St. John sheriff, assessor, coroner & clerk of court talk election plans

Published 12:12 am Saturday, February 23, 2019

LAPLACE — The elected seat holders for sheriff, assessor, coroner and clerk of court in St. John the Baptist Parish have one thing in common: they are each looking for another term in office.

Election Day is Oct. 12 and in order to appear on this fall’s ballot, candidates must first qualify during the summer window from Aug. 6-8.

Many incumbents have already made their desires for office known.

In March, L’OBSERVATEUR looks forward to breaking down potential challengers and canvassing with local residents to ascertain their issues of importance.

L’OBSERVATEUR is also launching a weekly podcast this Spring to provide voice for our community, interviewing local difference makers and interesting characters.

Office holders

When asked about this fall’s election cycle, Sheriff Mike Tregre enthusiastically said he is “definitely running again.”

“It is the greatest feeling to be able to serve this community and try to give victims justice,” Tregre said. “I am looking forward to serving again.

“I campaign everyday. I don’t just wait until Election Day. As sheriff, you campaign, basically, everyday. I feel pretty good. We have a good department. We’re moving in the right direction and there are still things that need to be done.”

Tregre first won the office in 2011, finishing with 64 percent of the vote among a field of three candidates that included incumbent Wayne L. Jones.

Tregre earned a second term in office four years later, winning in a runoff over former St. John deputy Michael Hoover.

First term Assessor Lucien J. Gauff III said he is ready to serve the parish for another four years.

He hopes to provide more services for St. John by securing different revenue sources for the parish.

Gauff won a highly contested election four years ago via runoff after the general election included fellow challengers Rodney Nicholas and Kevin Prudhomme, both of whom would eventually serve in Gauff’s administration.

Coroner Dr. Christy Montegut, who ran unopposed four years ago, said the job remains very interesting even as the volume of work increases.

Despite the challenges, he would like to serve another term.

“We provide services to help a lot of people in need of assistance at the time of death and for those dealing with psychiatric illness,” Montegut said. “That’s what motivates me, to provide a level of service that helps the community.”

St. John Parish Clerk of Court Eliana DeFrancesch, who also ran unopposed in 2015, said one last goal is inspiring her latest run for office.

“One of my goals was to put the information that we have on the Web, and that was not possible at the time (when I took office),” DeFrancesch said. “I would like to get that done. That is my main concern. It is really close. Budget constraints and redacting were issues.”