Ory defeated, Wise forced into runoff

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 6, 2010

By David Vitrano


LAPLACE – The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board will lose one of its longest standing members when new members are inaugurated in December.

Matthew Ory, who has represented District 10 for the past 15 years, will be replaced by Rodney Nicholas, a LaPlace preacher. Nicholas has no prior experience with the school system in an official capacity, although he is the father of two students currently enrolled in the parish’s public schools.

Ory’s twin brother, Chris Ory, was one of the challengers to Russ Wise’s District 8 seat. Although Ory finished third, the incumbent has been forced into a runoff with challenger Beverly Harris. The runoff election is Nov. 2.

All other school board incumbents in the parish who faced opposition — Albert Burl III, Patrick Sanders and Sherry DeFrancesch — were re-elected.

Additionally, two millage renewal propositions that help fund educator salaries in the parish passed.

Elsewhere in the River Parishes, school board incumbents fared a little better, with both Patricia Schexnayder and Carol Lambert winning re-election in St. James Parish and Ellis Alexander winning re-election in St. Charles Parish.

Voters in St. James and St. John also re-elected Jude Gravois to the Fifth District Court of Appeals, a position he first earned after a special election last year.

In St. Charles voters also approved three millages that help pay for the operation of public libraries, streetlights and the parish’s 911 system.

Voters in Lutcher selected Rowdy Scott as mayor and Dwan Bowser as the police chief of their town, one of two incorporated municipalities in the parish. Two aldermen were also elected in Lutcher. Darlene Francois Riley won the at-large seat and Danny Manuel will represent District1, Division A.

In St. James’ other incorporated municipality, Gramercy, voters chose Jody Bourgeois as their District 2 alderman and, by a very narrow margin, Rubenstein Mitchell Clark and Claude “Clyde” Wiggins as their two at-large aldermen.

A few statewide elections took place on Saturday as well. Current Secretary of State Jay Dardenne will face Caroline Fayard in a runoff for the office of lieutenant governor and Jeff Landry defeated Hunt Downer in the Republican runoff to determine who will face Ravi Sangisetty for the Third Congressional District seat. Also, District 3 Public Service Commissioner Lambert Bossiere III easily won re-election over John Schwegmann.