Opinion: Third Clerk of Court candidate

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Monica Hudson, the Bossier Parish District Attorney’s Victim Advocate, has announced her candidacy for Bossier Clerk of Court.

She joins Clerk of Court employee Jill Sessions and attorney Jimmy Franklin in the race to replace Clerk of Court Cindy Johnston, who is not seeking re-election.

Hudson is no stranger to the Clerk of Court’s office. She began her career in that office in 1982 and worked there until 2000.

lou BurnettAfter Schuyler Marvin was elected district attorney, Hudson went to work in the DA’s office where she assisted attorneys with legal documentation, subpoenas, motions, discoveries, as well as trial preparation.

She has been the victim advocate for the past 12 years, working with victims of crime, ranging from domestic violence, sexual assault, robbery and murder cases.

Her vision for the Clerk of Court’s office is to establish a satellite office in Bossier City and to expand the office’s website with updated technology to make it more user-friendly.

Hudson also noted she wants to improve management procedures and have a transparent office and an open-door policy.

Candidates to speak at Bossier Bar Assn.

The three candidates for Bossier Clerk of Court  will speak at the meeting of the Bossier Parish Bar Association on Tuesday, April 21. The meeting will be held at Ralph & Kacoo’s at noon.  It is open to the public.

Shootout for sheriff?

What the local political rumor mill has been buzzing about for quite some time has come to pass.  Caddo Constable Eric Hatfield has decided to challenge Sheriff Steve Prator for the parish’s top law enforcement job.

Local politicos see the race as Prator’s most serious challenge since he won the job in 1999.  He has served four terms and is seeking a fifth four-year term.

A little history here.  There are some who say that Prator forced former Sheriff Don Hathaway into retirement after 20 years in office when he made it known he was going to run in 1999.

Prator became a Shreveport police officer in 1973 and was a surprising choice for then-Mayor Hazel Beard’s police chief in 1990.  He remained chief during the term of Mayor Bo Williams.

After 26 years with the SPD, Prator felt it was time for him to make a move, and sheriff was the likely step up the law enforcement ladder.

At the time, Hathaway was 71 years of age and was completing his fifth term as sheriff.  Previously, he had served eight years as Public Works Commissioner under the old form of government.

Hathaway opted not to seek a sixth term, clearing the way for Prator to breeze into the sheriff’s office. In the October 1999 primary election, Prator got 71% of  the vote against what was considered two minor opponents – Marshall Nelson (26%) and Robert  Creamer (4%).

Prator quickly established himself as the high sheriff and his popularity grew.  He was often referred to as the most popular politician in northwest Louisiana and was often wooed to run for higher office.

Hatfield, who has been a constable since 2004, has obviously been laying the groundwork for the sheriff’s job.  He is a very active and popular constable in District 8 and has been attending nearly all political events in the parish.

It promises to be a spirited race and Prator’s most serious challenge.

Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.