Two vie for open Division A St. John Council seat

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 14, 2011




LAPLACE – The April 2 special election to fill the open Div. A Council-at-Large seat for St. John the Baptist Parish has become a two-person field with Edard resident Donnie M. Robiskie’s late entry Friday.

Robiskie, 60, a retired chemical plant worker, joins LaPlace resident Lucien Gauff III in the race to fill the seat held by longtime councilman Richard “Dale” Wolfe. Wolfe stepped down in October to take over as executive director for the St. John Parish Housing Authority and state law forbids him from holding both offices simultaneously.

Robiskie, who worked as an electrician and instrument technician at the Monsanto and Dow Chemical Plants in St. Charles, has not run for office since an unsuccessful run at Justice of the Peace nearly 30 years ago.

Gauff, 47, is a chemical process operator at the DuPont facility in LaPlace and is a current member of the St. John Recreation Advisory Board. Gauff was a member of Parish President Natalie Robottom’s Presidential Advisory Committee, serving as the chair of the recreation/health and human services subcommittee. He ran unsuccessfully against Wolfe in the 2007 general council election.

Qualifying ends at 5 p.m. today and the election is April 2. The winner, who will finish off Wolfe’s unexpired term, will face off again in the Oct. 22 general council elections for a full four-year term.

The council’s Division A seat covers the western half of the parish and includes Garyville, Mt. Airy, portions of Reserve and all of the west bank. There are roughly 14,000 voters in the district.