D.A. race tops ticket

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2008


Editor and Publisher

LAPLACE – St. John Parish will have a new district attorney for the first time in 24 years, following an election today that pits two candidates for the seat being vacated by current D.A. John Crum.

Voters go to the polls today to decide a large number of races that involve those running for constable or justice of the peace.

But topping the elections in the River Region is the race for district attorney in the 40th Judicial District, which includes all of St. John Parish.

Additionally today in one other high profile race, one of the 40th Judicial District judge races is being contested as incumbent Sterling Snowdy is being challenged by local attorney Fontella Baker.

However most of the attention in the relatively quiet campaign the past month has been in the race for district attorney of the 40th Judicial District.

The race pits a veteran politician against a relative newcomer as St. John attorney Kerry Brown enters his first race ever, while former Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Tom Daley faces off against Brown.

Daley resigned his position on the higher court of appeals seat so he could run for D.A., while Brown decided to run for the seat in his first attempt at politics.

Daley has run a campaign highlighting his promise to stop “the revolving door” of repeat offenders who continue to get out of jail with little or no prison time for their offenses.

Meanwhile, Brown said he will have a “zero tolerance policy” for those same career criminals, and believes his “new leadership” will give the area the fresh approach it needs to the position.

Daley highlighted his 30 years as an attorney, 12 years as a circuit court judge, six years as a district judge and six years as a criminal prosecutor as offering the experience that will make him the better candidate, putting forth a five point plan that will address the crime problems in the region.

Brown has outlined his own specific plan for taking on the D.A.’s position, even noting a screening process he will institute in the office  that will go over all police reports so alleged criminals can be brought up for prosecution quickly.

Snowdy was the only 40th Judicial District judge who faced opposition, as Mary Hotard Becnel and Madeline Jasmine were both re-elected to their seats without opposition.

Baker is a local attorney who recently gained some attention for working on the case with Geri Broussard Baloney in the attempt to get the town of Garyville incorporated.

In St. Charles Parish, District Attorney Harry Morel was re-elected without opposition, while in St. James Parish, which is mostly governed by the 23rd Judicial District, Ricky Baham, Louis Lambert, Charles “Chuck “ Long and Pegram Mire Jr. are all running for that D.A.’s position.