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Anslum, Smith in sheriff’s runoff

The race for St. Mary Parish sheriff is headed for a Dec. 8 runoff between Interim Sheriff Scott Anslum and former Chitimacha Police Chief Blaise Smith.

Anslum has served as interim sheriff since January when former Sheriff Mark Hebert retired. The winner of the runoff will serve the remaining year of Hebert’s term.

Anslum has over 25 years of experience in law enforcement. Smith has 47 years of law enforcement experience and spent his last seven years as police chief of the sovereign nation of the Chitimacha.

In the Tuesday primary, Anslum received 34 percent of the vote, or 5,982 votes, while Smith got 23 percent, or 4,046 votes. Morgan City Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi was a close third in the sheriff’s race, receiving 22 percent, or 3,891 votes, according to complete but unofficial results on the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website.

Lonnie LaBouve got 11 percent, 1,906 votes, and Carl Thornton had 9 percent, 1,608 votes.

“We worked hard to get to this point,” Anslum said. “We’re going to continue to work hard as we move into the runoff portion of the election.”

Smith thanked everyone who exercised their right to vote whether they voted for him or not.

“With five candidates, we offered a lot for the citizens of St. Mary Parish,” Smith said. “I’m just pleased to be in the runoff.”

Anslum expressed thanks to his family, friends, supporters, sheriff’s office employees and the other candidates in the race who made the sacrifice to run for office.

“The public’s spoken … how important it is for law enforcement to be a big part of being the sheriff,” Anslum said.

Smith worked in “about every aspect of law enforcement that you can be through,” he said. He also has the leadership experience that should be required for a sheriff, Smith said.

Before becoming interim sheriff, Anslum was chief deputy for the sheriff’s office. Anslum is a former St. Mary Parish jail warden and served on a federal task force with the Drug Enforcement Agency for over five years.

“I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve worked hard as I worked up and was promoted through the ranks,” Anslum said.

Anslum said he has “the unique experience” of being a sheriff of which the community can be proud.

Smith pointed to several key issues, including doing a better job with uniform patrol and securing the parish jail in Centerville in the aftermath of five inmates escaping in June, he said.

There are also “some budget issues that we need to take a look at,” Smith said.

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