October 13, 2019

Election Results are in!

Election results are in! 1,343,478 Louisiana voters showed up for another big election, representing 45% of those registered (48% in East Baton Rouge). We are unsure exactly how many of those were eligible based on Act 636, but we definitely know that a few thousand voters were directly impacted by the criminal justice system when they went into their polling station. While certain races were decided yesterday, and many (including the Governor’s race) will still go to a run-off election on November 16th. Early voting for the run-off elections starts Saturday November 2nd and goes through November 9th. Find your early voting location here.

Remember: There is still time to register online, and vote in the run-off election, if you do it by Oct. 26th. If you have a criminal conviction, and need help, contact VOTE (vote@vote-nola.org) or 504-571-9599.

 

The Wins

Statewide

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser (68%) Attorney General Jeff Landry (66%), Treasurer John Schroeder (60%), Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon (53%), and Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain (57%) will stay in their positions for another term. For those who were supporting other candidates, or change for change’s sake, this statewide stability should allow for advocates to push their proposals from day one in 2020.

Local

  • Sheriff Sid Gautreaux (70%) will be back in charge of “Red Stick” jail. With a great deal of interest put on this race from the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition, we shall see where Gautreaux’s next term goes concerning mental health diversion programming, safety inside the jail, and potential addiction treatment services.
  • Senate Dist. 6: Incumbent Sen. Bodi White isn’t done, winning the race with 80% of the vote. 
  • Senate Dist. 14: In what became a true underdog race, longtime civil rights champion Pat Smith will be missed in the Capitol, as Cleo Fields makes his comeback to elected office, earning 53% of the vote. In one of the lowest EBR district turnouts (37%), the difference in this powerful seat was a meager 1,293 people. About enough to fill a high school gymnasium.
  • Senate Dist. 15: Sen. Regina Barrow (74%) will be back in Baton Rouge, having defeated challenger Gary Chambers.
  • House Dist. 18: Incumbent Rep. Jeremy Lacombe solidly returns to the statehouse, with 63% of the vote.
  • House Dist. 63: Barbara Capenter (62%) also returns, to stand up for the people.
  • House Dist. 66: Rep Rick Edmonds (70%) stays in this seat, having handled two challengers.
  • House Dist. 69: Rep. Paula Davis won handily with 79% of the vote.
  • Juvenile Court Judge: Gail Grover (52%) is soon to be sworn in as a judge, and we wish her all the support in finding positive solutions for challenging situations.
  • 19th JDC Judge (ES 3/Div. C): Judge Beau Higginbotham (78%) holds onto his gavel and robe.
  • 19th JDC Judge (ES 3/Div. A): Tarvald Smith (53%) will be joining the bench, and hopefully will move forward with restorative justice principles, alternatives to confinement, and mercy.
  • Voters also chose (by 54%; 32,293 people voting) to incorporate the City of St. George.

 

The Run-Offs on November 16

  • Governor John Bel Edwards (47%) enters a run-off with businessman Eddie Rispone (27%). Expect to see a ton of activity over the next month. JBE needed another 45,000 votes (or less than 1,000 per parish) to have won outright, and it will be interesting to see how many national people get involved in this election. JBE won East Baton Rouge Parish, 62%-27%.
  • Secretary of State goes to yet another run-off, one year after last year, with yet another showdown between Kyle Ardoin (41%) and Gwen Collins Greenup (34%). Last year, Collins-Greenup and another Dem split 36% of the vote, while Ardoin only earned 20% in a Republicna-heavy primary. Ardoin went on to win the run-off 59% to 41%. 
  • Senate Dist. 16: Five candidates are are now down to two, with Beverly Brooks Thompson (34%) and Franklin Foil (30%) vying for the majority vote on Nov. 16. With conservative Foil coming over from the House side, he is likely to have the most funding and endorsements- and he staves off Steve Carter by 8 votes- about as many people on a YMCA over-35 basketball team. Meanwhile, Beverly Brooks Thompson received the Know Your Vote endorsement, and we wish her the best.
  • House Dist. 67: A showdown between two fresh candidates, Larry Selders (38%) and Leah Cullins (29%) will be interesting. Only 7,018 people in the district voted, and perhaps as few as 3000 people will elect their next representative. Now is the time for everyone to take a closer look, if you haven’t already, and decide who will best serve the needs of the people. Stay tuned to see how the Governor’s race impacts turnout in this highly Democratic district.
  • House Dist. 68: This crowded field is now down to Scott McKnight (33%) and Taryn Branson (24%). With 43% of the votes going to other candidates, it is clear that these two have a lot of work to do in convincing residents of their district to support them. This is a toss-up at this point, and Know Your Vote will be doubling down on our homework.
  • House Dist. 70: Another pack, now whittled down to Belinda Davis (38%) and Barbara Freiberg (29%). One of these two women will replace Franklin Foil, who is in his own run-off for state senate.
  • 19th JDC Judge (ES 2/Div. L): From three down to two, Ronald Johnson (40%) and Trae Welch (45%) will vie to be a district court judge on Nov. 16. There is still time to check in on their fairness and demeanor. While Mr. Johnson received the Know Your Vote endorsement, we know there is a considerable amount of election remaining.

 

School Board: Incumbency is hard to shake

For a group of people overseeing a system that is much maligned by everybody, particularly for the charter schools that lack oversight, the voters kept in those people to keep working on it. Jim Garvey (D-1), Kira Orange Jones (D-2), Sandy Holloway (D-3), newcomer Ashley Ellis (D-5), Holly Boffy (D-7), newcomer Preston Castille (D-8). The open seat in District 6 (Washington/Livingston parish area) is a run-off between Ronnie Morris (49%) and Gregory Spiers (22%). Hopefully some new energy and new ideas will strengthen what has been a weakness in Louisiana.

 

Amendments:

1: No (53%) on Tax Exemptions for Outer Continental Shelf materials.

2: Yes (by 495 votes, statewide) to Amend Education Excellence Fund.

3: Yes (58%) on Remedy for Unconstitutional Tax Paid.

4: No (63%) to Allow New Orleans Property Tax Exemptions. This last one may be a signal as to how the rest of the state sees Orleans, as 64% of New Orleans voted for it, and 57% of Jefferson Parish voted against it.

 

Thanks for voting, and remember to tell your neighbors: Know Your Vote!

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