River Region election qualifying begins

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, August 19, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE — Election season is just around the corner, as qualifying for the Nov. 4 primary begins today and runs through Friday.

In St. John the Baptist Parish, voters will vote on seven constable justice of the peace positions, seven justice of the peace slots, 11 school board members, a district attorney, three district judges, two U.S. Representatives and one U.S. Senator.

In St. Charles Parish, voters will vote on two U.S. Representatives, one U.S. Senator, three judges, a district attorney, eight school board members, one public service commissioner, seven justice of the peace slots and seven constable justice of the peace positions.

In St. James Parish, voters will cast ballots for five district judges, seven school board members, seven justice of the peace positions, seven constable justice of the peace spots, a district attorney, a U.S. Representative and one U.S. Senator.

In the Town of Lutcher, voters will decide on a chief of police, alderman at large and four alderman spots.

In the Town of Gramercy, voters will decide on a mayor, chief of police, an alderman at large and three alderman spots. Current Mayor Terry Borne announced a few weeks ago at a town hall meeting he would not be seeking re-election.

Borne said he will focus the next four years on traveling with and spending as much time with his family as possible.

He said he has enjoyed his time as mayor immensely and appreciates the support he has received.

According to Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler, all candidates for local parish races are to qualify with their parish Clerk of Court’s office, while all candidates for U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Public Service Commission will qualify at the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office located at 8585 Archives Ave. in Baton Rouge.

Once qualified, candidates in all races will appear on the Secretary of State’s website, sos.la.gov, in real-time under “Elections & Voting,” “Get Election Information,” “Search for Candidates.”

Early voting for the Nov. 4 primary will be Oct. 21-25 and 27-28.

A new law signed in June preventing anyone 70 or older from running for constable or justice of the peace in Louisiana could affect primary elections in the River Parishes. As of press time, a judge had not approved a petition for an injunction against the new law.

A law setting a mandatory retirement age of 70 for constables and justices of the peace has been in affect since 2006, but that law excluded anyone elected before then.

Republican state Sen. Elbert Guillory’s bill removed that exemption, a change that will affect about 160 officials across the state. On Nov. 4 Louisiana voters will decide whether to repeal a provision in the state constitution that requires judges to retire after reaching age 70 and finishing their current terms.

The fall general election will be held on Dec. 6 to decide any run-offs resulting from the Nov. 4 primary.

Early voting for the general election is Nov. 22 and 24-29.