More than 3,300 cast early ballots in St. Mary
Absentee voting concluded Saturday with more than 3,300 early votes cast in St. Mary Parish during the weeklong period for the Oct. 22 election.
During early voting — held Oct. 8-15 — the Franklin and Morgan City offices received 3,303 combined votes. Another 69 were received by mail through Oct. 7.
The in-person totals included a combined 1,113 cast on Friday and Saturday, the last two days of voting.
On Friday, 609 votes were cast — 258 at the St. Mary Parish Registrar of Voter‘s office at the parish courthouse in Franklin and another 351 at the branch office in Morgan City.
On Saturday, 504 more votes were cast — 225 in Franklin and 279 in Morgan City.
Early voting also concluded in St. Martin and Assumption parishes.
Statewide, more than 160,000 early ballots were cast.
Parish government elections and the sheriff's race are included on local ballots.
Three candidates are vying for the sheriff's job after the retirement of 16-year office holder David Naquin in July.
Mark Hebert, of Franklin, former chief deputy and interim sheriff, is on the ballot with Patrick LaSalle, police chief of Patterson; George Rodriguez, a Franklin businessman; and Jack D. Smith, a Patterson businessman and former state representative.
St. Mary Parish Clerk of Court Cliff Dressel, Assessor Jarrod Longman and Coroner Francis ``Chip'' Metz Jr. are all reelected unopposed.
St. Mary Parish President incumbent Paul Naquin and Gary Duhon, current parish councilman for District 11, face off for the presidency in the election.
Parish Council District 2 incumbent Charles ``Butch'' Middleton is unopposed, as are District 4 incumbent Glen Hidalgo and District 5 incumbent Ken Singleton.
Parish races with more than one candidate are:
—Parish Council District 1: incumbent Craig Mathews, Herbert ``H.B.'' Bell and Lionel ``Butch'' Metz.
—Parish Council District 3: incumbent David Hanagriff and former councilman Peter Soprano.
—Parish Council District 6: incumbent Logan Fromenthal and Renesse A. Landry.
—Parish Council District 7: Rogers Liner and Tim Tregle.
—Parish Council District 8: Norris Crappell and Sterling Freyou.
—Parish Council District 9: incumbent Albert Foulcard and Rodney Olander.-Parish Council District 10: incumbent Steve Bierhorst and Darian ``Coach'' Breaux.
—Parish Council District 11: current District 7 representative Kevin Voisin and Greg Green.
Local candidates for justice of the peace Ward 4 in the Centerville/Verdunville area are Eric J. Gaudet Jr., William W. Lanclos Jr. and Louella Mandubourg Roberson.
There are two parishwide propositions on the ballot:
—The Disabled Veterans Homestead Exemption would allow doubling the homestead exemption for a permanently disabled veteran and/or their surviving spouse. Already approved statewide, the proposition requires local passage to kick in.
—The Consolidated School District 5 proposition renews the 11.18-mill tax that funds teacher pay and benefits.
At the top of the statewide ballot is a 10-person race for governor.
Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is seeking a second term and has nine opponents that include David Blanchard, Leonard "Lenny" Bollingham, "Ron" Ceasar, Cary J. Deaton, Tara Hollis, William Robert "Bob" Lang Jr., Scott Lewis, "Niki Bird" Papazoglakis and Ivo "Trey" Roberts.
Also on the ballot are four other statewide elected jobs, including for lieutenant governor and secretary of state; five constitutional amendments; state education board seats; many local offices and dozens of state House and Senate seats.
Democrats didn't field any candidates in the lieutenant governor and secretary of state races. Only GOP candidates are seeking the jobs.
Vying for lieutenant governor are incumbent Jay Dardenne of Baton Rouge and Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser of Port Sulphur. Running for secretary of state are incumbent Tom Schedler of Mandeville and House Speaker Jim Tucker of Terrytown.
Also on the statewide ballot, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain has two opponents in his reelection bid. They are Belinda Alexandrenko and Jamie LaBranche.
And longtime District 3 member of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Glenny Lee Buquet faces opposition by Lottie Polozola Beebe.
The local Senate District 21 race pits two Republicans against each other, Bret Allain of western St. Mary Parish and Darrin Guidry of Terrebonne Parish.
Rep. Sam Jones (D-Franklin) goes back in the District 50 House seat unopposed.
Statewide amendments on the ballot are:
—Amendment 1: Dedicates a portion of future tobacco settlement dollars to the state's free college tuition program known as TOPS; Renews a 4-cent state cigarette tax set to expire July 1 and dedicates the dollars generated by the tax to health care programs.
—Amendment 2: Requires a portion of any state surplus to pay down retirement debt, with 5 percent of any surplus earmarked for retirement debt in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 budget years and 10 percent thereafter.
—Amendment 3: Gives constitutional protection to the Patient's Compensation Fund and requires that it can only be used for medical malpractice claims.
—Amendment 4: Changes the repayment rules of Louisiana's "rainy day" fund, so money wouldn't have to be reimbursed in the year it is used or the following year. The repayment would be made in the third, fourth and fifth years, one-third at a time.
—Amendment 5: Continues a provision for New Orleans that allows the city to offer property without a minimum bid at a tax sale, if the property didn't sell for the minimum bid in a previous tax sale. The sales are held when an owner has been delinquent in paying taxes and the property is auctioned to the public.