St. John candidacy challenge update

Published 9:44 am Tuesday, August 22, 2023

LAPLACE — Fourteen St. John the Baptist Parish candidacy challenges were heard by the 40th Judicial District Court between Friday, August 18 and Monday, August 21.

Court minutes from Division C have not yet been released as of the time of this report. As of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, the St. John Clerk of Court’s Office confirmed that Charles Julien (candidate for parish president), Graylin Burl Jr. (candidate for sheriff), and Dayna Mason James (candidate for Parish Council At Large Div. A) have been disqualified and have an opportunity to appeal the trial court’s decision.

The Clerk of Court’s Office also confirmed that candidacy challenges against Kerry Watkins (candidate for Parish Council District 7), Vernon Bailey (candidate for Parish Council District 6), Dervon “Chocolate” Davis (candidate for Parish Council District 6), Walter Stevens Jr. (candidate for Parish Council District 5), and Albert “Ali” Burl III (candidate for State Representative District 57) have been dismissed, with each of these candidates deemed eligible to run for election.

Appeals may be submitted within 24 hours of the rendition of a judgement. The Court of Appeal must act expeditiously by scheduling a hearing within 48 hours of the record being lodged in that court.

The following is the full list of candidacy challenges obtained from the St. John Clerk of Court on August 19:

Edward Hotard v. Charles Julien

Hazel Guillot Oubre v. Graylin Burl

Dixie Ramirez vs. Kerry Watkins

Steven Mullins v. Dayna Mason James

Sylvia Taylor v. Ali Burl

Robert Arcuri v. Walter Stevens Jr.

Tammy Houston v. Tai Cambre

Constance Schexnayder v. Tyra Duhe-Griffin

Jennifer Arcuri v. Walter Stevens Jr.

Shondrell Perrilloux v. Ali Burl

Lisa Denise Joseph v. Blaine Tatje

Elmira Duhe v. Constance Schexnayder

Chante Schnyder v. Vernon Bailey

Chante Schnyder v. Dervon Davis

Objections to candidacy may only be filed prior to 4:30 p.m. on the seventh day after the close of qualification for candidates, which ended on August 10. Additionally, candidacy objections must be made on the following grounds, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.

  • the defendant failed to qualify for the primary election in the manner prescribed by law;
  • the defendant failed to qualify for the primary election within the time prescribed by law;
  • the defendant does not meet the qualifications for the office he seeks in the primary election;
  • the defendant is prohibited by law from becoming a candidate for one or more of the offices for which he qualified;
  • the defendant falsely certified on his notice of candidacy that he does not owe any outstanding fines, fees, or penalties pursuant to the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act as provided in La R.S. 18:463(A)(2);
  • the defendant falsely certified on his notice of candidacy that he does not owe any outstanding fines, fees, or penalties pursuant to the Code of Governmental Ethics as provided in La R.S. 18:463(A)(2); or
  • the defendant falsely certified on his notice of candidacy that for each of the previous five tax years he has filed his federal and state income tax returns, has filed for an extension of time for filing either his federal or state income tax return or both as provided in La R.S. 18:463(A)(2), or was not required to file either a federal or state income tax return or both.

Results from the candidacy challenges have not yet been reflected on the Louisiana Secretary of State’s qualified candidates list. More information will be released when available.