NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Steve Scalise's election to a key leadership post among House Republicans gives Louisiana the kind of high-profile influence it hasn't seen in that body since Robert Livingston abandoned the race for the speaker's post 15 years ago.

Scalise himself acknowledged the historic nature of his becoming majority whip in a telephone news conference Friday.

He noted that Democrat Hale Boggs — who served as majority whip and then majority leader before his death in 1973 — was the last Louisiana House member to hold such posts.

Rep. Cedric Richmond is the Louisiana House delegation's only Democrat. He has also been friends with Scalise since they both were in the state Legislature. He says Scalise's rise gives Louisiana delegation members a substantial role in all important legislation.