Bayou Rises as Louisiana Swamps Other States in National GOP Influence

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) (L) celebrates with Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) as the House of Re
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Louisiana Republicans’ influence and scope are quickly rising on the state and national level in light of House Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) ascension to the speakership on Wednesday, and with Gov. Elect Jeff Landry’s (R-LA) stunning win in a deep primary field earlier this month.

Johnson was the first Speaker to be unanimously elected by the GOP since 2011, signaling a unique ability for a staunch conservative to unite the entire conference when some of the preeminent Speaker candidates were unsuccessful in their quest for the gavel after facing opposition from different wings of the party.

WATCH — “That Has a Nice Ring to It!” Steve Scalise Jokes with New Speaker Mike Johnson After Being Sworn In:

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While delivering his first remarks as Speaker to Congress, Johnson acknowledged the role of God in his victory:

I want to tell all my colleagues here what I told the Republicans in that room last night; I don’t believe there are any coincidences in a matter like this. I believe that Scripture, the Bible, is very clear that God is the one that raises up those in authority. He raised up each of you, all of us, and I believe that God has ordained and allowed each one of us to be brought here for this specific moment in time.

 Notably, another Louisiana lawmaker, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), occupies the number two position in the House GOP. Ahead of Wednesday’s successful vote, Scalise praised Johnson’s “proven track record as a conservative leader.”

“Mike is a strong leader who has the full support of our entire Conference and has a proven track record as a conservative leader who will fight for the American people against President Biden’s radical agenda that is crushing hardworking families,” Scalise wrote.

Johnson’s securing of the Speaker’s gavel comes on the heels of a major victory for Landry in the gubernatorial primary on October 14, where he beat out a host of other candidates with nearly a 52 percent majority and avoided a runoff in November. 

Both men were backed by former President Donald Trump in their respective endeavors, and Landry congratulated Johnson in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday. 

“Mike is well-liked by everyone, and he has the work ethic and tenacity to lead our country in this prestigious position,” Landry wrote. “Louisiana is proud!”

In a statement to Breitbart News, Johnson and Scalise’s home state colleague, Rep. Julia Letlow (R-LA), called the Pelican State “a true powerhouse with outstanding Republican leadership represented across our great state.” 

“With governor-elect Jeff Landry’s recent landmark victory, the continued strong leadership of Steve Scalise, and now the unanimous election of Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House, it’s clear the Louisiana delegation represents not only the conservative position of Louisianans but also represents the values and beliefs of hardworking Americans across our country,” Letlow said. 

“Our position on securing the border, restoring energy independence, fighting the destructive policies of Bidenomics, a peace-through-strength foreign policy, and a common-sense approach to today’s social issues are all striking a chord with a large percentage of American voters,” the congresswoman emphasized.

WATCH: Mike Johnson Receives Gavel and Is Sworn in as Speaker of the House:

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Breitbart News also caught up with Florida Republican Party Chairman Christian Ziegler, who helped lead the charge on the digital aspects of Landry’s campaign through his company, Microtargeted Media.

Ziegler emphasized that Louisiana has produced “some phenomenal leaders.” 

“You have Jeff Landry, whose campaign I was involved in, coming in as governor and flipping that state from a Democrat governor to a Republican governor. That’s great news for the state of Louisiana,” Ziegler said. “You have the majority leader with Steve Scalise, and now you have speaker Johnson coming in. I mean, Louisiana is really out there on the Republican or conservative side aggressively, and it’s only going to benefit that state, but I love seeing it.” 

He jested that Florida now has some competition for being a leading bastion of conservatism in the nation. 

“Frankly, being in the state of Florida and Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, if they want to have a little bit of a friendly competition on what’s the top Republican state, I say, ‘Bring it,’” he said. “I’m very bullish about the direction that Louisiana is going to go with the leadership that’s rising up there. And it’s going to be fantastic, not just for Louisiana, but the entire country, frankly.”

“Here in Florida, it just forces us to continue to lead and become more and more conservative so we don’t lose our title as the Republican state in the country,” he added.

Grassroots conservative activist Debbie Dooley, a Washington Parish, Louisiana, native who cofounded the Atlanta Chapter of the Tea Party movement, offered her thoughts to Breitbart News on Johnson’s sweeping victory and what it signals about Louisiana’s growing conservative movement.

WATCH — FINALLY! Republican Mike Johnson Elected to Be New Speaker of the House:

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“I’m exceptionally proud of the fact that he is from Louisiana. I mean, let’s be honest, Louisiana is MAGA country,” Dooley said. “In the past, everybody was talking about Alabama and Mississippi being the deep, deep red states in the South, but it’s Louisiana now.”

Dooley said that one-time Democrat voters are fleeing the party and joining the populist conservative movement in the Pelican State, largely due to the emergence of former President Donald Trump as the leader of the Republican Party. 

“Donald Trump came along, and he completely upended the Republican Party,” she explained. “I can remember in the days we used to call instead of moderates, we would call them ‘Country Club Republicans’ who only cared about the rich and the elite and keeping taxes low for the wealthy. They put Wall Street first. Donald Trump and his policies came along, and they put Main Street first, not Wall Street first. Donald Trump’s Main Street policies, where he cares about the average voter, are resonating, and that has forever changed the Republican Party. It’s changed it in Louisiana. Look at what’s going on; it’s because Donald Trump’s policies are making Republicans out of former Democrats.”


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