‘The people have spoken’ proclaim Tregre backers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011



LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff-elect Mike Tregre said a strong and diverse support group helped propel him to a victory over incumbent Wayne L. Jones in Saturday’s election.

Tregre, a former sheriff’s deputy and first-time candidate, garnered 63 percent of the vote and carried 33 of the parish’s 48 precincts. Jones, who has been sheriff since 1996, picked up 35 percent of the vote and only carried 14 precincts. The third candidate, former auxiliary deputy Aaron Lions, received 2 percent and carried no precincts.

“The campaign process is both mental and physical, and my supporters really carried me through it and pushed me to victory” Tregre said. “There were people I’ve never met in my life coming out to support me. You get a strong feeling when someone says they are with you and support you.”

Tregre said Tuesday he had not yet given much thought on the next steps following election night and chose not to look ahead until the election was over. He said he is interested in sitting down with Jones and the current administration after things had settled down.

“There was no reason to look past Oct. 22 with any certainty,” Tregre said. “Nothing has been put in place. Everything is still out there on the table.”

Jones, whose term officially ends June 30, said he and Tregre have spoken since the election and said the two plan to meet after the winter holidays to talk about a “smooth and comfortable” transition. He said that he and Tregre will have a lot to discuss.

“This is a department with a $24 million budget, and there are a lot of things you need to know about,” Jones said. “I’m mostly concerned about the welfare of the people in the department, and I think Mike knows that and understands that. I can tell you that he will inherit an experienced department on all levels.”

On Monday, resident response to the election results seemed to be on the positive side with many people talking about what is in store for the years ahead in the parish.

“He is the right person for the job,” said LaPlace resident James Henry. “I’m excited about the new energy he brings to the Sheriff’s Office. I think that it is something we need right now.”

There are also some, like LaPlace resident Lisa Daniel, who did not support Tregre at the polls but are willing to get behind him now.

“The people have spoken, and it is time to put our support behind Mike and see what he can do,” Daniel said. “He had an ambitious platform, and I want to see him live up to it.”

Others, like Reserve resident Adam Butler, said they were surprised by the overwhelming support for Tregre but looking forward to the change.

“Wayne has been the sheriff for a long time,” Butler said. “I don’t want to diminish what Mike brings to the office, but I was surprised.”

Tregre will not take office until July 1, the beginning of the department’s fiscal year.