"After the primary, the majority of harvest-able voters in this district were the white voters," Gauthier says. "And Chris Williams was unacceptable to the majority of white voters. That's what the numbers show." Overall turnout for the election was 28 percent, compared to 36 percent in the Oct. 20 primary.
In the weeks leading up to Saturday's election, Williams won over the support of outgoing District 44 state Rep. Wilfred Pierre as well as two of his former opponents in the race, Derriel McCorvey and Terry Landry. Williams' camp also tried to make an issue of Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel's support of Hardy, noting that Durel, who lives in the affluent River Ranch community, was out of touch with the needs of the much more blue collar District 44. Durel's endorsement of Hardy noted that he was the only candidate remaining in the race that was a "team player." Gauthier says it appears that "all of the endorsements had little to no impact" on the outcome of the race. ... CHANGING OF THE GUARD IN IBERIA SHERIFF'S ELECTION The election of Louis Ackal as Iberia Parish's new sheriff is the next act in a dramatic power struggle that has been playing out over the last four years. Ackal, a retired state trooper, rode into office with 52 percent of the vote. He was backed by a cadre of New Iberia city police officers who have never forgiven former Mayor Ruth Fontenot and Sheriff Sid Hebert for disbanding the city department. Backed by the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce in the summer of 2004, Fontenot moved the city and parish toward consolidation of law enforcement services. That fall, she and mayor pro tem Nolan Pellerin both lost their bids for re-election based on community anger about dissolving the city police department.
Saturday's election of Ackal over David Landry, Hebert's chief of staff, reflects the ideological split that still divides the city and parish. In an effort to heal the discord, Ackal says after he takes office in July of 2008, he will renegotiate the contract between the sheriff's office and the city, as well as beef up community policing and hire new deputies from the local area. ... BOASSO OUT, BUT NOT OVER State Sen. Walter Boasso, a Democrat from Chalmette who is riding into the non-public sunset after coming in third following this year's gubernatorial primary, probably won't be a completely absent face from the political scene in the near future. Capitol press members were invited last week by Boasso for dinner and drinks at Mansur's. While he told The Advocate recently that he isn't necessarily interested in Congress, he's avoiding directly answering questions about his future gubernatorial ambitions, so don't throw away your Jindal cutouts and Tide boxes just yet. ... MELANCON HAS NEW COS Joe Bonfiglio, who previously served as press secretary for U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, a Democrat from Wisconsin, has taken over as chief of staff for Congressman Charlie Melancon, a Democrat who represents portions of Acadiana. Casey O'Shea, Melancon's former chief of staff, has accepted the position of national field director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and started the high-profile job last week. He is the second Melancon staffer, following former press secretary Ellery Gould, to be scooped up by the DCCC, which is the official campaign arm of the national party. For Bonfiglio, the new job is certainly a step up and places him firmly in the realm of public servant. A congressional chief of staff is considered to be the top executive in an elected official's infrastructure, with salaries nearing or topping the $100,000 range. They often take the lead on policy and hiring decisions, and traditionally assume key campaign roles, like manager, when re-election nears. Bonfiglio will officially go to work for the 3rd Congressional District later this month.
Contributors: Jeremy Alford, Nathan Stubbs and Mary Tutwiler
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.