Since 1812, Louisiana has operated under 11 constitutions, the most recent dating from 1974. The Louisiana legislature is composed of two houses--a 39-member senate and a 105-member house of representatives. Legislative sessions are annual. Legislators are elected for concurrent terms of 4 years. Judicial power is vested in the supreme court, the courts of appeals, and the district courts.The executive branch is headed by a governor elected to a 4-year term. Other major elected state officials include the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and treasurer.


The state is divided into 64 parishes. The original territory was divided into 12 somewhat indefinitely bounded counties, coinciding with parish boundaries established by the Roman Catholic church during colonial times. Since 1845 the term "parish" has been used for these political subdivisions. The eight parishes north of Lake Pontchartrain and east of the Mississippi, known as the Florida Parishes, were once a part of Spanish Florida. Parishes, except for the six with city-parish governments, are governed by elected bodies called police juries.

From 1877 until after World War II, Louisiana was controlled by Democrats. Since the 1950s, however, Republican U.S. presidential candidates have frequently won the state's electoral votes. In 1964, for the first time in this century, two Republicans were elected to the state legislature, and in 1980 a Republican, David C. Treen, was elected governor. On March 11, 1991, Governor Buddy Roemer, elected as a Democrat, announced he was now a Republican, and would run as a Republican candidated in the fall election.


Bobby Jindal

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 1st district
Assumed office 
January 3, 2005
Preceded by David Vitter
Succeeded by Incumbent

Governor-elect of Louisiana
Taking office
January 14, 2008
Lieutenant(s) Mitch Landrieu
Succeeding Kathleen Blanco

Born June 10, 1971 (1971-06-10) (age 36)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Nationality American Flag of the United States
Political party Republican
Spouse Supriya Jolly Jindal
Religion Roman Catholic
Louisiana's 1st Congressional District