- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Anti-abortion lawyer Mike Johnson of Benton will become a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives.

Johnson was the only candidate to qualify for the vacant House District 8 seat by Friday’s qualifying deadline. The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1xVrWH4 ) he can be sworn in as soon as an election challenge period ends Friday.

Before he takes office, Johnson said Monday he wants to see if he has to resign as an outside paid legal counsel for the state. He’s currently working on defense of Louisiana’s new law that requires physicians at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital.

“I don’t want to run into an ethics conflicts,” he said.

Johnson, a Republican, fills a vacancy left with the resignation of state Rep. Jeff Thompson, a Republican from Bossier City. Thompson won election to a judgeship last fall.

Johnson is legal counsel for Louisiana Right to Life and chief counsel of Freedom Guard, a not-for-profit, public interest law firm that “works to defend religious liberty, the sanctity of human life, marriage and the family.”

Thompson’s seat was one of four House vacancies for which candidate qualifying ended Friday. Special elections will be held Feb. 21 for the other three seats which attracted multiple contenders.

Other House elections yet to be settled and candidates include:

House District 66 in Baton Rouge: Buddy Amoroso, Richard “Rick” Bond, Susan Nelson and Darrell Ourso. All are Republicans except Nelson who is No Party.

The seat has been held by state Rep. Hunter Greene, R-Baton Rouge, who won election to a family court judgeship.

House District 49 seat that has been held by state Rep. Simon Champagne, R-Jeanerette: John Bering of Jeanerette and Blake Miguez of New Iberia. Both are Republicans. Champagne resigned to become chief administrative office of the town of Youngsville.

House District 26 in Alexandria: Jeff Hall, Alice “Red” Hammond and Daniel Williams, all Democrats from Alexandria. State Rep. Herbert Dixon, D-Alexandria, resigned citing health problems.

Runoffs, if needed, will be March 28.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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