Ourso has richest warchest, but Stevens spending more

Deidre Cruse, Governmental Reporter

Parish Councilman Eugene P. Stevens Jr. had outspent incumbent Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr., but Ourso is better financed in his bid for a fourth full term in the office, according to their latest campaign finance reports.

In the parishwide race for tax assessor, incumbent John R. “Randy” Sexton of Grosse Tete appeared by far to be leading the field of five candidates in both contributions and spending.

Stevens, a former Parish Council chair, took in $25,625 in contributions, personally lent his campaign $38,000, spent $58,502 and had $5,122.97 in cash as he filed his report due September 22, 30 days ahead of the October 22 primary.

Ourso started the reporting period (March 14 to September 12) with $34,039, received contributions of $63,775, declared $52 in interest, expenditures of $33,130 and remaining funds of $64,737.

The third man in the race, O'Neal “Elmo” Bosley reported $4,000 on hand at the beginning of the period, receipts of $1,500 and $2,500 in expenditures and $2,500 on hand at the end of the reporting period.

Stevens showed top contributions of $2,500 each from Compliance Environmental of Baton Rouge, Daniel Miremont of Baton Rouge, REK Investments of Plaquemine and PRP Services.

Stevens spending included $25,013 in payments to Ourso Beychok of Baton Rouge for campaign consulting, campaign “push” cards, television advertising on Cox Cable and mailers, and $11,000 to Myers Reseaerch & Strategic Services for a survey.

Ourso reported $2,500 contributions from Chad Bacar of Baton Rouge, Antonio Clayton, CST Land Development, Henry C. Eyre Jr. of Baton Rogue, Gerald Hebert of Baton Rouge, RS Corporation of Baton Rouge, Richard Stewart of Prairieville and Whitehead Law First.

Ourso's top expenditures included payments of $5,627 to Vicknair Printing for campaign materials, $5,000 to Cuisine Louisiane of Plaquemine for catering services and $2,000 to Parish Councilman Henry J. “Bucket” Scott of Bayou Goula for refurbishing campaign signs.

According to his report, Ourso paid $1,000 to Monica Thibodaux for consulting services. He also made a $300 contribution to the campaign of Brandon Mellieon, who is challenging long-time incumbent District 7 Parish Councilman Howard Oubre Jr. of Plaquemine.

In the assessor's race, Sexton reported cash on hand at the beginning of the reporting period of $7,212, contributions of $24,225, spending of $24,897 and funds on hand at the close of the period of $6,519.

His top contributions, of $2,500 each, came from the Plaquemine law firm of Dupont Dupont Dupont, which includes former Assessor James H. “Jimmy” Dupont and his brother District Judge William C. Dupont, and Regrets-None of Plaquemine.

His largest expenditures included payments totaling $5,355 to Iberville Sign & Design and $2,517 to Fastsigns.

Sexton also contributed $250 each to Parish Council campaign of Brandon Mellieon, sheriff's candidates Aubrey St. Angelo Jr. and Brett Stassi, and a $100 contribution to Steven's parish presidential campaign.

Linda M. Johnson of Plaquemine, giving up her state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education seat to run for assessor, reported receipts of $9,950, including $7,125 in contributions and $2,825 in personal loans to her campaign, and spending of $7,788. She had $2,162 on hand at the end of the reporting period.

Candidate Therman E. Arnold of White Castle reporting having $1,354 on hand at the beginning of the reporting period, and spending it for yard signs and his qualifying fee.

Glenn Patrick, making a second try for the office, reported contributions of $337.50, which he used to pay his qualifying fee.

A report was not available online for the fifth candidate in the race, Demetrius “Coach” Franklin of Plaquemine.