Wade Bishop of West Monroe swears to the truthfulness of the information provided to become a candidate for the Senate.JPG

Qualifying for several area offices, including sheriff, clerk of court and police jury, began Tuesday in Ouachita Parish.

Candidates filed paperwork for a number of statewide offices and legislative offices as well.

Qualifying concludes at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday (today).

The primary election will be held Oct. 12. In the event that no candidate secures more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will proceed to a run-off in November.

Any candidates who do not draw an opponent during qualifying will be elected without opposition.

Police jury races

Of the Ouachita Parish Police Jury’s current members, only three are seeking re-election. Police jurors Scotty Robinson (District A), Jack Clampit (District B) and Shane Smiley (District E) each qualified Tuesday, though only Robinson was unopposed as of Tuesday afternoon.

In District B, Jimmy Tyson, a Republican from West Monroe, qualified to challenge Clampit while Cindy Bradly, an independent from Monroe, qualified to challenge Smiley in the District E race.

Two people qualified to succeed Police Juror Walt Caldwell as the parish representative of District C: Larry Bratton, a Republican from the Frenchman Bend area in Monroe, and former Sterlington Town Council member Lucy Holtzclaw, a Republican.

Anna Reed and Michael Thompson Sr. qualified as candidates for District D. Each are Democrats from Monroe.

Three candidates qualified in the District F race: Lonnie Hudson, Sonja Smith-Schaffer, Clifford “Cliff” Thomas. Each are Democrats from Monroe

Sheriff, tax assessor

currently unopposed

Ouachita Parish Sheriff Jay Russell, Tax Assessor Stephanie Smith, Coroner Teri O’Neal each qualified Tuesday. Each are incumbents. None of them drew any opponents, as of close of business Tuesday.

Three candidates filed the paperwork to become candidates for Ouachita Parish Clerk of Court, including Deputy Clerk Dana Benson, an independent from West Monroe; LaKeisha Johnson, a Republican from Monroe; and state Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe.

Meanwhile, a special election for an at large seat on the West Monroe Board of Aldermen will be held Oct. 12. The special election was called in light of former Alderman Sonny Bennett’s resignation. Morgan Buxton was appointed to complete Bennett’s unexpired term. As of Tuesday, neither Buxton nor anyone else had filed paperwork to become a candidate.

Legislative races

Several area elected officials qualified in legislative races without drawing any opponents as of Tuesday evening.

Rep. Pat Moore, D-Monroe, filed the paperwork to become a candidate for a full term representing the 17th District in the House of Representatives.

Sen. Francis Thompson, D-Delhi, qualified as a candidate for the 19th District in the House of Representatives.

Monroe City Councilman Michael Echols, a Republican, qualified as a candidate for the 14th District in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Jack McFarland, R-Winnfield, filed the paperwork to seek re-election to the 13th District in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, qualified as a candidate for the 34th District in the state Senate.

Meanwhile, candidates qualified in a number of contested legislative races Tuesday.

In the Senate’s 33rd District race, Wade Bishop, a Republican from West Monroe, and Stewart Cathey Jr., a Republican from Sterlington, qualified.

In the Senate’s 35th District race, Rep. Jay Morris, R-Monroe, and Matt Parker, a Republican from Calhoun, filed the paperwork to become candidates. Sen. Jim Fannin, R-Jonesboro, who currently represents the 35th District, is expected to seek re-election though he had not qualified as of close of business Tuesday.

Three candidates filed paperwork to become candidates to represent the 16th District in the House of Representatives: Daryll Berry, of Monroe; Charles Bradford, of Bastrop; and Alicia “Cocoa” Calvin, of Monroe. They are each Democrats.

Four candidates qualified as candidates in the open race for the 15th District of the House of Representatives: Foy Gadberry, of Calhoun; Drake Graves, of Calhoun; Ryan Reid, of West Monroe; and Justin Tidwell, of West Monroe. They are each Republicans.

Statewide races

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, qualified Tuesday to become a candidate for re-election. The two major candidates expected to challenge Edwards, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone, also qualified.

Two other candidates qualified for governor: Oscar “Omar” Dantzler, a Democrat from Hammond, and Patrick “Live Wire” Landry, a Republican from New Orleans.

As of close of business Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Attorney General Jeff Landry, Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain and Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon had each qualified as candidates for re-election.

Only Ardoin, Strain and Donelon drew candidates as of Tuesday. Gwen Collins-Greenup, a Democrat from Clinton, qualified as a candidate to challenge Ardoin in the Secretary of State race while insurance professional Tim Temple, a Republican from Baton Rouge, became a candidate to oppose Donelon in the Commissioner of Insurance race.

Strain drew two opponents: Marguerite Green, a Democrat from New Orleans, and Peter Williams, a Democrat from Baton Rouge.

Derrick Edwards, a Democrat from Harvey, qualified as a candidate for state treasurer. Treasurer John Schroder, a Republican, is expected to qualify though he had not filed the paperwork as of Tuesday.

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