North End school board members lose races

Deidre Cruse

Iberville Parish voters generally favored incumbents in Saturday's primary elections, with the notable exception of North End voters who dismissed their two School Board members.

Voters settled all but two local elections in Saturday's primaries. Some 35 percent of Iberville's 21,000 registered voters participated, Clerk of Court J. G. “Bubbie” Dupont Jr. said, noting it was even better than his prediction of 30 percent. Statewide, only 22 percent of voters turned out.

White Castle voters elected Alderman Gerald Jermarr as their new mayor, handed their federally indicted Police Chief Mario D. Brown a first-primary victory over two challengers and dismissed one of their incumbent aldermen. The police chief's brother, Mayor Maurice Brown, also under federal indictment, was prohibited from running for re-election because of non-payment of a state ethics fine.

Barbara “Bo” O'Bear and Dionne “Bambi” Lewis will join incumbents John “Plug” Barlow, Jonathan “JonKris” Greene and Garnell Young on the White Castle Board of Aldermen. Incumbent  Alderman Erick “Duck” Batiste did not make the cut.

Mariongouin voters re-elected Mayor John F. Overton and Police Chief John E. Simien, along with two of three incumbent Board of Aldermen members seeking re-election. New members Sam W. Watson and Clarence “D-Dot” Wiley will join incumbents Kirkland Anderson Sr. and Demi Vorise on the board. Incumbent Edward James Jr. faces a run-off against John E. Carriere in the November 2 general election.

The second local run-off will be in Iberville Parish School Board District A between Karen “Kay” Jewell, who was 43 votes shy of a first-primary victory, and Donald Ray Patterson. Incumbent Stanley Washington finished last in the Maringouin-area district.

District B incumbent David “Worm” Daigle  of Grosse Tete finished 215 votes behind Grosse Tete Municipal Clerk Pamela George. Daigle avoided a strong push for his recall in 2009 after he cast the deciding vote to close North Iberville High School.

The winner of the District A run-off and George will be the only new faces on the 15-member School Board come January. The other seven incumbents in contested races won their elections.

The biggest local winner was incumbent Darlene M. Ourso in District O in the White Castle area, who won 561 votes (83 percent) and had a 444-vote lead over  challenger Kenneth Burleigh.

In the Plaquemine area, Michael J. Hebert Jr. garnered 53 percent of the vote to take a first primary win over two opponents, Rhett E. Marionneaux and Donna R. Purpera; Thomas “Tom” Delahaye edged first-time candidate Billy Dunn Sr. by 22 votes, and Yolanda Butler Laws received 57 percent of the vote in a race with Earl Pania.

Incumbent Freddie “Sam” Molden III of Bayou Goula, challenged by his sister in law Irene Delone Dennis, won with 66 percent of the vote in District L in the southern part of the parish.

On the Eastside, incumbent Nancy T. Broussard took 58 percent of the vote in her win over Annette A. Brigalia in District K, and School Board President Melvin Lodge garnered 56 percent of the vote to win over two challengers in District M, Russell Redditt and Felton “Popie” Williams Jr.

The six other School Board members were elected without opposition. They were Glyna M. Kelley, District C; Paul B. Distefano, District E; Michael “Chief” Barbee, District F; Dorothy R. Sansoni, District H; Brian S. Willis, District J, and Albertha Hasten, District N.

In the special election for lieutenant governor, like voters statewide, local voters preferred Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, who won 34 percent of the vote here, and New Orleans attorney and political newcomer Caroline Fayard, who won 30 percent.

Statewide, Dardenne led with 180,915 votes (28 percent), with Fayard garnering 159,432 votes (24 percent). Country music singer Sammy Kershaw finished with 19 percent in the eight-candidate field.

Incumbent Lambert C. Boissiere III of New Orleans garnered 64 percent of the vote here and 75 percent district wide to win his race for Public Service Commission from District 3. John F. Schwegmann was his challenger. Districtwide, Boissiere received 73,253 votes, to 20,821 for Schegmann.

Local voters approved proposed constitutional amendment No. 1 moving up the opening of annual legislative sessions by 54 to 46 percent, and rejected amendment No. 2 exempting members of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness by the same margin.

Statewide, voters approved both. Amendment No. 1 passed by 370,353 votes (63 percent) to 221,106 (37 percent), and amendment No. 2 passed by 305,996 votes (52 percent) to 283,065 votes (48 percent).