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Fortenberry, Sartin vying for District E seat in runoff

Sherry Fortenberry believes in asking questions and taking notes.

She said that approach allowed her to receive the most votes for the City Council District E seat in Tuesday’s primary.

Fortenberry, a retired nurse, led four other candidates in the voting with 32.3 percent, or 134 votes. She will meet runner up Edward Sartin Sr. in the Dec. 6 runoff. Sartin garnered 103 votes, for 24.8 percent.

Fortenberry said she made herself visible during the primary.

“Blighted property, roads are a big issue. Safety and funding for the fire and police departments are all issues,” Fortenberry said Friday. “We haven’t had the violence in District E like in the city. I don’t know if I can do a lot about funding, but I ask questions to see who it is that can do something.”

Derik Thompson finished third in Tuesday’s voting with 83 votes, or 20 percent. J.E. “Big John” Magee managed 78 votes, or 18.8 percent. Ronald Penton managed 3.8 percent of the votes. Fortenberry said Thompson and Magee are now backing her.

“I appreciate their support,” Fortenberry said. “I think my opponents — and I include my Dec. 6 opponent Mr. Sartin — ran a very clean race, and I am so proud of that. That just goes to show what kind of people we have in the city of Bogalusa.”

Fortenberry said she is back on the campaign trail.

“I am still focused on the future of District E,” Fortenberry said. “I have already started knocking on doors asking for the votes. I wish all candidates in the runoffs the best of luck.”

Fortenberry said that type of dogged determination allowed her to top Tuesday’s primary.

“I got out and walked District E. I have knocked on doors,” Fortenberry said. “I have asked questions and tried to get answers. I have been working with Public Works Director James Hall and Rodney McGehee, code enforcement officer. Some things have started. Some have not. I’m sure there is a process. Like a baby learning to walk, I’m a new candidate and learning how things operate.”

Fortenberry said she has lived in the district for 49 years.

“I’m not a come here person. I’m a planted person,” Fortenberry said.

Sartin said community involvement is key in turning Bogalusa around.

“We have to keep striving and get the community involved and have things like town meetings,” Sartin said. “Whoever the mayor will be, I will support them.”

Sartin said streets and idle youth are key issues.

“One of the first things people keep bringing up are streets,” Sartin said. “We have to look into the budget for repairing the roads. We need to focus on trying to have something for the kids. We need to train them to go out and interview for a job. We need programs to train kids where they won’t be hanging out on a street corner.”

A resident of Victoria Street, Sartin suggested cleaning up Sunset Acres and finding ways to assist the elderly in case of an evacuation.

“Working for the people is what it’s all about,” Sartin said. “We can work together as a unit to get things done.”