Avoyelles voters go to the polls Saturday
There was a good turnout for early voting last week, but the final results of several state and local elections will be decided this Saturday. As of Thursday, an estimated 1,500 of the parish’s over 24,000 registered voters had come to the courthouse in Marksville to cast their early ballots.
Four candidates -- Daryl Deshotel of Hessmer, Marcus Johnson of Mansura, Donald Milligan of Mansura and Ramondo Ramos of Bunkie -- are running for the District 38 state representative seat vacated by Robert Johnson due to term limits. State Senate District 28 also has no incumbent since term limits forced Eric LaFleur from the seat. Those seeking to fill that position include Robert Johnson of Marksville, Heidi Cloud of Turkey Creek and H. Bernard LaBas of Ville Platte, another state representative seeking a new job due to term limits.
Part of the parish is in Senate District 32 -- where incumbent Neal Riser was also a victim of term limits. Candidates in that election are Daniel Cole of Jena, Judy Duhon of Olla, Steve May of Columbia and Glen Womack of Harrisonburg.
The only other local state offices for Avoyelles’ voters is District 8 of the Board of Elementary & Secondary Education, where the candidates are Preston Castille, Vereta Tanner Lee, Jonathan Loveall and Chakesha Webb Scott.
There are two parishwide offices on the ballot. Three men are seeking the sheriff’s position -- incumbent Doug Anderson of Simmesport, David Dauzat of Marksville and John Johnson of Mansura.
For clerk of court, there is incumbent Connie Desselle of Mansura -- who became clerk in July when Connie Couvillon retired with a year to go on her second four-year term -- attorney Alissa Piazza Tassin of Marksville and teacher/coach Christopher Dupuy of Marksville. Four of the nine police jurors were re-elected without opposition. However there are five two-candidate races for the other seats.
All three one-term jurors elected in 2015 drew challengers.
In District 1 the candidates are incumbent Marsha Wiley and former Police Juror Elzie Bryant. Both are from Effie.
In District 7, incumbent Trent Clark of Moreauville faces Bobby Bordelon of Marksville.
In District 9, Dr. Henry Moreau seeks re-election against Simmesport Alderman Jacob Coco. Both are from Simmesport.
The two longest-serving jurors also have opposition.
Mark Borrel is challenged by Russell Marcotte in District 3. Both are from Marksville.
In District 6, McKinley “Pop” Keller is challenged by Francis Keller Sr. Both are from Bunkie.
Statewide voters will vote for their choice for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, commissioner of insurance and commissioner of agriculture.
There are also four constitutional amendments to be approved or rejected.