Election shows that parish is ready for fresh faces, new ideas
Next year, citizens of St. Charles Parish may have a hard time recognizing any of the areasí politicians. That's because the recent primary has pushed several new faces into the spotlight while leaving plenty of political veterans fighting for their lives in the Nov. 17 run-off.
The only incumbents who survived last week were Clyde A. Gisclair, Charles Oubre, Brian Brogle, and Sheriff Greg Champagne, who all won handily to return as Assessor, Clerk of Court, Coroner, and Sheriff, respectively. Gisclair finished with 68 percent of the vote to hold off Kevin Friloux, while Oubre edged out Lance Marino 56 percent to 37 percent. Brogle was re-elected without opposition and Champagne cruised to a win with 83 percent of the vote.
In the biggest race of the year, V.J. St. Pierre surprised many by finishing with 46 percent of the vote for Parish President. Current At-Large, Division B Councilman Clayton "Snookie" Faucheux did enough to force a run-off by recording 29 percent of the vote, but withdrew from the competition on Oct. 24. Chris Tregre was left out of the runoff after finishing with 25 percent of the vote.
"I was pleased with the results since I was a dark horse candidate going up against a former parish president and current councilman," St. Pierre said. "We had an idea that it would be in the 40s, but to get 46 percent is impressive.
In that At-Large, Division B position, Terry Authement recorded 56 percent of the vote to knock out Brian Fabre.
Meanwhile, Billy Raymond locked up the 1st District seat, while real estate agent Wendy Benedetto finished with 56 percent of the vote in the 3rd District race. Paul Hogan knocked out incumbent Derryl Walls by finishing with 57 percent of the vote, while St. Rose Fire Chief Larry Cochran won the right to represent the 5th District.
While those politicians locked up their respective seats, several more will have to wait until Nov. 17 to know their final outcome.
District Councilwoman April Black will head into a runoff for the At-Large, Division A seat with civic volunteer Carolyn Schexnaydre. Black recorded 40 percent of the vote on Oct. 20, while Schexnaydre received 33 percent. Shelley Tastet is also in a runoff with newcomer Kennilyn Schmill for the 2nd District seat, while Marcus Lambert and Keith L'Hoste are in a close battle for the 6th District seat.†
Adam Eitmann and Dennis Nuss will also head into a runoff for the 7th district seat.
"If you look at the other races, it just goes to show that people want a change," St. Pierre said. "They are ready for new ideas."
How the parish voted:
"Bobby" Jindal-R- 11,144(61 percent)
John Georges-N- 4,039(22 percent)
Walter J. Boasso-D- 1,866(10 percent)
Foster Campbell-D- 853(5 percent)
Mary Volentine Smith-D- 111(1 percent)
State Representative, 56th Representative District
Gary L. Smith Jr.-D- 7,444(56 percent)
"Ram" G. Ramachandran-D- 5,912(44 percent)
State Representative, 105th Representative District
Ernest Durham Wooton-R- 3,027(73 percent)
Russell Hayden-D- 1,132(27 percent)
V.J. St. Pierre-D- 8,291(46 percent)
Clayton "Snookie" Faucheux-R- 5,268(29 percent)
Chris Tregre-R- 4,400(25 percent)
Gregory Champagne-R- 14,744(83 percent)
Dennis Roussel-R- 2,047(11 percent)
Eric C. Stumpf-D- 1,057(6 percent)
Clyde A. Gisclair-R- 11,778(68 percent)
Kevin Friloux-N- 5,611(32 percent)
Clerk of Court
Charles Oubre- D- 9,764(56 percent)
Lance Marino-R- 6,596(37 percent)
Al Cote-D- 1,263(7 percent)
Brian Brogle-R- no opposition
At-Large, Division A
April Black- D- 6,737(40 percent)
Carolyn Schexnaydre-D- 5,717(33 percent)
Pat Poche-R- 4,710(27 percent)
At-Large, Division B
Terry Authement-D- 9,485(56 percent)
Brian A. Fabre-R- 7,480(44 percent)
Billy Raymond-D- 1,444(58 percent)
Marty Muller-D- 1,048(42 percent)
Shelley Tastet-D- 1,083(39 percent)
Kennilyn Schmill-R- 899(33 percent)
James Breaux-D- 765(28 percent)
Wendy Benedetto-R- 1,686(56 percent)
Vincent Bruno-R- 1,309(44 percent)
Paul J. Hogan-R- 1,105(57 percent)
Derryl Walls-R- 835(43 percent)
Larry Cochran-D- 1,372(65 percent)
Richard Palmer, Jr.-R- 732(35 percent)
Marcus Lambert-R- 906(38 percent)
Keith L'Hoste-R- 755(32 percent)
Keith Schexnayder-R- 720(30 percent)
Adam Eitmann-D- 918(38 percent)
Dennis Nuss-R- 772(31 percent)
Sam Dantin, Jr.-R- 498(20 percent)
Bryan Bedi-R- 274(11 percent)
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