BATON ROUGE, La. - Rep. Charles Boustany won a fifth term Saturday by handily defeating his fellow Republican incumbent Jeff Landry in a runoff election.
The two men were forced into the same district when Louisiana lost a congressional seat because of anemic population growth in the latest federal census. The state will have six House seats in the term that begins in January.
Boustany, a retired doctor from Lafayette, will represent the Third District covering southwest Louisiana and Acadiana.
"We're glad to get this done," he said Saturday night. "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."
With nearly all precincts reporting, Boustany was ahead of Landry by a 3-2 ratio. About one-fifth of district voters cast ballots.
Both men ran as conservative Republicans opposed to the policies of President Obama.
The district design favored Boustany, a traditional Republican candidate allied with House Speaker John A. Boehner. Landry, a freshman congressman, was the tea party favorite, but he was unable to build enough grassroots support to oust Boustany.
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 new configuration.
The race was one of Louisiana's most expensive congressional contests, with nearly $6 million spent between the two and even more from outside groups.