Voters will have a slew of national and local candidates to choose from in addition to local millages and state amendments to consider at the polls today.
• Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu is facing strong challenges from Republican Representative Bill Cassidy and GOP candidate Rob Maness. She will also have to fend off Democrats Wayne Ables, Raymond Brown, Vallian Senegal, William Waymire, Jr., and Libertarian Brannon Lee McMorris.
- Incumbent U.S. 4th District Representative John Fleming drew two opponents, Libertarian Randall Lord of Shreveport and Democrat Justin Ansley of Bossier City.
- Public Services Commissioner Foster Campbell is running for re-election against Keith Gates of Winnfield.
- The Bossier City Marshal race sees Carl Wayne Richard challenging current department employee Jim Whitman.
- The race for District Attorney sees long serving incumbent Schuyler Marvin take on Whit Graves.
- School Board races are — District 1 incumbent Jack Raley is stepping down and being replaced by Billie Brotherton. District 2’s Brad Bockhaus is unopposed. District 3 sees Frank Kelly being challenged by incumbent Tammy Smith from District 4. That leaves Richard Phipps II, Elizabeth Foster and William Lott to replace Smith in District 4. District 5’s Mike Monsour is unchallenged, as is Glen Bullard in District 6, J.W. Slack in District 7, and Kenneth Wiggins in District 8. Incumbent Eddy Ray Presley is being challenged by Eric Newman for the District 9 seat. District 10’s Samm Darby is unopposed while Shane Cheatham is the sole candidate for District 11, as is Dennis Bamburg for District 12.
- District Judges Mike Craig, Jeff Cox, Mike Nerren and Parker Self are unopposed. Two judges are retiring and being replaced by unopposed candidates — Charles Jacobs will replace Judge John Robinson and Jeff Thompson will replace Judge Ford Stinson. Bossier City Judge Tommy Wilson is unopposed.
- Plain Dealing Mayor Wiley Robinson is being challenged by Donna Canales.
- Incumbent Marshal Ronnie Murray has two opponents, Tim Cannon and Chuck Spraggins.
- Justice of the Peace districts will see — In District 1, longtime incumbent Tom Carleton is stepping down. Bill Shelton has filed for the position. Linda Hamiter, Cliff Cannon and Terry Sullivan will vie for District 3. Julia Budwah and Lorraine Ragsdale, the incumbents in Districts 4 and 5 respectively, are unopposed. District 6 will come down to Ron Eastridge, Charles Gray, David Cook and Michael Keith.
- In the races for Constable, Scooter Rushing and Brandon Oswalt have filed in District 1. District 3 will see Jerry Jenkins, Stephen Smith, John Craft, Rick Blalock and Eddie Chandler vie for the position. Ron Matlock is the sole candidate in District 4, as is Charles Sholz in District 5. District 6 will see Jeffrey Weems, Wayne Berry and Kenneth Stephens vie for the spot.
- Voters will have to decide to approve 14 proposed constitutional amendments on the statewide November 4 ballot. The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana “PAR Guide to the 2014 Constitutional Amendments,” provides a clear and concise review of the proposals. Visit http://www.parlouisiana.com/guidetotheconstitutionalamendments.cfm to see the amendment on the ballot.
- A new 1 mill tax to fund the Bossier Council on Aging will be on today’s ballot. This would be the first dedicated source of funding in the history of the agency, which provides meals, activities, and home care services to area seniors.
- Voters will also decide the fate of two local millage renewals. The 7.57 mill property tax “for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, equipping, maintaining and operating the public library facilities and system” in the Parish. This annual millage collects about $7.2 million that’s dedicated exclusively to funding the library system. Cypress Black Bayou’s 1.54 mill property tax renewal, which produces roughly $985,000 per year to fund the more than half of its budget, will also be on the ballot.
- A vote to approve a 2 percent increase on hotel occupancy in Bossier-Shreveport will also appear on the ballot. The tax would be levied on visitors staying at local hotels, motels and campgrounds and is expected to generate an estimated $2.2 million annually without the need to increase taxes for local residents. The funds would then be divided between the Ark-La-Tex Regional Air Service Alliance and Independence Bowl as well as help fund the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission.
Remember before heading out, that polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Anyone in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Voters should bring an ID with them to vote (Louisiana Driver’s License, Louisiana Special ID card or another generally recognized picture identification card with your name and signature such as a passport). Voters without an ID will be required to fill out an affidavit, but will be allowed to vote.
Finally, if you need a sample ballot before heading to the booth, visit https://voterportal.sos.la.gov/Mobile/Main.html to get an accurate ballot for your precinct and races in Bossier Parish.
Election results can be viewed in real-time via the GeauxVote Mobile app and the Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.la.gov.
To keep up with results, follow the Bossier Press-Tribune’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bossierpress.