Judge Becnel good for election, court rules against Joseph

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, September 16, 2014

By Stephen Hemelt

EDGARD — The race for Division B judge in St. John the Baptist Parish has been trimmed to two candidates.

Judge Mary Becnel currently holds the seat and is seeking re-election. She was being challenged by Mona Joseph and Rob Snyder, two other Democrats from LaPlace.

Eliana DeFrancesch, 40th Judicial District Clerk of Court, said Snyder filed challenges against Becnel and Joseph, indicating each failed to qualify correctly.

The initial decision two weeks ago indicated Becnel qualified correctly, disqualified Joseph because of qualifying irregularities, DeFrancesch said.

Joseph filed an appeal of her disqualification last week, and Snyder filed an appeal of the Becnel decision.

DeFrancesch said the appeals were heard by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which agreed with the initial court decisions, setting the stage for an election race between Becnel and Snyder.

Joseph did not return a message Monday seeking comment.

Each candidate could further appeal the Appeals Court’s decisions to the Louisiana Supreme Court if they so choose, DeFrancesch said, adding she was unaware of any such moves.