Saturday’s Election had a historic result

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, October 18, 2023

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WASHINGTON PARISH, La. – After months of campaigning, Washington Parish voters have spoken and created runoffs for the two central parish offices on the ballot.  

Challenger Jason Smith and incumbent Sheriff Randy Seal will compete in the Nov. 18 runoff for the sheriff’s office. Smith led the four candidates with 42% of the vote, followed by Seal with 34%. In the race for Parish President, Ryan Seal and Malinda White also head to the runoff. Seal led all candidates with 39% of the vote, followed by White with 27%.

Smith, who bested Seal by about 1,000 votes, said he was “humbled by the support” he received. “2 out of 3 voters in the Parish have decided that they want to move Washington Parish forward,” Smith added. While there was animosity between Smith and Seal during the campaign trail, Smith thanked the other candidates, saying he wanted to “work with them to gain their support. We aren’t quite at the finish yet, but we are encouraged by how many people are ready for change. Help is on the way.”

White thanked her supporters after the results, saying, “Tonight, I am grateful for the incredible support our community has shown during this election. Your trust and dedication to our cause have been inspiring.” She assured her supporters that her “commitment to addressing your concerns and earning your continued trust remains unwavering. Your voices, hopes, and dreams for Washington Parish drive me to serve with passion and determination.”

Seal had 4,711 votes, and White trailed Seal with 3,220 votes. Third place went to Sarah Cook, who had 22% of the vote, and David Anthony took fourth place with 13%. 

In the race to succeed Malinda White as 75th District State Representative, John Wyble and Kelvin May also join the runoff. Wyble had 48% of the vote, and May had 26%. Wyble said that he looks forward to working hard for everyone and wants to continue the work he has done for education. “I’m ready to get our area the help it deserves,” Wyble said. Beth Mizell was reelected to her District 12 State Senate seat, taking Washington Parish and parts of Tangipahoa and St. Tammany parishes efficiently against two opponents.

For the two vacant 22nd Judicial District Court judge’s positions, Tara Zeller and Alan Black led in Washington Parish and also won the district overall. In three Washington Parish Council races on the ballot, Parish Council chairman Shawn Rice was reelected in District 2; Councilman Clark Harry was narrowly reelected in District 4, and Councilman Reginald McMasters faces a Nov. 18 runoff in District 6. 

Attorney General Jeff Landry won the race for Governor outright in the gubernatorial race, beating more challengers in a Gubernatorial jungle primary than anyone before. He will be sworn in this coming January to succeed Gov. John Bel Edwards, who was term-limited. Landry returns the Governor’s office to the Republican Party after eight years of Democratic control. Statewide, Landry won with 547,828 votes (52%), and runner-up Shawn Wilson, a Democrat, had 275,527 votes (26%). 

All four constitutional amendments on the ballot were approved by the voters, both statewide and in Washington Parish. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser won re-election with 66% of the vote statewide and 74% in Washington Parish. The Attorney General and Secretary of State candidates will participate in the runoff election, with both races comprising only women. Lindsey Cheek and Liz Murrill advanced for Attorney General, while Gwen Collins-Greenup and Nancy Landry will face off for Secretary of State. 

The runoff elections will occur on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023.

About Timothy Holdiness

Timothy Holdiness is a native of Louisiana and has been published in several state, national and international publications. He has earned two undergraduate degrees in Biology, most recently from Northwestern State University in 2022. Notably, Holdiness was the 2014 Microsoft Office Specialist United States Champion in PowerPoint 2010.

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