Clerk of Court race draws 2 candidates seeking to unseat incumbent Lance Marino

The St. Charles Parish Clerk of Court’s race has attracted three candidates this election season, with candidates Lori Brown of St. Rose and Nicky Dufrene of Des Allemands seeking to unseat incumbent Lance Marino of Norco in the upcoming October election.

Democratic candidate Brown is a 59-year-old retired teacher who led a 30-year education career, with 15 years of that time spent in the St. Charles Parish Public School System. Brown currently runs an education-based nonprofit called Education Resources Unlimited, specializing in literacy activities primarily for preschool-aged children. She previously served on the Planning and Zoning Board, and currently serves on the parish’s Community Action Advisory Board.

A strong proponent of voter registration and voter awareness efforts, Brown has served as an election commissioner for 28 years, assisting in numerous St. Charles Parish elections.

She had numerous ideas on how she would run the Clerk of Court’s office should she win the seat in October.

“We need to modernize [the Clerk of Court’s office] as much as possible so that attorneys don’t have to walk in and file different motions; they [should be able to] do it from their offices,” Brown said regarding her designs on the Clerk of Court’s office.

If elected, the St. Rose candidate said she planned to increase the efficiency of the Clerk of Court’s office and would work to improve overall access for the public. After her extensive work as a local election commissioner, Brown said – if elected – she also planned to serve as a staunch advocate for voter rights.

Clerk of Court candidate Dufrene, 50, currently holds the Councilman District IV seat on the St. Charles Parish Council, a position he has held since 2020. Lifelong St. Charles Parish resident Dufrene is president of civil construction firm DuFrazier Services LLC. An active participant in parish government, he sits on multiple parish government committees and boards, including the Maintenance and Construction Management Committee, Special Projects/Public Safety, Health and Environmental Committee, Legislative Committee, among others.

The Des Allemands candidate said he is running his Clerk of Court campaign based on his plan to implement good governance and accountability.

“The Clerk of Court’s office is supported by filing fees of pleadings; St. Charles Parish taxpayers should not pay a penny to support other citizens’ filings,” Dufrene pointed out, who is running as a Republican, said. “I’ll manage it with sound financial management like a business…I’m always open to innovation and change to make things more efficient and easier for the public.”

If elected, Dufrene planned to continue modernization of the Clerk of Court’s office, aiming to make it more streamlined for the betterment of St. Charles Parish citizens.

“We’re going to be accountable to the citizens, the judge and the legal community,” Dufrene said.

Now nearing the end of his third term as Clerk of Court, Marino, 61, took office in 2012 after first serving on the St. Charles Parish Council for one term each as District VI council member and later Councilman at Large, Division A. Marino is a Certified Clerk of Court thru the Louisiana State Certification program, is a member of the Louisiana Clerks of Courts Association, and serves on two state-level Clerk of Courts association related boards.

“I’m very proud of my accomplishments, along with my excellent staff,” Marino said referencing his Clerk of Court staff currently numbering 26. “We have modernized this Clerk of Court’s office since we arrived in 2012.”

Marino, Republican, commented his team has scanned and digitized over 2 million pages of official documents in the last 12 years of his office, work he vows to continue if reelected. Modernization of the Clerk of Court’s office was a 2011 campaign promise he said he has kept.

“We’re still not quite there, but 90 percent of what is available in the Clerk of Court’s office is available online to our customers,” Marino said. “Public access to records is what the job is all about, the public’s right to review our records…now it’s all digitized, so it’s much more available in today’s electronic format, from a technology standpoint.”


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