Candidates crowd into Iberville Parish races

Tryve Brackin
BALLOT TAKING SHAPE...Iberville Parish Deputy Clerk Tracy Lopez receives qualifying papers from District 9 Iberville Parish Councilman Terry J. Bradford of Plaquemine as the qualifying for the October 22 primary elections last week. At stake are statewide, legislative and parish offices. Staff photo by Lin Pierce

A busy election season has shaped up for Iberville Parish voters. As qualifying in the October 22 primary closed Thursday, multiple candidates had signed up for all but parishwide offices except coroner and for 11 of the 13 Iberville Parish Council races.

Residents have until Wednesday (October 22) to register to vote or make changes in their voter registration to be eligible to participate in the primary elections.

It appeared Clerk of Court J. G. “Bubbie” Dupont Jr. would have opposition from White Castle Coach Ferrante Dominique, who filed last week as a no party candidate. On Monday, however, Dominique officially withdrew from the race, leaving Dupont unopposed for his seventh term in the office.

“After last week, not having a lot of help with my football staff, I just didn't feel right in my spirit about it,” Dominque said. He said he planned to dedicate himself to the students and his family, but would consider running for office in four years.

“My hat goes off to Bubbie,” Dominique said, adding he had a chance to meet with the longtime clerk before and after qualifying. “He's a man. I would love to have him on my team one day.”

Iberville will have at least one new parishwide official – Dr. James E. Grace of Plaquemine will succeed incumbent one-term Dr. Steven E. Lee as coroner. Lee said he would step aside after his deputy coroner announced for the office.

Also unopposed are District 1 Councilman Mitchel J. Ourso of White Castle and District 5 Councilman Edwin M. Reeves Jr. of Plaquemine.

Grace will be the first Republican in memory to hold a parishwide office in Iberville. Unless otherwise noted, the candidates listed in this story are Democrats.

As expected, there will be a three-way race for parish president between incumbent J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. and Parish Councilman   Eugene P. Stevens Jr., both of Plaquemine, and perennial candidate O'neal “Elmo” Bosley of White Castle.

With Sheriff Brent Allain retiring after three terms, nine candidates have crowded into the sheriff's race – St. Gabriel Police Chief Kevin “Butchie” Ambeau, Iberville Sheriff's Patrolman Harold Brooks Jr. of White Castle, Republican Michael “Coupella” Garvin of Grosse Tete, and six candidates from Plaquemine – no party candidate Kevin Q. Goins, Lionel Johnson, Wyatt Neely, Iberville Sheriff's Chief of Operations Aubrey St. Angelo Jr., District Attorney Investigator, Office Manager Brett M. Stassi and former Wildlife and Fisheries agent Glynn Stassi.

First-term Tax Assessor Randy Sexton of Grosse Tete drew opposition from four candidates – Therman E. Arnold, “other” party candidate Demetrius “Coach” Franklin, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Member Linda M. Johnson and Republican Glenn Patrick, who ran for the office four years ago. Arnold is from White Castle; the other candidates, from Plaquemine.

In the Iberville Parish Council districts, the contested races are shaping up this way:

District 1, White Castle area: Kipp V. Knight, Glenn Sanders, no party; incumbent Warren “T-Notchie” Taylor, and Larry “Bubba” Williams.

District 3, White Castle, Bayou Goula, Plaquemine areas: Former councilman Thomas E. Dominique Sr. of Plaquemine and incumbent Councilman Henry J. “Bucket” Scott of Bayou Goula. This is a repeat of the 2007 contest.

District 4, Eastside, Carville area: Joseph “Little Joe” Allen Jr., Sunny Green and incumbent Leonard “Buck” Jackson.

District 6, Plaquemine, Seymourville area: Incumbent Salaris Butler, Michael W. Jackson and Courtney P. Lewis.

(Lewis is the only woman to qualify for a parish office. Two women are on the ballot in legislative races in districts representing part of the parish.)

District 7, Plaquemine area: Ty Arnold, Plaquemine Building Inspector Brandon Troy Mellieon and incumbent Councilman Howard Oubre Jr.

District 8, Plaquemine area: Rob “Lil Soup” Kember, Hunter Markins and Guy Ruggerio have qualified for the seat being vacated by Stevens, who opted for the parish president's race.

District 9, Plaquemine area: Incumbent Terry J. Bradford and Republican David P. LoBue.

District 10, Bayou Sorrel area: Hubert Lynn Jones, incumbent Louis “Pete” Kelley and Keithen R. Pugh.

District 11, Grosse Tete area: Paul E. Kleinpeter and incumbent Tim Vallet.

District 12, Maringouin area: Iberville Parish Council Chair Matthew H. “Matt” Jewell, No Party candidate Garrick Scott and Sam W. Watson.

District 13, Eastside: No Party candidate Bart Morgan of Sunshine and incumbent Wayne M. Roy of St. Gabriel.

In multi-parish Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) District 3, Republican Lottie Polozola Beebe of Breaux Bridge will face Glenny Lee C. Buquet of Houma.

In BESE District 8, being vacated by Linda Johnson of Plaquemine, four candidates qualified – Russell Armstrong of Baton Rouge, No Party candidate Jimmy “Jim” Guillory of Plancheville, Caroline Hill of Baton Rouge and Domoine D. Rutledge.

After legislative reapportionment, Iberville will be split between two senatorial districts and among three House districts, raising its representation in the Legislature from three to five.

In a new state senatorial district, District 2, a field of six includes District 58 state Rep. Elton M. Aubert of Vacherie, Michael “Mike” Bell of Prairieville, Troy E. Brown of Paincourtville, Republican Alfred “Al” Carter of Thibodaux, George L. Grace Jr. of Sunshine and Republican Zaine “The Queen” Kasem of Baton Rouge.

In Senate District 17, being vacated by the term-limited Rob Marionneaux of Livonia, Larry Thomas of Clinton and Rick Ward III of Maringouin have signed up.

In State House District 18, of which north Iberville is now a part, incumbent Major Thibaut of New Roads is unopposed.

Dwayne “Gully” Bailey, of Donaldsonville and Gail Holland and Ed Price, both of Gonzales, are running in House District 58 to replace Aubert representing southern and eastern parts of the parish.

Republican Jason A. Morris of Sunshine will challenge incumbent state Rep. Karen St. Germain in House District 60.