Tregre, Hoover set for sheriff runoff

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, October 28, 2015

LAPLACE — Sheriff Mike Tregre came up less than four tenths of a percentage point from winning Saturday’s primary election for St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff outright.

Mike Tregre

Mike Tregre

In a field of four candidates, Tregre established himself as the clear frontrunner, but his opponent in Nov. 21’s general election runoff said the race is far from over.

Tregre finished the weekend with 7,280 votes (49.64 percent), followed by Michael Hoover with 6,372 votes (43.45 percent.)

Michael Hoover

Michael Hoover

Fellow candidates Clifford Bailey (3.57 percent) and Samantha Burl Wilson (3.34 percent) failed to make an impression with voters.

To have avoided a runoff, Tregre needed to collect 50 percent plus 1 of the turnout.

“We came up a little short, but I’m feeling pretty good,” he said. “The turnout was low for whatever reason. There are a lot of people running for different offices. I think we all thought the voter turnout would have been higher.”

The St. John the Baptist Parish Registrar of Voters Office said there were 29,236 residents registered to vote prior to the election — 14,665 voted in the sheriff’s election.

Tregre said he would continue asking voters to let him finish the job he has already started.

“I came close to that on Saturday, but I need to work a little harder,” Tregre said. “Again, I stand on my record. We will continue to train the department and solve cases. I’m going to stay positive and stay visible and keep going at it every day.”

Hoover, a former deputy under Tregre, said he is excited about the results and his chances going forward.

“Anytime you can get an incumbent under 50 percent of the votes, it’s a good standing,” Hoover said. “I know that I have to work a little bit harder, and that’s what my intentions are going to be for the remaining time for the next election. I expect we’re only going to increase as time goes on.”

Hoover said his name recognition parish wide was low when a poll was conducted early this calendar year and has only increased as voters have grown to trust what he could accomplish as Sheriff.

“A change is needed in the St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office,” he said. “A change needs to happen for us to move in the right direction. Now it comes down to strategy, getting out there and hitting the ground like I did before. To give me another 27 days allows me more time to make up ground. We are excited for what’s going to happen on the 21st.”

Early voting for the next month’s election is scheduled Nov. 7-14. The deadline to request a mail ballot for the election is Nov. 17. The Registrar’s deadline to receive the mail ballot is Nov. 20.

— By Raquel Derganz Baker