St. Charles Herald-Guide

Council seat will be decided in runoff

By Jonathan Menard - April 13, 2013

Billy Woodruff and Mary Clulee are in a runoff for the St. Charles Parish District II council seat after neither candidate secured more than 50 percent of the vote in Saturdayís election.

Woodruff received 46 percent of the vote, while 40 percent of those who voted chose Clulee. Vanessa Johnson, a Democrat from Ama, received 175 votes.

While 5,095 residents were eligible to vote for the District II seat, only 1,287 did so. Woodward won a majority but finished just 74 votes ahead of Clulee, drawing 593 votes to her 519.

Clulee said that she wasnít sure what to expect in her first election, but knows that she has to work on her campaign if she hopes to beat Woodruff on May 4.

"I am going to work on getting the message out and speak to residents in my district," she said.

Woodruff said he figured that the election would be close, but that he believes his experience in parish government gave him the edge.

"I have been a parish worker for so long and Iíve been out there in every rain event, soaked to the skin and freezing with other workers to fix problems," he said. "I know which way the water is supposed to go and how it needs to get there and I think a lot of people identified with that."

Woodruff, a Republican from Luling, worked for the St. Charles Parish government for 27 years. He spent two years in wastewater before transferring to public works where he was employed for 25 years as a heavy equipment operator.

Woodruff said the main issue he will tackle if elected is securing a West Bank levee. He also wants the parish to build a new boat launch on the West Bank and provide better training for parish employees.

Clulee, also a Republican from Luling, worked for UPS for 20 years before starting her own company with her husband, Neal. Clulee, 61, is now semi-retired and says she is able to put in the time and effort needed to serve the district.

She also will focus on the construction of a West Bank levee in addition to a new connection linking River Road and Highway 90 in Luling.

Council seat will be decided in runoff