Morel, Marcel ready for Round 2
Other major contests already decided as few challenge incumbents
The Morel versus Marcel battle highlights an election season that ended for most offices last week before it even began. Out of 25 contests on the ballot in St. Charles Parish, only 10 drew challengers for the Nov. 4 election.
Seven School Board members were elected without opposition along with St. Charles Parish District Attorney Joel Chaisson II, 29th Judicial District Division C Judge Emile St. Pierre and Division D Judge Lauren Lemmon.
Marcel ran against Morel in a special election in 2012 to replace Judge Robert A. Chaisson, who was elected to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Morel defeated Marcel by only 168 votes.
Given that this election falls on a general election date that includes high profile U.S. Senate and congressional races, voter turnout is anticipated to be much higher than it was the last time the two faced off.
In two years since winning the seat, Morel has presided over 6,000 cases. She is a graduate of Loyola Law School and operated her own private law firm in Luling for 17 years before she was elected judge. Prior to that, Morel served as an assistant district attorney for the 24th Judicial District Court in Jefferson Parish.
“I take my responsibility as a judge seriously. I recognize that people are relying on this court for fair, unbiased justice. That’s why I treat everyone with respect and demand that all who use the court are professional and prepared,” Morel said.
Morel, a Republican, is a member of the American Bar Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association and the 29th Judicial District Bar Association. She also serves on several other professional law organizations and boards.Marcel, an LSU Law School graduate who is a Democrat, has been in private practice in St. Charles Parish for the past 17 years.
“There isn’t a more important public office in our community than district court judge,” Marcel said. “The role of a judge is that of a public servant who is charged with applying the law to serve the people and the community as a whole. It is imperative that judges perform their duties in a manner which insures public trust in our legal system.”
Marcel has served as president of the St. Charles Parish Bar Association and is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association Alcohol and Drug Abuse Committee.
Another race to watch out for is the District 1 School Board race, the only School Board seat of eight that is being contested. Melinda Huff Bernard, Dennis Naquin, Sonny Savoie, John Smith, Jay Robichaux, Arthur Aucoin and Al Suffrin were automatically reelected without drawing challengers last week.
In the District 1 race incumbent Ellis Alexander will take on outspoken government critic Milton Allemand.
Alexander has served on the School Board for two consecutive terms over the past eight years and before that served two terms on the St. Charles Parish Council. He easily defeated Allemand for the seat in 2010.
Allemand, who is a noted attendee and speaker at many St. Charles Parish Council meetings, has also been critical of the School Board.
Other contested races include: 1st District Justice of the Peace: Incumbent Edna Campbell Bridges, D-Hahnville will be face a slate of challengers including Charles Matthews, R-Destrehan; Rick Whitney Jr.–no party-Hahnville and Henry Wolfe, D-Hahnville. 2nd District Justice of the Peace: Incumbent Earl “Pie” Tastet, D-Luling will take on Vanessa Alexander Johnson, D-Ama and Randy Muller Jr., R-Luling. 3rd District Justice of the Peace: Incumbent Henry Miller Jr., D-Destrehan will face challenger Edward Hymel III, R-Destrehan. 4th District Justice of the Peace: A number of candidates including Darrell Chiasson, no party-Des Allemands; Stanley Hebert Jr., other party-Des Allemands and Donald Lichenstein III, R-Paradis will vie to replace former 4th District Justice of the Peace L.J. Frickey, who stepped down just prior to qualifying. 5th District Justice of the Peace: A.D. “Del” Barnes Jr., no party-St. Rose; April Black, R-St. Rose and Tika Riley, no party-St. Rose will battle for the spot to replace outgoing Justice of the Peace Julie Carmouche. 7th District Justice of the Peace: Incumbent John Brady, R-Luling will take on Robin Triche-Fields, D-Luling. 2nd District Constable: Incumbent Craig Petit, D-Ama will face challenger Kenny “Gatorman” Schmill, no party-Luling 6th District Constable: Aaron Marino-unrecognized party-Norco and Jerry Pfister Jr., D-Norco are vying to replace outgoing Constable Milton Cambre. 7th District Constable: Incumbent Gary Cazenave, R-Luling will take on Butch Ockman, R-Luling.
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