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DayeTime: What's in a name

Voters are supposed to cast their ballots for the person and what he/she stands for -- not because of how they look, what church they go to or their name.

Not too many years ago, a good number of voters looked for a number instead of a name because they couldn’t read or write. That is not nearly as prevalent today as it was in bygone years.

I have to believe that voters in the upcoming Oct. 12 primary elections will make their decisions based on a careful study of the issues and scrutiny of the candidates’ character.

Or it’ll be a case of who they hate least or, in desperation, a quick game of eeny, meeny, miny, moe.

That decision could be complicated by a few names on the ballot. The names may seem familiar at first glance, so take a closer look to make sure that’s the name you want to vote for.

This column does not intend to favor nor disparage any name mentioned here. However, I do find a few of them interesting and potentially confusing to any voter who may not be a stickler for detail.

First, we look at the District 28 state representative race. For the past several years the position was held by Robert Johnson.

Due to term limits, Johnson cannot seek re-election to that seat this fall. He is carrying the Avoyelles banner into the District 28 senate battle against two Evangeline politicians -- a former small town mayor and a fellow term-limited state representative.

Still, there will be a “Johnson” on the list of candidates for state representative. That’s Marcus Johnson, not Robert Johnson. No relation. Not the same person.

In the parishwide arena, the potential confusion is in the first name.

Connie Couvillon retired a year before the end of her second term as clerk of court, allowing her chief deputy to become clerk until Couvillon’s term ends June 30 and a new clerk elected this fall is sworn in.

That means Connie Desselle is running as the incumbent clerk of court. While she has been in the clerk’s office for over 20 years, she has been the clerk of court for just a few months.

Still, there is a “Connie” on the ballot. That’s Desselle, not Couvillon. Not the same Connie. Not the same person.

Perhaps the biggest -- and, quite possibly, only -- potential for confusion is for District 6 police juror in the Bunkie-Evergreen area.

McKinley “Pop” Keller has held that position for most of the past 40 years.

After 28 years on the jury, Pop didn’t run for re-election in 2007 and the seat was filled by Francis Keller Sr.

Reapportionment in 2010 forced a special election to fill the last year of the four-year term. Pop decided to come back and reclaimed the seat. He has been there ever since.

Well, this year there are two people vying to be District 6 police juror -- the aforementioned Kellers.

That’s McKinley “Pop” Keller and Francis Keller Sr. No close relation. Not the same person.

Due to the way the alphabet was set up oh so many years ago, “Francis” comes before “McKinley,” so the challenger is listed ahead of the incumbent.

Be sure you click the “Keller” you want to vote for.

I didn’t see any potentially confusing names on the list of candidates for the two state senate races in the parish, for sheriff and for police jurors in District 1, District 3, District 7 and District 9.

In those races, if you vote for the wrong candidate you can’t blame the name.


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