Burris, Zaunbrecher new judges

Published 4:20 am Wednesday, October 18, 2017

William H. “Billy” Burris and Alan Zaunbrecher defeated their opponents in Saturday’s election, in contested races for two open judge seats in the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court.

In the race for Division E, Burris defeated Jay Adair by 16,277 votes to 15,985, a difference of just 292 votes.

Washington Parish voters proved key in Burris’ win, as he collected 85 percent of those votes (4,207 votes to Adair’s 752). Burris is the son of William J. Burris, who recently retired from the Division E judgeship.

In Division H, Zaunbrecher defeated Reginald Laurent, 62 percent to 38 percent (20,039 votes to 12,107 votes). Among Washington Parish voters only, Zaunbrecher won 58 percent to 42 percent.

Two fire district millages were also renewed. The Washington Parish Fire District No. 2 millage renewal was approved with 57 percent voting yes, and the Fire District No. 8 millage renewal was approved with 66 percent voting yes.

In the statewide election for treasurer, Derrick Edwards of the Democratic Party and John Schroder of the Republican Party are headed to a runoff. Edwards led a six-candidate field with 31 percent, followed by Schroder with 24 percent.

Also receiving votes in the race, but falling short of the runoff, were Angele Davis (22 percent), Neil Riser (18 percent), Terry Hughes (3 percent) and Joseph Little (2 percent). Davis, Riser and Hughes were Republican Party candidates, and Joseph Little was a Libertarian Party candidate.

Among Washington Parish voters, Schroder received 37 percent of the vote, Edwards received 26 percent and Riser received 18 percent.

The runoff election for state treasurer will be Saturday, Nov. 18.

The state’s voters also approved three new state constitutional amendments in Saturday’s election. Amendment No. 1 — exemption of property taxes for construction sites passed with 66 percent, Amendment No. 2 — homestead exemption for unmarried surviving spouse passed with 67 percent, and Amendment No. 3 — dedicate any new taxes (gas) into the Construction Subfund passed with 53 percent.

Turnout was light in Saturday’s election. Across the state, approximately 13.5 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot. Among Washington Parish voters, turnout was approximately 18 percent.