Early voting for the Nov. 3 elections got underway last week and will conclude Tuesday, Oct. 27. In light of the extended early voting period for this fall’s election cycle, we must revisit our recommendations for voters on the proposed constitutional amendments as well as a number of races that will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot.

President: This was an easy decision. We wholeheartedly endorsed President Donald Trump four years ago. He deserves a second term to undo the carnage Barack Obama left in his wake following eight long, dreadful years in office. President Trump’s opponent, former Obama Vice President Joe Biden, has pledged to turn the United States into a socialist state. Biden represents all that’s wrong with the progressive movement in American politics. He would be a disaster.

U.S. Senate: Louisiana voters should re-elect Sen. Bill Cassidy. Cassidy has evolved into a strong conservative who believes in American exceptionalism. His primary opponent, Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, is a front for the progressive movement who believes in income redistribution, abortion on demand and undoubtedly would serve as a reliable liberal vote in the Senate under a Biden administration. Like Biden, Perkins would be a disaster.

Fourth Judicial District Attorney: Steve Tew is in the midst of his fourth year as district attorney for Morehouse and Ouachita parishes. He became the DA when then-District Attorney Jerry Jones retired Nov. 1, 2016. Tew was elected without opposition in a special election in January 2017 to fulfill the unexpired term. He’s now seeking a full, six-year term. From day one of his tenure as DA, Tew and his assistant district attorneys have done a good job vigorously prosecuting criminals in spite of the state Legislature approving soft-on-crime legislation masquerading as criminal justice reform. In society today in which criminals do not think twice about pulling a weapon and firing at a law enforcement officer, citizens as well as the law enforcement community should not have to worry about whether their DA is going to hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions. Tew has shown us he can be tough on crime when it is warranted. He should be re-elected.

Fourth Judicial District Court, Division B: Judge Sharon Marchman is the incumbent. She should be re-elected to another six-year term in office. A Republican, Marchman presides over juvenile and drug courts at the district court. She has an impeccable record in dealing with juvenile offenders and citizens whose lives have gotten off track because of addiction. More importantly in this corner, Marchman is a no-nonsense judge who freely speaks her mind and stands up for what she believes is the right thing to do.

Fourth Judicial District Court, Division E: Former Police Jury President Walt Caldwell of West Monroe is a candidate for district court judge to succeed Judge Fred Amman, who is retiring from the bench. With 27 years of experience under his belt as a trial attorney, Caldwell, a Republican, is more than qualified for the job. Plus, Caldwell is very familiar with the district court’s finances from his years of service on the Police Jury, which is partly responsible for providing the district court with the money it needs to operate.

Amendment 1: The proposed amendment would restrain a judge from watering down legislation approved by the state Legislature that thwarts abortion. We strongly recommend a vote FOR Amendment 1.

Amendment 2: The proposed amendment would aid tax assessors across the state in assessing the value of an oil and gas well. We recommend a vote FOR Amendment 2.

Amendment 3: The proposed amendment deals with the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund, otherwise known as the Rainy Day Fund. The amendment is not necessary. It would allow the Legislature to withdraw money from the Rainy Day Fund even if the state was not juggling a financial shortfall. We recommend a vote AGAINST Amendment 3.

Amendment 4: The proposed amendment would create a new state budget spending limit, which supposedly would slow the growth of spending by state government. The growth of the size and scope of state government is out of control. We recommend a vote FOR Amendment 4.

Amendment 5: The proposed amendment represents a windfall for big businesses looking to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes to financially strapped local governments. We strongly recommend a vote AGAINST Amendment 5.

Amendment 6: The proposed amendment would raise the income limitation level to $100,000 for freezing property tax assessments for senior citizens. We recommend a vote FOR Amendment 6.

Amendment 7: The proposed amendment would create the Louisiana Unclaimed Property Permanent Trust Fund. It would prevent the state Legislature from spending unclaimed property, or money, that belongs to individuals. We recommend a vote for FOR Amendment 7.

Sports Betting Proposition: Under this act, sports betting would be permitted in any parish where the majority of voters say yes. People already bet illegally on football, basketball and other games. A vote for this proposition would simply legalize and formalize the activity and allow state and local governments to regulate and tax it. We recommend a vote FOR the sports betting proposition.

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