Seal wins 2nd term as sheriff

Published 8:29 am Wednesday, October 28, 2015

After Saturday’s election victory over challenger Scott Blair, Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said he now has the opportunity to finish what he started during his first term.

“I just want to thank the people who voted for me and I’m overwhelmed by the vote I got,” Seal said. “It was a hard, grueling campaign. Mr. Blair called me Saturday and conceded, and I appreciated that. I’m looking forward to finishing the job I started three years ago.”

Seal won with 7,416 votes, or 57 percent, to Blair’s 43 percent, or 5,521 votes. Only 47.7 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the race.

The race was contentious throughout the campaign. Blair ran several full-page advertisements in parish newspapers, questioning Seal’s operation of the office and disputing the facts Seal used to show progress.

”I ran on my record and let it speak for itself,” Seal said. “Our polls showed us we were leading from the beginning and we weren’t going to stoop to that level of politics. I hadn’t done it in 22 years, and I wasn’t going to start now.”   

Seal said his agenda for the next four years is clear.

“We’re looking forward to cleaning up the debt that we inherited when we came into office,” Seal said. “(Blair) disputed my numbers, but the fact of the matter was we inherited a bankrupt office. My song never changed.

“We’re looking forward to trying to find money to pay our deputies a livable wage. We‘re going to continue to put drug dealers in jail and anyone else who breaks the law.”

Blair has more than 17 years of experience with the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, including five months as interim sheriff during 2001. He lost a special election to Aubrey Jones. Blair said he was taken aback by Seal’s popularity.

“We were a little surprised by the election. We thought we were in a little better shape,” Blair said. “I would like to think the result was because of a low turnout. In Varnado, Angie, Thomas and Hackley, we felt we would be stronger in those areas.”

Blair carried the Thomas precinct 178-142, as well as Hackley, 211-204. Seal carried Varnado, 248-222, and Angie, 290-258.

Blair said Seal’s overall popularity might have countered Blair’s campaign ads.

“Apparently, Randy is a well-known and well-liked person,” Blair said. “We knew it would be hard to overcome that.

“We did bring out a lot of issues, but people didn’t seem to get the message. To a lot of people, it didn’t seem to matter.”

Seal said he intends to assist everybody as before.

“Everything I said was so, so undoubtedly the people believed me,” Seal said. “I’m also here to help the people who didn’t vote for me. I hope the people can get over any hurt feelings and work together to improve the parish.”