Candidates qualify for fall elections

Dist. 31 Senate candidate Louie Bernard was surrounded by his grandsons as he signed the appropriate paperwork Tuesday morning to qualify for the race. From left are his wife, Gail, Cullen McConnell, Jaxon Bernard and Rhett McConnell. Bernard said they are the driving force behind his desire to run. “If the reason we get into politics is for any other reason than our grandchildren, to make things better for them, then we’re getting into politics for the wrong reason,” he said. Photo by Juanice Gray

Political hopefuls converged upon the Clerk of Court’s office en masse Tuesday morning as qualifying opened at 8 a.m. for the upcoming fall elections. By 8:30 a.m. eight candidates had paid their fees and signed their paperwork. The qualifying period began at 8 a.m. Aug. 6 and will close at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8.

A comprehensive list of all qualified candidates will be published online and in the weekend edition of the Natchitoches Times.

Important dates for the upcoming election, which will include the local seats for Clerk of Court, Parish President, Parish Council, Tax Assessor, Coroner and Campti Mayor. State offices include Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, Senators, Representatives Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, Commissioner of Insurance and BESE board members.

Qualifiers as of press time Wednesday morning are:

Governor: Ralph Abraham-R, “Eddie” Rispone-R, John Bel Edwards-D (incumbent), Patrick “Live Wire” Landry-R, Oscar “Omar” Dantzier-D

Lt. Gov.: Billy Nungesser-R (incumbent)

Secretary of State: Kyle Ardoin-R (incumbent), “Gwen” Collins-Greenup-D

Attorney General: “Jeff” Landry-R (incumbent)

Treasurer: Derrick Edwards-D

Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry: “Mike” Strain-R (incumbent), Peter Williams-D, Marguerite Green-D

Commissioner of Insurance: “Tim” Temple-R, “Jim” Donelon-R (incumbent)

BESE Dist. 4: Tony Davis-R

Senator-29th Dist.: Jay Luneau-D

Senator-31st Dist.: Louie Bernard-R, Douglas Brown-R

Representative-22nd Dist: “Gabe” Firment-R, Carl Ray Lasyone-R

Representative-23rd Dist.: Kenny Cox-D (incumbent)

Representative-24th Dist: Willie Banks-I, “Greg” Lord-R, Rodney Schamerhorn-R

Sheriff: Steve Rachal-R, Stuart Wright-No Party

Clerk of Court: David Stamey-I (incumbent)

Assessor: Timothy Page-D

Coroner: none

Parish President: “Jerry” Longlois-D, Lee Waskom-No Party, John Richmond-No Party

Council-Dist. 1: Chris Paige-D

Council-Dist. 2: John Harrington-R, Patsy Ward Hoover-I (incumbent)

Council-Dist. 3: Alan McMurtry-No Party

Council-Dist. 4: “Billy” Garland-I, Justin Lester-R, Rodney Bedgood-I (incumbent)

Council-Dist. 5: Russell Rachal-R (incumbent), John Salter-I

Town of Campti Mayor: LaRon Winslow-D, Kristopher Vidos-I

The primary election will be Saturday, Oct. 12. Deadline to register to vote in person or by mail is Sept. 11 and deadline to register to vote through the GeauxVote online registration system is Sept. 21. Early voting is Sept. 28-Oct. 5 (except Sunday, Sept. 29) from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

The deadline to request an absentee by mail ballot is Oct. 8 by 4:30 p.m. You can request an absentee by mail ballot online through our Voter Portal or in writing through your Registrar of Voters Office (other than military and overseas voters). The deadline for a registrar of voters to receive a voted mail ballot is Oct. 11 by 4:30 p.m. (other than military and overseas voters).

With several high profile local races, voter turnout is expected to be high.