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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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Who takes over as governor, parish president to be decided Saturday

Who takes over as governor, parish president to be decided Saturday

Louisiana voters will be asked to choose a new governor to replace Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is term-limited and leaves office in January.

In Louisiana's open primary election on October 24, two candidates who had the most votes and who will square off in Saturday’s runoff are Democratic State Rep. John Bel Edwards and Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter.

In the runoff for lieutenant governor, Republican Billy Nungesser and Democrat Kip Holden will face off. Holden is the mayor of Baton Rouge, while Nungesser is the former president of Plaquemines Parish.

The lieutenant governor leads Louisiana's Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and serves as the figurehead for the state's $11 billion tourism industry.

In the attorney general’s race, Republican incumbent Attorney General Buddy Caldwell will face a stiff challenge to hang onto his seat from former Congressman Jeff Landry, who received the endorsement of the state Republican Party.

On the local level, in the Lafourche Parish President’s race, voters will decide between Raceland businessman Jimmy Cantrelle, no party, and Republican incumbent Charlotte Randolph.

Randolph now has a shot at an unprecedented fourth consecutive term in office.

In the races for Lafourche Parish councilmen, District 6 incumbent Lindel Toups will face challenger Corey Perrillioux. Both have no party affiliation.

In District 8, incumbent Jerry Lafont, no party, faces a challenge from Democrat Gary Champagne.

Newly elected board members will be sworn in for their new four-year terms in January.

Voters in the Tenth Ward will decide on two Lafourche Hospital Service District No. 1 property tax renewals.

The first proposition of 3.34 mills will go toward operations and maintenance of Lady of the Sea General Hospital in Galliano.

The tax is expected to raise about $2.2 million annually and makes up 8 percent of the hospital's overall budget, Lady of the Sea CEO Karen Collins said.

Lafourche Parish Assessor Wendy Thibodeaux said the 3.34 millage proposal would cost a 10th Ward resident with a $100,000 home and homestead exemption $8.35 a year.

If the millage is renewed, it will be collected from 2016 to 2025.

The other proposed millage of 3.1 mills is levied by the Hospital District but goes to Lafourche Ambulance District No.1.

The millage, which is expected to bring in about $2 million annually, is the only tax the ambulance district collects and makes up about 56 percent of its budget, said Brady Daigle, operations manager for the district.

The Ambulance District covers about 50 to 60 miles from the Intracoastal Waterway in Larose to Grand Isle.
Money from the millage helps pay for staffing and state-of-the-art equipment for the ambulances, Daigle said.

If the millage is not renewed, at least half of the nonprofit organizations services would have to be cut, said Daigle.

Voters in Lafourche Parish's Drainage District No. 1 will decide whether to renew a 0.9 millage for operating and maintaining drainage projects in the district for the next 10 years.

On the east side of Bayou Lafourche, the district covers an area roughly from Gheens Road to Golden Meadow. On the west side, the district covers from Ochsner St. Anne General Hospital in Raceland to Golden Meadow.

The millage, which is the only tax the district collects, is expected to bring in about $495,000 annually, according to the proposition.

Lafourche Parish Assessor Wendy Thibodeaux said the proposed millage would cost a homeowner with a $100,000 home and homestead exemption $2.25 annually.

Voters are reminded that when you go to cast your vote you will be asked to identify yourself with either a photo ID or signature on a voter affidavit. You may use a driver's license, a Louisiana special ID or some other generally recognized picture ID that has your name and signature.

Voting hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.