Is Real Change on the Way for Louisiana’s Democratic Party?

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are expected to easily win Louisiana Democratic and Republican presidential primaries on Saturday, March 23. Yet there are many livelier contests underway– some too close to call – for seats on the two state central committees and 39 parish executive committees. The March 23 election is what is often known in some circles as a “closed primary” in which voting is only open to those registered with the two major parties. Voters registered as Independents, Green Party, No Party, etc. will not be allowed to cast a ballot.

Louisiana Republicans often make their decisions on whom to elect earlier on. Republicans have a definite electoral advantage in Louisiana with growing party registration and a plethora of moderate Democrats whose support of Republican candidates helped facilitate the recent clean sweep of all the state-wide elected offices and a super-majority of legislative seats.   

Many Louisiana Democrats are blaming the state party’s current leadership for Governor Jeff Landry’s easy election. They believe the state party should be recruiting stronger, better equipped candidates and providing them with more financial support and other resources. Some are demanding fresh new faces – including LGBTQ+, Gen Z and Millennials – take charge. Many are seeking elected office for the first time. 

Lynda Woolard

That call for new leadership is being led in large part by stalwart Democrat Lynda Woolard and her ally Drew Prestridge. Both have served the state party in a staff capacity. Woolard also ran for state party chair four years ago. Prestridge recently managed Dustin Granger’s campaign for State Treasurer. He previously worked as finance director for Mayor LaToya Cantrell. The pair formed Blue Reboot and have been engaged with a group of more than 100 candidates who are competing for seats on the state and parish committees. Every Blue Reboot Louisiana candidate has committed to support a new party chair, Prestridge explained.  

Drew Prestridge

“We have not been getting what we need in leadership from the state party at all,” he said. “We are seeing the ramifications of that already doing damage.” Prestridge claims that approximately 40 of their candidates won their elections without opposition and that an additional 65 or more are in contested races. “It’s time for a new generation of leaders who reflect the full diversity of Louisiana voters to bring the ideas and energy needed to rebuild the Democratic Party. We are doing everything we can to support them from creating and producing videos to voter outreach, digital ads and social media,” Prestridge explained. Blue Reboot is working outside the existing state party structure in this effort. “We are not saying that everyone who works for the party is not good. It’s nothing personal but we are not getting an effective functioning party.” 

Prestridge says they are seeing real good support and momentum. “There are lots of Democrats in Louisiana who agree that we need change and that the current leadership is not doing anything good for them. Hopefully we will start a new era for Louisiana’s Democrats,” Prestridge concluded. 

The polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 23. A complete list of candidates the organization is supporting can be found on    

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