Photograph: An early morning voter exits the voting booth after casting her votes Saturday at the IFBF Lodge in Prairie Laurent. (Photograph by Freddie Herpin)
It proved to be an impressive election day for several candidates who registered lopsided victories during a parishwide election held Saturday in St. Landry Parish.
According to complete but unofficial election results, Clerk of Court Charles Jagneaux and District 40 State Representative Dustin Miller — both incumbents – remain in office, following a pair of landslide wins.
Former St. Landry Parish District Attorney Charles Cravins easily moved past two other candidates, as he captured a win for a vacated position from Division C in the 27th Judicial District.
In Parish Council elections, incumbent council members Timothy LeJeune, Vivian Olivier and Harold Taylor each received at least 65 percent of the votes in their election district races, while longtime District 9 council member Wayne Ardoin also won after he obtained 55 percent of the votes cast.
Current Council chairman Jerry Red, Jr. was unseated in District 1 by former police officer Jody White, while the race in Eunice-area District 13 remains contested between Ernest Blanchard and Leward Lafleur.
A runoff will also be needed next month for the Opelousas Board of Alderman in District A. as Victor Lewis and John Guilbeaux are headed for a runoff.
Lewis received 35 percent, while Guilbeaux had 31 percent.
Clerk Of Court
Jagneaux claimed 13,713 votes (74.46 percent) compared to challenger Jan Deville, who obtained 4,704 votes.
It was the ninth election victory for Jagneaux, who praised and thanked his office staff members during an election celebration held at Toby’s Downtown in Opelousas.
“I thought my campaign manager, Mike Leger, did a fantastic job. Having such a good staff is what has made me a good Clerk. It’s not an easy job working in the Clerk’s Office and it takes a lot of training. That has made our office so efficient,” Jagneaux said.
Jagneaux said he enjoyed the campaign process.
“It was good, getting out to all of these communities and meeting people. That’s probably what I enjoyed most. I thought that Jan Deville, my opponent, worked real hard and for that I have to give him credit,” Jagneaux said.
Division C District Judge
Jarvis Claiborne and Scherri Guidry who opposed Cravins, received slightly fewer than 40 percent of the ballots cast inside the 29 election precincts.
While Cravins obtained 60 percent (2,242 votes), Claiborne and Guidry received just over 1,400 combined ballots.
As he prepared to leave his post-election party at Arpeggio’s In Opelousas, Cravins said he was confident of avoiding a runoff race.
“I felt confident I could win (on Saturday). After speaking to people all during the campaign, I felt they were receptive and were very supportive of me. I think everyone who knows me, knows that I have always been fair. I think that impartiality was important in this election,” Cravins added.
Cravins indicated that he expects to be sworn in on Nov. 1.
District 40 State Representative
Miller said during a Sunday interview that he anticipated receiving at least 80 percent of the vote on Saturday.
Challenger Allen Guillory, who launched an aggressive campaign, obtained 18.68 percent (2,034 votes).
Miller, who will begin a third term representing District 40, had 8.853 or 81.32 percent of the votes cast.
“I was confident we could get 80 percent of the vote and maybe a little more. What I want to do over the next four years is to keep the momentum going. Good things are happening in Opelousas, with Main Street, the ODD and city government, while things are now happening in Sunset, Grand Coteau and Washington,” Miller said.
Miller said his emphasis will be to continue obtaining funding for sewer, water and other infrastructure projects.
“Right now we have a lot of momentum going and I want that to continue,” Miller added.
Miller has spent the last eight years working with the John Bel Ewards administration, but now Louisiana has elected a Republican governor in Jeff Landry.
Miller indicated that he won’t be bothered by the transition.
“Jeff Landry is a South Louisiana guy and I feel that I will be able to establish a great relationship with his administration,” Miller added.