When people move to a city, people often want to know what most of the residents think when it comes to politics. Many people want to move to Lafayette, Louisiana, so is it a conservative city?
Lafayette, Louisiana is a conservative city based on the predominantly conservative local government, extremely high religious population, as well as flexible gun laws. The Democratic state government adds a liberal perspective, but not enough to deem Lafayette a liberal city.
Found in the heart of the Bible belt, Louisiana has rooted in Christian beliefs and values. Because of this, it has encouraged a Republican and conservative influence to spread throughout the entire state. Since the year 1980, Louisiana has voted for the Republican presidential candidate in 10 out of the 12 elections. This has left a big impact on the people of Lafayette. While many major cities oftentimes become more liberal-minded as they grow, Lafayette has managed to stay true to many of the Republican ideals.
State and Local Government
The current Mayor for the city of Lafayette, Louisiana is Josh Guillory. Mayor Guillory was elected in 2020 and is a Louisiana native. Being born in Alexandria, Louisiana has helped give Mayor Guillory a passion and drive for serving the people of Louisiana. It has been his goal since being in office to help the people in every way and help create more unity in Lafayette.
Mayor Guillory attended the University of Louisiana as well as the Southern University Law center. Guillory practiced family and constitutional law for over 10 years as well as served in the Louisiana Army National Guard and spent time serving as a platoon leader during the conflict in Iraq.
Since being in office, Mayor Guillory has seen Louisiana through the catastrophe that was COVID-19 and managed the city budget to help avoid financial demise. Mayor Guillory also helped with the regulation of tax prices as they began to plummet in 2020.
In order to help Lafayette succeed, Mayor Guillory has pledged to,
“Do more with less; to focus on core priorities; to grow and diversify the economy; to make the city and parish more business-friendly, and to work for greater efficiency and transparency in the use of taxpayer funds. He also pledged to work tirelessly to ensure that all citizens are treated fairly, no matter where they live in Lafayette Parish.”Mayor Josh Guillory
Additionally, Mayor Guillory has broken down his efforts into four main areas: Public Safety, Improving Drainage, Roads and Traffic, and Jobs and the Economy.
Since the increase in crime in 2020, Mayor Guillory has worked to increase the police force and increased funding for competitive programs to increase the number of quality officers and therefore increase public safety.
Because of the unique tropical weather and climate, Louisiana is accustomed to flooding. Mayor Guillory has worked with water management to increase the solutions for excess water.
In order to focus on roads and traffic, Mayor Guillory created the Roads and Traffic department. They are able to oversee construction and help increase the functionality and efficiency of Lafayette roads.
Finally, since 2020, Mayor Guillory has helped to open the economy up, which encouraged small businesses and promoted growth. During the pandemic, many businesses were able to stay open and functioning because of the economy that was established. Mayor Guillory has worked tirelessly every day to make Lafayette the best possible place to live.
The current Governor of Louisiana is Jon Bel Edwards. Governor Edwards was elected in 2016 and has been in office ever since. Also a Louisiana native, Governor Edward grew up in Amite City, Louisiana, and developed a love of service and his state.
Edwards attended West Point Military Academy after his high school experience and graduated as a commissioned Second-Lieutenant in the Army and worked his way to Captain. After his military experience, Governor Edwards married his high school sweetheart and had 3 daughters.
Governor Edwards attended law school in Louisiana and eventually returned to his hometown and practiced civil law before his time in politics. Almost immediately after being sworn into office, Governor Edwards hit the ground running by increasing Medicaid coverage in the state. He also was able to work tirelessly to adjust the state budget after adopting years of mishandled state funds from prior leaders.
Governor Edwards’s biggest efforts have gone towards criminal justice reform and managing incarceration rates. Since being in office, Governor Edwards has helped decrease the incarceration rates by 20% and created rehabilitation programs to help offenders get back on track.
Outside of the offices of the mayor and governor, Louisiana has 105 members of the State House of Representatives. This is broken down into 68 members of the Republican party, 34 members of the Democratic party, and 3 independently affiliated members. The current speaker of the House is Clay Schexnayder of the Republican party.
There are also 39 members of the State Senate. This is broken down into 26 Republican-affiliated members and 11 Democratic members with 2 vacancies remaining. The current President of the Senate is Patrick Cortez of the Republican Party.
Despite having a democratic state government, Louisiana has very flexible gun laws that follow closely with conservative values. Current gun laws in Louisiana allow anyone 18 years of age or older to openly carry a firearm. While there may still be restrictions as to where you may freely open carry, that is another story. Louisiana prohibits any weapon to be carried in bars and other places like government buildings and courthouses.
While these places may limit residents at times, there is still a large variety of places that allow people to openly carry weapons. In addition to openly carrying a weapon, the state of Louisiana does not require any form of registration, permit/license, or background check when buying a firearm from private individuals.
For individuals wanting to conceal firearms, there are options available as well. Louisiana offers 2 types of permits/licenses. The first type of Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) gives concealed carry authorization for 5 years and the second gives authorization for a lifetime. Both of these permits are only offered for Louisiana state residents.
However, those traveling out of state and visiting Louisiana with a permit from their state of residence may conceal a firearm. When obtaining a permit in Louisiana, individuals must be at least 21 years of age as well as complete a firearm training course to ensure that the user can demonstrate familiarity with the weapon and understand how to use the weapon safely.
Being right in the heart of the Bible belt, religion is simply a given. A love for Jesus Christ and his gospel runs so deep in the southern states. Louisiana is no different. Going to church and reading the Bible are pretty much part of the state’s weekly routine. Religion has helped to bring the parishes of Louisiana closer together and more united in a common goal. About 62% of Louisiana’s residents are religious.
This alone shows numbers dramatically higher than the national percentage of religious individuals. However, While the Louisiana numbers may be high, the religious population in the city of Lafayette blows the state percentage out of the water. Over 78% of the residents of Lafayette, Louisiana are religious. This can be broken down into a large variety of religions, but having almost 80% of Lafayette residents consider themselves religious makes them one of the most religious cities in the state.
The Catholic church is the most popular religion found in Lafayette. The Catholic church makes up over 46% of the religious population in the city. The high rates of catholicism can be traced back to the strong French influence when the state was newly growing and developing. The French culture followed the catholic church closely, and this influence has bled into the Louisiana area.
Catholicism teaches about the sacrifice and ministry of Christ. It emphasizes Christ’s divine ability to save mankind from sin and grant them eternal life and salvation. With over 20 chapels in the Lafayette area, and church services are held each Sunday. Worship services include prayer, sacred scripture readings, sermons, and the Eucharist (sacrament). Services last for around 45 minutes-1 hour and are welcoming to any who wishes to come.
The Baptist church is the second most popular religion found in the Lafayette area. The Baptist church makes up an additional 17.8% of the remaining religious population percentage. The Baptist church made its way to Louisiana in the late 1800s and has been there ever since.
There are now thousands of churches and millions of members in Louisiana alone. With over 20 meetinghouses in the city of Lafayette, there is no shortage of options for individuals to come and worship. Baptist services are 30 minutes-1 hour long. Each service consists of sacred prayers, songs of praise, sermons, and offerings.
Baptist doctrine centers around God and his love for mankind. There is also a strong emphasis on faith and how to receive salvation. Each week, Baptists read out of the Holy Bible for scriptural insights and lessons. All are welcome to join them each week.