The race for the District 8 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives highlights election day this Saturday, March 25.
It is a special election called to fill the seat of Rep. Mike Johnson, who was elected to Congress. The winner will serve out the remainder of his term.
Four Republican candidates qualified to run for the state House seat. They are:
Raymond Crews – He served 17 years in the United States Air Force and flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. After leaving the Air Force, he flew for national airline companies and later started a small business in Bossier City.
Crews is endorsed by NORTHPAC, a Political Action Committee of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.
Robbie Gatti Jr. – Gatti is the brother of Republican state Sen. Ryan Gatti, who is serving his first term. He lists himself as a small businessman, physical therapist, and military serviceman. He is a church, civic, and community leader. He has operated Vivian Physical Therapy since 1998.
Gatti is endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association and Bossier City Mayor Lorenz “Lo” Walker.
Patrick Harrington – He is a licensed Louisiana attorney and notary public. He is a former member of the Benton-Parish Metropolitan Planning Commission and a former Board of Regents member. He graduated with honors from Southern University Law Center and served as the first white student bar president of a historically black college.
Duke Lowrie – He is a retired firefighter and paramedic and an active leader in the Bossier Republican Party. He served as a firefighter for 20 years and as a certified emergency medical technician for 25 years. Currently, he is co-owner of Acadiana Mortgage, Acadiana Farms, and Acadiana Energy.
Lowrie is endorsed by the Bossier Republican Party.
The big development in the race came when the website The Hayride revealed a picture of Gatti dressed in black face.
Gatti said he was in black face costuming as pro golfer Tiger Woods during his heyday several years ago. He noted it was part of a “good night at church” at First Baptist Church in Bossier City.
Turnout is expected to be low. It may be a struggle to reach double-digits.
The only other races on the ballot in Bossier are for city council in District 1 and District 2 Alderman in Plain Dealing.
In Bossier City Council District 1, incumbent Republican Scott Irwin is being challenged by Lindell Webb, also a Republican.
In all other municipal elections in Bossier City, the mayor and councilmen were re-elected without opposition as was one police juror in Bossier Parish.
Re-elected without opposition were Mayor Lorenz “Lo” Walker, Councilmen-at-Large Tim Larkin and David Montgomery, and Councilmen District 2 Jeff Darby, District 3 Bubba Williams, District 4 Jeff Free, and District 5 Tommy Harvey.
Interim Police Juror Tom Salzer was unopposed in Police Jury District 11.
In Plain Dealing Alderman District 2, Emily Jennings, a Democrat, faces off against Steve Rutledge, a Republican.
The only thing on the ballot in Caddo is a proposition in Fire Protection District No. 1. Voters will decide on the continuation of a 14-mill tax on all property that’s estimated to generate about $1.3 million in funding for fire department operations, including the salaries of local firefighters.
Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.