Sheriff, president re-elected

Published 4:07 am Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal and Parish President Richard “Ned” Thomas fended off challenges from opponents Saturday, as they earned re-election.

Seal, who ran as a Democratic Party candidate, received 7,169 votes in Washington Parish, according to unofficial results from the Louisiana Secretary of State. Democrat opponent Olander “Smitty” Smith received 6,043 votes and Democrat opponent Demille Topps received 294 votes.

Seal earned 53 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff. To prevent a runoff, a candidate must win a clear majority of the vote, which is 50 percent plus at least one more single vote.

On Monday, Seal went to the Registrar of Voters’ Office in Franklinton and switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.

In remarks to the media, he said that many of the Democratic Party’s policy positions no longer align with his personal views. Seal specifically noted that he disagrees with the party’s stances on abortion, immigration reform and the right to bear arms.

Thomas, a Democrat, defeated Republican challenger, Ryan Seal. Thomas received 6,912 votes (52 percent) to Seal’s 6,446 votes (48 percent).

Two of Washington Parish’s incumbent state legislators also easily won re-election.

Malinda Brumfield White, a Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Phillipp Bedwell in the race for District 75 of the Louisiana House of Representatives. The district includes most of Washington Parish, as well as a small portion of St. Tammany Parish.

Within the entire district, White received 64 percent of the 11,406 votes cast. Among just Washington Parish voters, White received 7,255 votes (65 percent) to Bedwell’s 3,940 votes (35 percent).

Beth Mizell, a Republican, defeated Democrat challenger Darrell Fairburn in the race for District 12 of the Louisiana State Senate. The district includes Washington Parish, as well as portions of St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.

Within the entire district, Mizell received 69 percent of the 35,856 votes cast. Among just Washington Parish voters, Mizell received 9,294 votes (70 percent) to Fairburn’s 3,934 votes (30 percent).

Both White and Mizell were re-elected for their second terms.

In District 74 of the House, Republican Larry Frieman won the race to replace Republican Scott Simon, who was term-limited from seeking re-election. Frieman defeated Democrat challenger Cindy Renee Winch. The district includes a portion of Washington, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.

Within the entire district, Frieman received 82 percent of the 13,705 votes cast. Among just Washington Parish voters, Frieman received 1,620 votes (79 percent) to Winch’s 427 votes (21 percent).

There was a definitive winner in each Parish Council race, except in District 1. Republican Joe Culpepper (897 votes) will face off against Democrat Melvin Keith (642 votes) in a runoff election on Saturday, Nov. 16. Incumbent Democrat Perry Talley (436 votes) finished in third place. Culpepper received 45 percent of the vote, which was not enough to avoid the runoff.

In District 2, Republican Shawn Rice (1,088 votes) defeated Republican Kendall L. Amacker (853 votes). In District 3, Republican Kim Wagner (842 votes) defeated Republican incumbent Christopher Workman (641 votes).

In District 4, Democrat Clark Harry (929 votes) defeated Democrat Gloria W. Kates (545 votes). In District 6, Democrat incumbent Reginald McMasters (1,071 votes) defeated Independent Shane Smith (806 votes). And in District 7, Republican Carley King (1,164 votes) defeated no-party-affiliated incumbent David Anthony (930 votes).

In the city of Bogalusa, three property tax referendums easily were renewed for another 10 years. Citizens voted yes by more than 60 percent on each of the ballot initiatives.

In a parish-wide vote, an amendment to re-establish a modified parish home rule charter failed by a vote of 58 percent against.

Statewide, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards is headed to a runoff against Republican challenger Eddie Rispone. Edwards won 47 percent of the vote, Rispone took 27 percent and Republican challenger U.S. Rep. Dr. Ralph Abraham took 24 percent.

In the race for parish coroner, Democrat incumbent Rogelio “Roger” Casama (8,385 votes) defeated Democrat John “Trey” Tucker (4,224 votes).

In the race for Associate Justice, Supreme Court, 1st Supreme Court District, there will be a runoff. Republican Will Crain, a Bogalusa native, led the district with 39 percent of the vote and will be challenged by Republican Hans Liljeberg, who had 32 percent. There were a total of four candidates in the race. Among just Washington Parish voters, Crain received 82 percent of the 12,425 votes cast.

The race for BESE District 6 will be a runoff between Republican Ronnie Morris (49 percent of the district-wide vote) and Republican Gregory Spiers (22 percent). Democrat Ciara Hart just missed qualifying for the runoff, finishing with 21 percent.

There will also be a runoff in the race for District Judge, 22nd Judicial District Court, Division F. There were seven candidates in the crowded race. Republican Vinny Lobello (26 percent of the district-wide vote) will face off against Republican Harold Bartholomew Jr. (19 percent). Republican John Keller also received 19 percent, but his vote total of 16,227 votes was lower than Bartholomew’s 16,602 votes.

The unofficial turnout in Washington Parish was 49.1 percent. For a complete listing of all races, visit the Louisiana Secretary of State website at voterportal.sos.la.gov.