Representative Charles Boustany of Louisiana, a veteran Republican allied with House Speaker John Boehner, trounced freshman GOP incumbent Jeff Landry in a weekend runoff election.
The two incumbents were forced into the same district when Louisiana lost a congressional seat because of low population growth in the latest federal census. The state will have six US House seats in the new term that begins in January.
A four-term representative who had gone into Saturday’s balloting favored by the new district design, Boustany will represent the Third District, covering southwest Louisiana and nearby Acadiana.
With nearly all precincts reporting, Boustany led Landry by about 3 to 2. About one-fifth of district voters cast ballots on Saturday.
‘‘This looks like a very solid victory. We had a very strong ground game, which was a key element in the runoff. We reached out to a lot of voters with a solid message backed by the results I’ve gotten in Congress,’’ said Boustany, a retired doctor.
Landry, the Tea Party favorite, was unable to build enough grass-roots support in his bid to oust Boustany. The race had been marked by sharp attacks since both men ran as conservative Republicans opposed to the policies of President Obama and had little philosophical ground in which to distinguish themselves.
Pearson Cross, chairman of the political science department at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, said Boustany was the ‘‘de facto incumbent’’ throughout the race. ‘‘Most voters in the district have voted for Charles Boustany, think he’s done a good job, are comfortable with him,’’ Cross said.
Landry said it was difficult to overcome Boustany’s advantage in the district design. Boustany had represented more than two-thirds of the parishes in the configuration of the new Third District.
Though they had three other challengers in the November election, the two congressmen campaigned as though it were a two-man race for months.
Boustany cast his Republican opponent as a good old boy politician who would say anything to get elected, habitually skipped votes in Congress, and spread distortions about Boustany’s record to distract voters from his own lack of accomplishments.
Landry criticized Boustany as lacking the courage to make tough votes for his district and instead following in lockstep with Republican leaders even if south Louisiana voters did not support the policy.
The race was one of Louisiana’s most expensive congressional contests, with nearly $6 million spent by the two and even more by outside groups.
Romney quotes lead
year’s most notable
Mitt Romney’s comments about 47 percent of the US population’s being dependent on government and about ‘‘binders full of women’’ have been selected as this year’s best quotes.
Fred Shapiro, associate librarian at Yale Law School, on Sunday released his seventh annual list of the year’s most notable quotations.
Shapiro said debate remarks and gaffes appeared to play an important role in the November election.
Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, made the 47 percent comment at a private fund-raiser that was secretly recorded and released later.
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what . . . who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it,’’ Romney said at the event, which was held in Boca Raton, Fla.
Later in his unsuccessful campaign, the former Massachusetts governor spoke about reviewing ‘‘binders full of women’’ as governor when he sought to diversify his administration.
President Obama made Shapiro’s list, too, for his ‘‘You didn’t build that’’ quote about how people who built businesses had received help from others.
Obama was strongly criticized by Republicans, who said it indicated his hostility toward free enterprise.