Election season isn’t over yet

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Run off for State Senate Dist. 36

Thousands turned out to vote in Bossier Parish Oct. 24 despite a rainy election day.

While many of the results were definitive in who won, several candidates are headed into the Nov. 21 runoff and will be hitting the campaign trail once again.

Henry Burns
Henry Burns

State Rep. Henry Burns and Bossier City attorney Ryan Gatti will be on the runoff ballot vying for the Louisiana Senate District 36 seat. Burns, a Republican, received 40 percent of the vote to 34 percent for fellow Republican Gatti. Businessman and cattleman Todd Hollenshead, a Democrat from Bossier City, was third with 26 percent of the vote, according to complete but unofficial returns.

Burns and Gatti both said they will regroup and start working the campaign trail again over the coming weeks.

Burns said he’s excited and eager to continue his quest for the Senate District 36 seat.

Ryan Gatti
Ryan Gatti

He said it’s important for the people of District 36 to get out and vote Nov. 21.

“It’s crucial for me to see continued success in Baton Rouge for the people of northwest Louisiana,” Burns said. “I know the people well and what’s important to them. I would be the best choice to continue those working relationships to provide good things for the people of northwest Louisiana.”

Calls to Ryan Gatti were not returned by press time. At his watch party Saturday night, Gatti told the crowd that he will continue his campaign based on the faith, family and friends approach.

“No one thought we had a chance,” Gatti told his supporters. “[People] told me I was wasting my time, wasting my energy…but we changed all that tonight.”

Gatti thanked his supporters for their work on his campaign.

“Everything added up to where everyone in the state is watching the race and scratching their heads,” Gatti said. “Hopefully we can carry this over and keep going…”

Burns and Gatti are running to succeed Sen. Robert Adley of Benton, who was term limited. The Senate seat represents all of Bienville and Webster parishes and parts of Bossier, Claiborne and Red River parishes. Burns gave up his House seat to run for the Senate.
Dodie Horton won the District 9 seat in the House, defeating Mike McHalffey. Horton, a Republican, received 65 percent of the vote to 35 percent for McHallfey, according to complete but unofficial returns.

Horton said she is overjoyed, humbled and honored to represent the people of District 9.

“I’m excited. It’s a blessing for me to know the people in my district have faith in me. I know that I will represent them well,” she said. “

Horton’s campaign emphasized that she is job ready, having served as State Rep. Burns’s legislative assistant since he was elected eight years ago.

“I’ve had a wonderful mentor in Henry Burns and I am equipped with a lot of knowledge,” she said. “I feel ready to go and I believe my experience and the relationships I’ve built over the years will allow a smooth transition moving forward.”

Horton extends her sincerest appreciation to the people of District 9 for their votes.

Jill Sessions was elected the next clerk of court for Bossier Parish on Saturday, handily defeating a candidate from the district attorney’s office.

Sessions, who is currently the chief deputy clerk of court, will succeed Cindy Johnston, who did not seek re-election.

Sessions received 74 percent of the vote to 26 percent for Monica Hudson, according to complete but unofficial returns.

Hudson works for District Attorney Schuyler Marvin as the victims’ rights advocate.

Tax Assessor Bobby Edmiston won re-election, easily defeating challenger Patsy Maggio.

Edmiston received 76 percent of the vote to 24 percent for Maggio, according to complete but unofficial returns.

Three of the 12 incumbent police jurors had challengers but all three were re-elected. Results of the three contested elections for seats on the Bossier Parish Police Jury.

District 4: Sonny Cook (I), 54 percent; John Ed Jorden, 46 percent.

District 5: Jack Skaggs (I), 63 percent; Barry Butler, 37 percent.

District 9: Freddy Shewmake (I), 60 percent; Charles Gray, 40 percent.

(I) indicates incumbent.

On the state level, Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter will face Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards in the Louisiana governor’s race on the Nov. 21 ballot. Edwards had 39 percent, while Vitter had 29 percent.

Current Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is term limited. His successor will inherit major state budget problems.

Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden will be in the runoff for lieutenant governor with former Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. 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.

Republican Attorney General Buddy Caldwell will face GOP former Congressman Jeff Landry in a November runoff to determine who will fill the next term as Louisiana’s chief lawyer. Caldwell and Landry were the top two vote-getters in Saturday’s election and will head to the Nov. 21 ballot.

Republican Tom Schedler re-elected to second term as Louisiana secretary of state. The Republican from Mandeville fended off a challenge Saturday from Democrat Chris Tyson, a Baton Rouge law professor, to win a second term. Schedler has held the job since 2010, first as an appointee and then elected a year later.

John Kennedy was re-elected to his fifth term as Louisiana’s state treasurer. Kennedy, a Republican from Madisonville, overwhelmingly defeated his lone opponent, Republican lawyer Jennifer Treadway. Before being elected treasurer, Kennedy was a state revenue secretary and special counsel to former Gov. Buddy Roemer.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education District 4 race ended in a run-off between Mary Johnson Harris and Tony Davis.

Harris, principal at South Highlands Elementary, took away 45.7 percent of the total vote, and Davis, president of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce, took 31.4 percent.

Glynis Johnston, a Caddo teacher, received 22.9 percent of the vote.

BESE District 4 contains Caddo, DeSoto, Bossier and Webster parishes. The primary function of the board is to create and enact policies governing the elementary and secondary schools of Louisiana.