Lafayette Parish voters Saturday overwhelmingly approved a bond proposal for road and bridge repair and supported the continuation of a tax funding the sheriff’s office. In Acadiana’s only multi-parish race, state Rep. Elbert Guillory threw a wrench into the Cravins works and won the most votes in the state Senate District 24 primary contest handily over Pat Cravins, mother of Don Cravins Jr., who vacated the seat to take a job in Washington, D.C. And Sam Dore is the favorite to be the next Lafayette Consolidated Government District 6 council member.
In the five-way race for District 24, which comprises part of north Lafayette Parish and most of St. Landry Parish, Guillory pulled in 41 percent of the vote. Cravins received 28 percent, leading to a runoff. An interesting sidebar to the District 24 race: In the north Lafayette portion of the district, Cravins stomped Guillory 51 percent to 23 percent.
In a race that was close until the final furlong, Dore pulled ahead of fellow Republicans Max Jordan and Joe Riley. Dore garnered 38 percent of the vote, compared to Jordan’s 31 percent and Riley’s 30 percent, setting up a Dore-Jordan runoff next month.
The continuation of the property tax funding the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office passed by a vote of 69 percent in favor and 31 percent opposed. The tax, first approved by voters in 1980, generates about $13 million annually, roughly one-third of the office’s $42 million budget.
Passage of the bond proposal gives LCG the go-ahead to issue $26 million in bonds for the repair of 150 roads and more than 15 bridges in rural Lafayette Parish. The proposition passed easily, 71 percent in favor, 29 percent opposed. Contacted just after 10 p.m. Saturday when the results of the vote were clear and incontrovertible, City-Parish President Joey Durel was relieved. “I’m pleasantly surprised,” Durel said. “I didn’t know what to think. One of the advantages of low turnout is, people that do bother [to vote] are generally informed.” Durel went on to add, “The good news is, people pretty obviously understood the message.”