by Garrett Frisk
Louisiana currently has no competitive congressional districts; as such, its U.S. House races are never closely watched nor hotly contested, except when an incumbent retires. Still, one ambitious candidate has already declared their candidacy for the 2024 cycle. Mel Manuel, a teacher and activist from Madisonville, have declared they will run in Louisiana's 1st congressional district as a Democrat. This district's incumbent is Republican Steve Scalise, the current House Majority Leader, who was re-elected with 72.9% of the vote in 2022. Manuel, who is nonbinary and transgender, teaches at University View Academy in Baton Rouge. Manuel appears to hail from the progressive wing of their party, donating $40 to the 2020 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign; they also donated $20 to Katie Darling, who was Scalise's Democratic opponent in 2022. Manuel's campaign website can be found here.