Grizzaffi, Dragna in runoff for Morgan City mayor
MORGAN CITY, La. -- Morgan City mayoral candidates Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi and Lee Dragna will face each other in the Dec. 8 runoff.
Complete but unofficial election tallies from the Louisiana Secretary of State indicated that out of 5,312 votes cast in a field of five candidates, Grizzaffi won 1,884 voters, 35 percent, and Dragna came in at second place with 1,015 votes, 19 percent.
“Well, like I told all media outlets yesterday,” Grizzaffi said this morning, “we are very excited with the numbers that we achieved last night, and we also understand the importance of the city employees buying into the plans that we have in place. Boo Grizzaffi will be working with their ideas and my ideas to make this city better,” he said.
“We’re not looking to overhaul the city,” he said. “There’s a lot of good things we do now.”
Dragna also expressed optimism.
“I feel good,” he said at his home Tuesday evening. “It turned out pretty much how we thought it would be because Bart (Mancuso) got in and split the vote. We knew that. We’re first cousins.”
Former city chief administrative officer Larry Bergeron received 896 votes, 17 percent of all votes, and Mancuso, retired director of the city’s Department of Recreation and Culture, received 749 votes, 14 percent, and last place in the five-man race.
Parish councilman Kevin Voisin, who won 768 votes, 14 percent, said that he learned how a race with multiple candidates “can really split the vote up.”
Dragna said, “I think it’s going to be a tight race. If you take Bart’s votes and add them to mine, me and Boo are even.”
Dragna said that there would be greater difficulty in achieving high voter turnout for the December runoff.
“It’s not that they don’t have a reason to come out and vote, but they’re not voting for president,” he said.
“It’s a good day. I knew that Boo was going to slaughter everybody” because of “name recognition,” Dragna said.
Mancuso said this morning that running for mayor was “a good experience.”
“I enjoyed doing it. Of course, the outcome wasn’t what I wanted, but that’s the way that it works, and I accept it. I wish the people in the runoff well,” he said.
When asked if he would endorse either Dragna or Grizzaffi, he said, “I would consider it, but they have not asked me.”
Dragna expressed confidence about support from Mancuso’s supporters.
“Trust me when I tell you that 500 of those votes that Bart got are people that are friends and family of both of us, and they just took him over me because he was in the city (government) already,” Dragna said. “A lot of them, they even told me who they were voting for that one reason.”
Mancuso was asked if he would seek elected office again.
“As the old time politicians say, ‘never say never,’ but it’s not on my radar,” he said. “I appreciate all of the support that I received. It was a rewarding experience.”
Bergeron also said that running for mayor was a rewarding experience.
“Well, it’s been a tremendous lifetime experience for me to be out in the public,” he said. “I thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people. I think that the community was involved in the elections. I look forward to the moving forward of Morgan City,” Bergeron said.
“Since you have the possibility of newcomers to politics, you have some fresh ideas, some new ways of doing things. So, there will be new styles. If any of them think I can help them, I offer my help to them,” he said.
Bergeron was asked if he would endorse either Grizzaffi or Dragna.
“I don’t anticipate that I will. Neither of the two has asked me to endorse them. I think I’d rather take the sideline,” he said.
“I’ve seen the management styles of the two of them, and I do have a preference. I guess we’d be in decent hands with either one of them, but the election itself has been a good, clean campaign, and I appreciate that. I appreciate anybody that offers themselves for political candidacy.”
Voisin said, “The people spoke. They wanted the two newcomers, the two that are not currently in politics.”
Voisin said,“I don’t believe in endorsements. I think people are smart enough to make their own decisions. They know everybody,” Voisin said.
“I’m friends with both of them. I’ll work with either one that is elected. I’m going back to the parish council and work with whoever people chose as mayor, trying to get things done with Morgan City from the parish level.”
Grizzaffi said that he hopes that voters will be able to identify the differences between his plan and Dragna’s plan before the runoff.
“I’ve been confident since day one that I have the best plan and the best abilities to lead this city over the next four years, and that hasn’t changed. Ultimately, it’s up to the citizens to exercise their right to vote and chose their candidate, and all I can do is my best,” he said.