After taking a 2,136-vote lead in Saturday’s election primary for St. Charles Parish president, Larry Cochran said he’s going to continue pushing his message to sway voters.
“It’s a new election,” Cochran said of strategizing a win in the Nov. 21 general election. “The slate is clean and it’s a new day. We’re going to get our message out.”
Saturday’s election (Oct. 24) put Cochran, D-St. Rose, in the lead decidedly throughout the race getting 6,102 votes or 40 percent of the vote, putting him in a runoff with Terry Authement, R-Boutte, who got 3,966 votes or 26 percent of the vote.
Opponents John Cornwell, D-Luling, got 2,788 votes and Carolyn Schexnaydre, R-Destrehan, 2,226 votes.
Competition for the position intensified with Parish President V.J. St. Pierre terming out of office.
Both Cochran, who is council chairman and District 5 councilman, and Authement, who served on the council for 12 years, say they hope to get the support of Cornwell and Schexnaydre.
As for campaigning, Cochran said his plan is to stay the course.
“We still have four more weeks to campaign and get the message out and, hopefully, convince Cornwell and Schexnaydre supporters to come our way,” he said. “I truly believe leading the council and the various committees prepares me best to take over the parish.”
Cochran’s message is levees is are the No. 1 concern for the parish on east and west banks, as well as economic development and diversification. He also wants to “bring the departments together” to ensure they’re working together for the parish.
Both Cochran and Authement expressed gratitude to voters.
“I think we’ve got every opportunity in the world to win this election,” Authement said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do in this parish and hope they [voters] recognize that I bring more knowledge and experience than my opponent.”
Authement said he is challenging Cochran to a debate or forum.
“I’ll entertain any opportunity to have a debate or forum on the east and west banks, and they can be placed on TV so the people can see the two candidates,” he said. “I would love to debate my opponent in public on the issues and accomplishments.”
Cochran responded he’s fine with doing a forum or debate.
As a former parish council member, Authement is also touting his government experience.
“It’s my past record and reputation, my good name and previous 12 years as a councilman, and the accomplishments I’ve been able to bring forward,” he said.
Authement said he’ll also seek his opponents support in the race.
“We knew from the beginning we were going to do what we could do and we put it in God’s hands,” he said. “I’m a believer.”
Early voting will be Nov. 7, Nov. 9 – 10 and Nov. 12 – 14 at the Registrar of Voters Office 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the West Bank – St. Charles Parish Courthouse, 15045 River Road, Hahnville, and on the East Bank at the Arterbury Building, 14564 River Road, New Sarpy.
Nov. 20 is the last day for the Registrar to receive voted absentee ballots.
Polls open for the Nov. 21 election from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In the Oct. 29 print edition of the St. Charles Herald-Guide, Cochran was incorrectly identified as a Republican.