TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Two new names will join the Louisiana legislature following Saturday's elections. Nicholas Muscarello took home 53 percent of the vote to defeat David Vial in District 86.
Royce Duplessis easily took the District 93 seat with 73 percent of the vote. Muscarello has been practicing law in Hammond for 15 years and worked for former State Senator John Hainkel for about five years. Msucarello has lived in Tangipahoa Parish his entire life and says protecting higher education in the area is at the top of his list.
"My number one priority is protecting Southeatern Louisiana University," Muscarello said. "It's a vital part of our community. We also have Lallie Kemp and we have the Northshore Technical Community, and of course we have North Oaks Hospital, so we have a lot of state facilities in this area, so I want to protect them."
But Muscarello will be walking into a difficult situation, given the state's budget woes. "The state is facing a lot of significant problems, and I want to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem, so I'm going in there with an open mind, but I just plan on going in there and being a guy that's there to solve problems."
Muscarello's exact start date is not known, but he hopes to begin soon. The current legislative session is scheduled to end on June 4. However, Governor John Bel Edwards and other legislators are pushing to end the current session early in order to call an emergency special session to focus exclusively on the budget.