Last-minute filer changes face of fall election

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – At 4:58 p.m. on Friday afternoon, Judge J. Sterling Snowdy was just two minutes away from cruising uncontested to a third six-year term on the bench of the 40th Judicial District Court.

But at 4:59 p.m., Fontella F. Baker, a LaPlace attorney, walked into the St. John Clerk of Court Office at the Arcuri Center and a few minutes later qualified to challenge Snowdy for his seat in this fall’s election, according to Janet Kavanaugh of the Clerk of Court office.

Qualifying for the Oct. 4 elections ended Friday afternoon with the other two judges in the parish – Madeline Jasmine of Division A and Mary Hotard Becnel of Division B – winning re-election unopposed.

Baker represents Snowdy’s first opposition since he won the seat in November 1996. That year, Snowdy and Brenda Birner competed for the Division C seat previously held by a man named Tom Daley, who had taken a seat on the state Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal that spring.

Now Daley is back in St. John campaigning for district attorney.  Current District Attorney John Crum Jr., who has held the office since 1985, announced this spring that he would not seek re-election.

Daley, who had to step down from the appeals court to run, and Kerry D. Brown, a LaPlace attorney and parish prosecutor, both qualified to run for district attorney last week.

The ballot this fall also promises to feature two contests for justice of the peace and two for constable.

In District 1, Virgie Jarrow-Johnson and Haston “Bun” Lewis Jr. have both qualified to run for justice of the peace. Travis “Casual” Cook has qualified to challenge incumbent Diane C. Jacob for her justice of the peace seat in District 3.

In St. Charles Parish, District Attorney Harry Morel Jr. won re-election to his sixth consecutive term, unopposed for the fourth election in a row.

Lauren Lemmon qualified to run against Kirk Granier for his 29th Judicial District Court seat.