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Jan 26, 2011 11:38 PM by Shawn Kline

Coastal Congressional District gaining momentum

Several Acadiana Parishes are pushing for one person to represent Louisiana's coast.
It's part of the redistricting process coming up in March and supporters say it could give Gulf industries a louder voice in Washington.
Supporters are traveling around the state to gather support for a coastal congressional district.
Wednesday night, they visited St. Mary Parish Council as well as the Iberia Parish Council- both councils saying 'yes' to one coastal voice.
"If we have a district of coastal parishes, it would be more in-tuned to the coastal, rural areas of Louisiana," St. Mary Councilman Steve Bierhorst said.
"This is a fight for survival." State District 51 Representative Joe Harrison says, "it's also a fight to find somebody who's going to be the champion of this area and someone who's going to have the leadership to put us in a great position."
Representative Harrison is pushing for the coastal district because he says there are a lot of commonalities between residents in Cameron Parish all down the coastline to St. Bernard.
"They need one person that understands what all their issues are." Coastal District Supporter, Gwen Therioit says, "their issues are so different from the cities and other urban areas."
Both Theriot and Harrison say a coastal district would likely include Lafayette Parish- being the oil hub of Louisiana. They say merger of current districts three and seven would bring more support of offshore and seafood industries back to Washington D.C.
"If we had that voice in the coastal parishes, we may get more done," Bierhorst said.
If the Coastal Congressional District is approved as preliminary maps show, both Charles Boustany (District 7) and Jeff Landry (District 3) would finish their terms. In 2012, if both run for re-election, they could be campaigning against each other.
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.

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