Council Chairwoman Julia Fisher-Perrier and political newcomer Jarvis Lewis are headed into a May 3 runoff for the Division B at-large seat, which represents the entire West Bank of St. Charles Parish, after neither candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote.
Lewis, of Luling, drew 47.30 percent of the vote in Saturday’s election, with Fisher-Perrier, also of Luling, recording 38.03 percent. Fisher-Perrier held a slight 328 to 276 lead over Lewis due to early voting, but Lewis made up ground and passed the councilwoman on April 5 by receiving 1,796 votes to Fisher-Perrier’s 1,338.
Stanley Hebert, of Des Allemands, was eliminated from the race after drawing 14.68 percent of the vote.
Lewis said his ability to offer new ideas to the council was a big reason for his success on election day.
“I went out and told people it was time to get fresh, newer thinking on the council and I think that resonated with the voters,” Lewis said. “They liked the idea of someone new coming in and offering new ideas.
“People like the idea of someone who proclaimed to be an independent thinker, someone separate from the crowd, and a person who would question things.”
Fisher-Perrier said she was surprised by the low voter turnout, especially in District 7, which she currently represents. Only 551 people who live in District 7 voted in the election despite the fact that the district has more than 4,500 registered voters. However, she plans to knock on more doors to spread her campaign message to residents across the parish.
“I expected more people to vote in District 7 and District 2, but I’ve got to hit the streets. I will be knocking on more doors and making people aware that there is another election,” Fisher-Perrier said. “I believe that the experience I have gained during my time on the council will help me get a lot accomplished for our citizens.”
Fisher-Perrier and Lewis both say that hurricane protection is the most pressing issue facing the parish. While Fisher-Perrier touts her council experience, which includes serving as chairwoman of the council in addition to chairwoman of the Hurricane Protection Projects Committee, Lewis said he will continue to push the fact that he brings a fresh approach to the council.
Additionally, Lewis plans to work with state leaders to get roads in the parish up to driving standards, help institute a paid fire department and be a voice for sound spending.
Fisher-Perrier plans a comprehensive traffic plan for the Highway 90 corridor and will focus on improving drainage plans.
Early voting will take place from April 19-26. The election will be held on May 3. Though the person elected will represent the West Bank, the entire parish can vote for the Division B at-large representative.