Avoyelles School Board had 3 incumbents defeated, 1 in runoff after Nov. 6 'house-cleaning'
When the Avoyelles Parish School Board begins a new four-year term in January, there will be at least six -- and maybe seven -- new faces.
Incumbent board members Chris LaCour and Van Kojis were re-elected without opposition earlier this year, as was newcomer Robin Moreau -- who will serve in the seat vacated by James Gauthier, who chose not to seek re-election.
Of the four incumbents who were up for re-election on the Nov. 6 ballot, three were defeated.
District 6 board member Lizzie Ned received 32 percent of the vote to finish second behind Chris Robinson, who received 49 percent -- just shy of winning the four-candidate race outright -- to force a runoff on Dec. 8.
District 2 board member Darrell Wiley was defeated by former board member Lynn Deloach, 55 percent to 45 percent.
District 7 incumbent Michael Lacombe lost to newcomer Rickey Adams in another close two-candidate race, 53 to 47 percent.
There were four candidates running for the District 9 seat.
Aimee Bordelon Dupuy outpolled incumbent John Gagnard and challengers Rene Borrel and Chadwick Dupuy to win the election in the first round.
She received 58 percent of the vote. Borrel was a distant second at 18 percent. Gagnard was third with 15 percent and Chadwick Dupuy received 10 percent.
“I am beyond ecstatic to start this journey for our children of Avoyelles,” Aimee Dupuy said. “I will not waiver from my faith, morals, and ethics! I can assure you, that you will not be disappointed with your choice.”
In District 1, former teachers Latisha Small and Marian Gonzales will be in a runoff, with Small receiving 41 percent and Gonzales 37 percent of votes cast.
The seat was held by Freeman Ford for many years. When he died earlier this year, Jeralyn Young was appointed to serve the remainder of his term. She chose not to seek election to the seat.
Allen Holmes, a familiar name due to his involvement in the recently dismissed 50-year-old desegregation suit, finished third with 22 percent.
In District 5, where incumbent Shelia Blackman-Dupas did not seek re-election, Stanley Celestine Jr. defeated Carolyn Bonton with 65 percent of the vote.
Celestine, 19, is the youngest board member in modern times and could be the youngest elected official in the state. The last time someone in their 20s served on the board was in the late 1800’s.
“I am grateful for the people of District 5 who voted today. To those who supported me from the start, I could not have accomplished this without you. I am also grateful to those who joined me as I progressed in this campaign.
“I am honored to be selected to champion students, teachers, and education in Avoyelles,” he continued. “It is what I stand for.”
WARD 1 CONSTABLE
In the only other local election, Mike Ducote defeated Cody Desselle with 69% of the vote in a special election for Ward 1 Constable
Avoyelles voters also rejected a local option of a state proposition to allow gambling on fantasy sports in the parish.
The proposition was narrowly defeated less than 200 votes, 51 percent to 49 percent.
In addition to the runoffs there will be elections to renew the parishwide 1-cent sales tax and a new 8-mill property tax for the solid waste program, 10-mill for Fire District 2 and 4.9-mill for
Hospital District 1 in Bunkie.