Feb 7, 2011 11:20 PM by Maddie Garrett

Acadiana Representatives Divided Over Redistricting

The two U.S. Congressmen representing Acadiana are on opposing sides when it comes to the upcoming redistricting session. Louisiana is about to lose one of its congressional seats after the 2010 census, which means rearranging seven congressional districts into six.

"The key is to make sure that coastal Louisiana has the best representation in congress," said Charles Boustany, Representative for LA District 7.

The upcoming redistricting session will most likely focus on the coastal regions. And it's here where Boustany, and Representative for District 3, Jeff Landry, are divided.

"This is about standing up and doing what's right for Louisiana, and that is to protect our coast and for Louisiana to have a strong coast," said Phillip Joffrion, Landry's Chief of Staff.

Landry believes it would be best to unite the entire shoreline from Cameron to Plaquemines Parishes into one district.

"The locals on the coast, on the coastal Louisiana, are screaming for a solid voice to represent the coast. And Congressman Landry wants to represent the people he was elected to represent," said Joffrion.

But Boustany sees it differently, saying two or three representatives would be better than one for the entire coast of Louisiana.

"I saw this directly after hurricanes Rita and Katrina, where we had several of us fighting. We were able to get a lot more done than if only one person had to handle the entire coast," explained Boustany.

Boustany backs plans that would link Lafayette and Lake Charles. And give suburban New Orleans it's own representation.

"The southwest coast is very different from the Southeast coast," he said.

Either way, it looks like Boustany and Landry will probably run against each other in 2012 after their districts are re-mapped.

Boustany currently represents the cities of Crowley, Eunice, Jennings, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Opelousas, Sulphur, Ville Platte, and surrounding areas. Landry covers the cities of Chalmette, Gonzales, Houma, Thibodaux, Morgan City, New Iberia and those surrounding areas.

The Legislators will convene for a special redistricting session starting on March 20, 2011.



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