WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic Louisiana state Senator Troy Carter has defeated a challenger from the party’s left wing in a special election to win the U.S. House of Representatives seat vacated by White House adviser Cedric Richmond.
Carter won 55% of the vote on Saturday to beat Karen Carter Peterson’s 45%, according to an unofficial results posted on Louisiana’s secretary of state website with all precincts reporting. He will represent a congressional district in the state’s southeast that extends from Baton Rouge to New Orleans.
His victory increases the Democratic majority in the House. After Carter is sworn in, Democrats will have 219 seats compared to 212 seats for the Republicans, with four other vacancies remaining, according to an official House tally.
“This was a hard fought race, and now it is time to come together. The hard part starts now. We have so much work to do together. We celebrated upon victory. Today, we get back to work!” Carter wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Democratic President Joe Biden tapped Richmond to serve as a senior adviser and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Richmond, a former head of the liberal-leaning Congressional Black Caucus who also served as co-chair for Biden’s campaign, endorsed Carter, who is also Black, to replace him.
Carter Peterson, the Louisiana Democratic Party’s former chair who had sought to become the first Black woman to represent the district, acknowledged her defeat.
“I’m wishing Sen. Carter well as he represents Louisiana in Washington. I will keep fighting every day for our communities, our people, and the progressive change we need,” Carter Peterson wrote on Twitter.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Scott Malone and Will Dunham)