"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
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.