Parish native in Supreme Court runoff race

Published 3:48 am Wednesday, November 6, 2019

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Early voting is underway and continues through Saturday, and Washington Parish voters have the option to send one of their own to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Will Crain, who was raised in Bogalusa and has many family members in Washington Parish, is a candidate in the November runoff election for the Louisiana Supreme Court’s 1st District seat.

Crain, a Republican, is competing with fellow Republican Hans Liljeberg. In the primary election on Oct. 12, Crain led a four-candidate race with 39 percent. Liljeberg finished in second with 32 percent.

Crain had a very strong performance in Washington Parish, which helped him achieve his first-place finish in the primary. Among parish voters alone, Crain took 82 percent of the vote.

If elected, Crain would become the first Washington Parish native to ever serve on the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Early voters will also get to make their voices heard in the following runoff races:

  • Governor — John Bel Edwards (Democrat) and “Eddie” Rispone (Republican).
  • Secretary of State — Kyle Ardoin (R) and “Gwen” Collins-Greenup (D).
  • State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, District 6 — “Ronnie” Morris (R) and Gregory Spiers (R).
  • District Judge, 22nd Judicial District Court, Division F — Harold Bartholomew Jr. (R) and Vincent J. “Vinny” Lobello (R)

Voters in Washington Parish District 1 will also be able to participate in a runoff election for their parish council member. That race is between “Joe” Culpepper (R) and Melvin Keith (D).

Early voting continues through Saturday, Nov. 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Early voting locations in Washington Parish are at Northshore Technical Community College’s Sullivan campus in Bogalusa, and the Washington Parish Courthouse in Franklinton.

Crain is the son of retired Judge Hillary “Buddy” Crain and Mary Crain of Bogalusa. Will Crain served on the 22nd District Court bench for four years, before he was elected to the state Court of Appeal in 2012.

Liljeberg has been serving as a judge on Louisiana’s 5th Circuit Court of Appeal, since his election in 2012.

Crain and Liljeberg are vying to fill the open 1st District seat, which was left vacant after President Donald Trump appointed Justice Greg Guidry as a federal judge. Justices are elected for 10-year terms, and Guidry’s term is due to end in 2028.

The winner of the runoff election will serve out the remaining eight years of Guidry’s term, and can then seek election to a full term.

The 1st District covers portions of Washington, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Orleans, Jefferson and St. Helena parishes.

Election Day for the gubernatorial general election is Saturday, Nov. 16, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.