"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
Cuban baseball isn't working; Syrians flee to Turkey; Maven arrives at Mars and more national and international news for Monday, September 22, 2014.
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Despite sweeping changes enacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, the health insurance program for state workers and public school employees will have to use $88 million from its reserve fund to cover its costs this year.
The LPSB races are sure to get heated between now and Nov. 4, and with only 9 available seats, this year's field of 20 candidates will surely be wanting to set themselves apart from the crowd early; they'll get their chance next week, starting Tuesday with the kick-off of a three-day series of candidate forums.
Lawmakers say they've received complaints that waits have spiked, with people being forced to wait in line for more than an hour — and sometimes three hours — to handle routine tasks.
The campaign announced that Rep. Stuart Bishop of District 43 and Nancy Landry, District 31, have thrown their support behind the Naval Academy graduate and entrepreneur in his bid to unseat current Hunter Beasley in District 8.
A Lafayette man with an alleged taste for child porn was busted Thursday evening during a cyber crime sting launched by the Attorney General’s Office.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister says his chief of staff is on temporary leave after being booked with drunken driving.
It was a rare moment in Congress this week as Republicans briefly put aside partisanship in support of President Barack Obama's request to train and arm Syrian rebels, and while a number of Democrats opposed the measure, Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu found herself on the same side of the issue as her Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.
City-Parish President Joey Durel is asking the council to sign off on a resolution approving a pair of deals that would lead to razing the seedy Lesspay Motel at Four Corners to build a new police substation as well as transforming nearly a block Downtown where the old federal courthouse building now molders into a mixed-use development.
In 2013, the IRS — already the least popular governmental agency in the country — became the target of intense investigations after it was revealed that they had specifically and improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from organizations associated with the nascent Tea Party movement.
Improving the running game was "a point of emphasis" during the offseason and the results have manifested themselves in the form of substantially greater production.
Louisiana's health department said Wednesday that its evaluation of the state's Medicaid privatization was on target, despite criticism from the legislative auditor that it lacked key data and contained inconsistencies.
The feds converge on your office, seizing records on several employees as part of a pay-for-plea investigation. WWYD? If you’re Mike Harson, you give yourself a $12k raise.
It’s football season and after back-to-back winless weekends for the Saints and the Cajuns many citizens are finding it difficult to be civil much less happy. Well, chew on this.
Considering his repeated stays in the local penal system, David Narcisse Jr. should have known that having a semiautomatic shotgun, even one given to him by a friend, wasn’t the brightest of ideas.
A state district judge on Tuesday threw out a last-minute retirement hike lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent, ending a political firestorm over a pension boost passed without public scrutiny on the last day of the legislative session.
The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.
An obvious follow-up question for any Republican politician who accuses Democrats of being science deniers is one about science, to which Jindal bobbed and weaved like a welterweight champ.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council is expected to decide tonight (Tuesday) whether to go along with a proposal City-Parish President Joey Durel made in February’s State of the Parish Address and consolidate taxes for mosquito control and the parish health units into a broader tax program that would also cover animal control.
U.S. District Judge Richard Haik has dismissed Greg Davis’ lawsuit against the LPSB, yet in his ruling, the federal judge doesn’t bite his tongue in pointing out the "threat" being posed by certain board members.
Of all the political offices being contested throughout Lafayette Parish, the race for Broussard’s top police post has literally become one of the most heated.
A state district judge is deciding whether to issue an injunction against the enforcement of a last-minute retirement hike that lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent.
A new website is up for Louisiana's state government employees and retirees to choose their health insurance plans for next year, a choice they must make by October.
That fact that New Orleans led both games in the final 10 seconds of regulation, and lost each by a field goal or less, is of little solace.