes 114,653 100.00
Turnout   27.8
Democratic gain from Republican


Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District Election (2006)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Charlie Melançon* 75,023 55.03
Republican Craig F. Romero 54,950 40.31
Democratic Olangee Breech 4,190 3.07
Libertarian James Lee Blake, Jr. 2,168 1.59
Total votes 136,331 100.00
Turnout   34.4
Democratic hold


Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District Election (2008)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Charlie Melançon* 100.00
Total votes 100.00
Democratic hold


Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District Election (2010)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeff Landry 108,963 63.77
Democratic Ravi Sangisetty 61,914 36.23
Total votes 170,877 100.00
Turnout   44.8
Republican gain from Democratic


Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District Election (2012)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Charles Boustany 58,820 60.90
Republican Jeff Landry 37,764 39.10
Total votes 96,584 100.00
Turnout   19.3
Republican hold


Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District Election (2014)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Charles Boustany 185,867 79
Republican Bryan Barrilleaux 22,059 9
No Party Russell Richard 28,342 12
Total votes 236,268 100.00
Turnout   51.1
Republican hold


Louisiana's 3rd Congressional district election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Clay Higgins 77,671 56.1
Republican Scott Angelle 60,762 43.9
Total votes 138,433 100
Turnout   28.1
Republican hold

Historical district boundaries[edit]

2003 - 2013

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/cd_state.html
  2. ^ https://www.census.gov/mycd/?st=22&cd=03
  3. ^ https://www.census.gov/mycd/?st=22&cd=03
  4. ^ "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  5. ^ "Republicans Angelle, Higgins Set for Runoff in Louisiana's 3rd District". Rollcall.com. 2016-11-08. Retrieved 2016-11-19.


  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present, bioguide.congress.gov; accessed November 18, 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°57′04″N 92°25′50″W / 29.95111°N 92.43056°W / 29.95111; -92.43056