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Louisiana Rep. Alexander re-elected to congress

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Three of Louisiana’s incumbent GOP congressmen coasted to re-election victories.

U.S. Reps. John Fleming of Minden, Rodney Alexander of Quitman and Bill Cassidy of Baton Rouge had no well-financed opposition seeking to unseat them, giving them largely free rides to new terms.

Three other congressional seats also were on the ballot. The most hotly contested race was between Republican U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry, who were merged into the same district.

The outcome of most of the state’s U.S. House races seemed to have been decided in August, when few well-financed challengers signed up to oppose Louisiana’s incumbent congressmen.

But at least one of the state’s GOP members of Congress won’t return in January because Louisiana lost a congressional seat after the latest federal census.

Boustany and Landry were fighting for the 3rd District seat covering southwest Louisiana and Acadiana in a bitter battle laden with attack ads and accusations of lies and dirty tactics.

The two congressmen tried to stake out much the same philosophical territory, both running as conservatives, leaving them to distinguish themselves largely by slamming each other. Landry was running as the tea party favorite, while Boustany was considered a more traditional Republican candidate.

The design of the district favored Boustany, but Landry worked to assemble grassroots support and local GOP endorsements, making the 3rd District race a tight contest.

Three other candidates were seeking the seat, but they did little fundraising for their campaigns and little advertising.

Louisiana’s other Republican congressmen had little organized competition:

—Alexander, the dean of Louisiana’s U.S. House delegation and a contractor, was first elected to Congress in 2002. He’ll be entering his sixth term representing the 5th District, which includes Monroe and Alexandria.

—Fleming, a doctor and owner of Subway and UPS stores, also will be taking a third term in the northwest Louisiana-based 4th District.

—Cassidy, a doctor and former state senator, was first elected to the Baton Rouge-based 6th District seat in 2008. He’s considered to be a likely opponent for Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu when she runs for re-election in 2014.