Murphy, Mizell qualify for runoff

Published 8:34 am Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Franklinton Republican Beth Mizell finished ahead of three other candidates in Saturday’s primary election for the State Sen. District 12 seat vacated by Ben Nevers. Nevers was unable to run for re-election, due to term limits.

Among district voters, Mizell received 14,344 votes, or 43 percent. Runner-up Mickey Murphy, a Democrat from Bogalusa, earned 10,767 votes, or 33 percent. Both qualified for a runoff election on  Saturday, Nov. 21.

District 12 encompasses the whole of Washington Parish, and northern parts of St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.

Trailing the leaders were Hammond Republican Brett Duncan and Franklinton independent John Seal. Duncan finished with 6,827 votes, or 21 percent, while Seal managed 1,138 votes, or 3 percent.

“I just want to say thanks to the voters of District 12 for your support on Saturday,” Mizell said. “We were able to come out first in a field of four candidates because of your help. I congratulate Mr. Murphy on making the runoff and I look forward to the next few weeks as an opportunity to clearly define our differences.”

Murphy has challenged Mizell to a series of three debates in each parish on the issues.

“I look forward to debates, forums and meetings where the public can hear our views on the issues — Mr. Murphy, as a Democrat, and myself, as a conservative Republican,” Mizell said. “Again, many thanks to the voters of District 12 for their support and I ask for your help one more time to win on Nov. 21.”

Murphy is running for the first time for political office.

“You’ll never know how humbled and grateful I am for the support I received Saturday night,” Murphy said. “I’m looking forward to having a great debate about the future of this district and our state over the next month.”

Among only Washington Parish voters, Mizell finished with 43 percent (5,436 votes), Murphy had 40 percent (5,007 votes), Duncan finished with 12 percent (1,499 votes) and Seal had 5 percent (604 votes).

Murphy said education, workforce development and economic development are the top issues on the local, parish and state levels.

“I have over 40 years experience putting people to work with good-paying jobs,” he said. “I want to put that experience and all my community service experience to work for the people of this district.”