November election taking shape; voters have many choices to make


By Juanice Gray,

Voters will have plenty of choices to make when casting their ballots in the Nov. 6 election. Qualifying ended Friday, July 20 for candidates to throw thier hat in the ring for open seats.

The School Board race is shaping up parishwide with many new faces thrown into the mix and most of the incumbents vying to retain their seats. The exceptions are Dist. 3, incumbent Ralph Wilson and Dist. 4 incumbent Mike Hilton, neither of whom qualified for reelection.

*** Tommy Melder, Dist. 6, withdrew effective July 25.***

Nine of the 11 districts will have opposition. Only Katrina Fowler Willis in Dist. 5 and Russ Danzy in Dist. 10 were unopposed.

All mayoral seats have at least two candidates. In Ashland, young newcomer to the political scene, Justin Martin, is representing the under-30 generation. He said he hopes he can “provide some younger motivation.”

For the Chief of Police seats, Gordon O’Con of Robeline, Fred Holland of Ashland and Michael Gillie Jr. of Natchez were unopposed.

Voters will have plenty of choices with full rosters on the Aldermen and Council races. Campti alone has nine candidates.

Last days to register to vote to participate in the November election in person or by mail is Oct. 9 and via Geaux vote online is Oct. 16.

The following candidates qualified for the Nov. 6 Primary Election.

Secretary of State

Kyle Ardoin

Heather Cloud

“Gwen” Collins-Greenup

A.G. Crowe

“Rick” Edmonds

Renee Fontenot Free

Thomas J. Kennedy III

Matthew Paul “Matt” Moreau

Julie Stokes

US Representative (4th Congressional District)

Mark David Halverson

“Mike” Johnson


Village of Clarence:

Aretha B. McWright, Carolyn Sawyer

Village of Goldonna: Norvel Garner (incumbent), “Reed” Franklin (incumbent), Fonda Stewart Garner, Pamela B. Nobles

Village of Provencal: Rickey Coe, Daniel Gongre (incumbent), Daniel Gongre Jr.

Village of Robeline: Randall Bockstanz (incumbent), Bubba Ivy, Gilda Jenkins (incumbent), Pamela Ann Jennings, Ann Moran, Celeste O’Con, Susan Verzwyvelt

Council Members

Village of Ashland: Juanita Calhoun, Dorie Hays, Terry Chesser

Town of Campti: Sarah Ann Reliford, Tarlisha Johnson Hudson, Theresa C. Anslem, Mary Donaway Collins, Gloria Waldrup Davis, Diane Dyson, Cynita Nash, Bence Nicholas, Etta Prudhomme

*Editor’s Note: I personally called every candidate in the School board, Mayoral and Chief of Police races. I did not reach some candidates, some did not have answering machines or did not have voicemail set up and one was disconnected. A message was left for all who had that capability whom did not answer.