Presidential hopefuls crowd Saturday ballot

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 21, 2012



LAPLACE – A light ballot will greet voters in the River Parishes wishing to participate in Louisiana’s presidential preference primary Saturday.

Special elections for 23rd Judicial District Judge in St. James Parish and 29th Judicial District Judge in St. Charles Parish are on the ballot, as well as a seat on the Board of Aldermen in the town of Gramercy.

There are no other elections on the primary ballot in St. John the Baptist Parish.

The 23rd Judicial District race in St. James Parish pits Gonzales Juvenile Court Judge Jessie LeBlanc against Gonzales attorney Matthew Pryor. The district encompasses Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes. The position was vacated in October by Judge Jane Triche-Milazzo, who was appointed to the federal bench in New Orleans. Three years remain in the term.

In the Gramercy Alderman’s race, candidates for the District 3 seat include Craig B. Calcagno, Arile “A.J.” Laiche and Rhonda Lee.

In the race for 29th Judicial District Judge, attorneys Tim Marcel of Destrehan and Michele Morel of Luling will face off to fill the seat left vacant when Judge Robert Chaisson was elected to the Louisiana 5th Circuit Court of Appeal. His term was set to expire in December 2014.

The Presidential Primary candidates on the Democrat side include Barack Obama, “Bob” Ely, Darcy G. Richardson and John Wolfe. For the Republicans, the ballot will include Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Charles “Buddy” Roemer, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, Randy Crow and Michele Bachmann although a number of them, including former frontrunners Perry and Bachmann, have already withdrawn from the race.

Only voters registered as Republican or Democrat may vote in their respective races in the primary.

Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.