Early voting underway for lengthy Nov. 8 ballot

Staff Report

The early voting period kicked off Tuesday in Iberville Parish and across Louisiana for a lengthy ballot that includes congressional seats, local elections and constitutional amendments.

Voters can cast their votes at the Iberville Parish Registrar of Voters Office in Room 209 of the Iberville Parish Courthouse on 58050 Meriam Street in Plaquemine. For further information, call (225) 687-5201.

Incumbent mayors in Maringouin and White Castle, along with aldermen, will vie for another term in office in a long list of municipal elections. Meanwhile, voters in two Plaquemine districts will elect candidates who will fill the unexpired terms of two selectmen – Oscar S. Mellion and Jimmie “Fatboy” Randle, who died in office.

The slate also includes an election to finish the unexpired term of District 17 State Senator Rick Ward. In addition, voters will decide on a U.S. Senate race and   district House seats on Capitol Hill.

Runoffs, if required, will be held Saturday, Dec. 10. Along with the runoffs, voters will decide the fate of three additional constitutional amendments.


District 17 State Representative Jeremy S. LaCombe, D- New Roads, qualified for the seat, along with West Baton Rouge Parish Councilman Caleb Seth Kleinpeter, R-Port Allen, and Kirk Rousset, R-Oscar.


Races will elect candidates to permanent unexpired terms District 2 and District 6 selectmen.

In District 2, Michael Carlin, Jasmine Carter and Dexter Washington will vie for the seat held by longtime Oscar S. Mellion, who died Nov. 2, 2021.

In District 6, Cody Edmond, Corey Jenkins and Natasha Johnson entered the race to fill seat occupied by Jimmie Randle, who died April 2.

Both served more than 20 years on the Board of Selectmen.


Mayor John Morris III will seek a second in term in office when he runs against Florida Melancon.

Longtime Police Chief Mario Brown Sr. will vie for another term when he faces Harold Brooks Jr.

Voters will also select five of the following candidates for the Board of Aldermen: Incumbents Erick “Duck” Batiste, Candice Depron and Kipp Knight are on the ballot, along with Mervin “Merv” Allen Jr., Christine M.

Jones, Chamarcus Lewis and Ernie J. Starks.


Mayor Maurice L. Harris faces opposition from Alderwoman Cherise D. Gougisha and Letha K. Butler.

Candidates for the Board of Aldermen include incumbents Jerome “Gillis” Martin Jr. and Sam Watson, along with Sherika Anderson, Justin Bessix, John Carriere, Dedric Davenport, Veronica “Bonnie” Hill, Edna “Lil Bit” Mitchel, Katrell Poole, Brian “Gumble Robinson, Katie Davenport Watson and Sam W. Watson.

Police Chief Hosea Anderson went unopposed.


In the Iberville Parish School Board race, Mario Migliacio went unopposed for the District E seat, which has been occupied by Polly Distefano Higdon.

Higdon, meanwhile, faces opposition from fellow Plaquemine resident John Morgan for the “At Large” seat. That post is currently occupied by White Castle resident/educator Darlene Ourso, who did not qualify for another term.

Meanwhile, Pam George – who represents District C, in the northern end of the parish – went unopposed.

Here is the list of races:

(One to be elected)

District A: Incumbent Theresa Roy seeks another term when she faces Jan Drinkwater.

District B: Incumbent Melvin Lodge received opposition from Catherine Williams.

District D: Kayla Tempanaro Huter and Daven Tullier.

District F: Incumbent Yolanda Laws will face opposition from Claysha “Clay” Williams.

District G: Board President Chris Daigle seeks reelection against Jasmine Jackson.

District H: Incumbent Michael Hebert Jr. drew opposition from Brittany Tillman.


(One to be elected)

  • Beryl A. Billiot, no affiliation, Kentwood.
  • Gary Chambers Jr., D-Baton Rouge
  • Devin Lance Graham, R-Gonzales
  • “Xan” John, “other” party affiliation, Lafayette
  • Incumbent John Kennedy, R-Baton Rouge
  • W. Thoams La Fontaine Olson, no affiliation, New Orleans
  • Bradley McMorris, Independent, Livingston
  • MV “Vinny” Mendoza, D-Ponchatoula
  • Luke Mixon, D-Bunkie
  • Salvador P. Rodriguez, D-Tangipahoa
  • Aaron Stigler, Libertarian-Hammond
  • Sylvia Steib, D-Metairie
  • Thomas Wenn, Other, Amite


  • Troy A. Carter, D-New Orleans
  • Dan Lux, R-Harvey


  • Brian Belzer, R-Prairieville
  • Rufus Holt Craig Jr., Libertarian- Baton Rouge
  • Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge


  • Tanner Magee, R-Houma
  • Steven Miller, R-Raceland


(One to be elected)

  • Lambert C. Boissiere III, D-New Orleans
  • Willie Jones, D-New Orleans
  • Davante Lewis, D-Baton Rouge
  • Gregory Manning, D-New Orleans
  • Jesse Thompson, D-Plaquemine


Eight constitutional amendments will also go before voters for approval.

Amendment 1: Larger stock investments for trust funds.

Amendment 2: Property tax exemptions for veterans with disabilities.

Amendment 3: Political activity for civil service members when family members run for office.

Amendment 4: Waiving charges for water use if infrastructure is damaged.

Amendment 5: Local authority over property tax rates.

Amendment 6: Property tax assessment increases in Orleans Parish.

Amendment 7: Limits on involuntary servitude.

Amendment 8: Property tax assessments for certain people with disabilities.