State parties battle for control of Legislature

The Democratic Party, which lost its House majority in 2011 for the first time since Reconstruction, is seeking to regain it. The Republican Party, now holding a 67-55 majority, wants to increase its margin and says it has at least an outside shot at gaining a supermajority of 74. This would prevent a Democratic minority from being able to block taxing and spending bills that require 3/5 for passage.

“I think the question is going to be how high into the 70s do we get?” said Nathan Wells, chief of staff for Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn, who’s on leave from the speaker’s office to lead the statewide Republican House election efforts. “A supermajority is a possibility.”

But state Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole said: “I don’t know what numbers they are looking at. Must be some I haven’t seen. If I were on the Republican side I’d be concerned … They’ve been out-worked in most of these races.”

Clarion Ledger