While there were few surprises in early election qualifying, there was a stunner minutes before it ended when Councilman Billy Raymond threw his hat into the ring for parish president.
Raymond had given no public indication that he intended to run for that office and actually qualified for his current council seat on the first day. However, two days later, Raymond made sure current Parish President V.J. St. Pierre Jr. would not run unopposed.
Raymond’s late decision was actually a win for democracy.
Even though we think St. Pierre has done a great job as parish president and has accomplished many of the goals he set out to when he first took office, residents deserve a choice when it comes to picking an elected official.
Raymond is a good candidate for the parish’s top office and the race for parish president will be interesting to follow over the next month.
Almost all of the other local races will feature numerous candidates. Assessor has been a long battle between current Councilman Terry Authement and Tab Troxler, who previously served as the parish’s director of Emergency Preparedness. Both candidates began campaigning early for this election and their race will no doubt heat up as Oct. 22 draws near.
Another race that has been in the news for months is that for Clerk of Court. Both Lance Marino and Fen Swann III have been campaigning for the seat currently occupied by Charlie Oubre Jr. Many thought that Oubre would retire after his current term comes to an end, but Oubre announced in late July that he would seek re-election.
Almost all of the current council members also drew opponents during qualifying. Jeanne Hall will challenge incumbent Carolyn Schexnaydre, while Carl Cantrelle Jr. will run against incumbent Shelley Tastet. Bryan Bedi, who lost the 2007 council election to Dennis Nuss, will again challenge Nuss for his council seat, while incumbent Councilman Paul Hogan will face off against two challengers - Stanley Hebert and Jason Richard.
Only two of the current council members will not try to keep their seats. Since Authement is running for Assessor, residents will chose between "Snookie" Faucheaux and Kenny Schmill. Councilman Marcus Lambert also announced he will not seek re-election, so voters will decide between Traci Ackerman-Fletcher and Eric Stumpf.
Out of all the local elections, only Sheriff Greg Champagne and Councilman Larry Cochran will be automatically re-elected due to a lack of challengers.