Senate Dist. 36 race going to runoff, Peacock wins re-election and police jury races settled

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Current Dist. 36 State Senator Ryan Gatti addresses supporters Saturday night following the news of his election going to a run off with Robert Mills. (Randy Brown/Press-Tribune)

A state senator race is going to a runoff while another saw decisive victory and several Bossier police jury races were settled Saturday night.

A state senator race is going to a runoff while another saw decisive victory and several Bossier police jury races were settled Saturday night.

The election for Dist. 36 Senator will see incumbent Ryan Gatti (R-Bossier City) face off against Robert Mills (R-Benton). 

Mills nearly had the necessary 51% to win the race outright and avoid a runoff, with 48% of the vote while Gatti had 38%. Mattie Preston (D-Minden) was third with 15%.

“It’s a gut check. If you were with us four years ago, the same thing happened — a person to the far left, a person to the far right, and we came in second. Then we fought hard for 30 days and they said there was no way we could win and we won by 327 votes. I wanted to win tonight but let’s be honest: special interest groups in Washington D.C., New Orleans and Metairie spent almost $873,000 sending you those little valentines in the mail. If it was junior high school it’s bullying but in politics it’s fair game. We decided to take the high road,” said Gatti Saturday after the election. “Here’s what I’m going to promise you: we’re not going to be negative, we’re just going to state some facts.”

Mills won Bossier Parish with almost 51% of the vote while Gatti had 35%.

“Sheila and I enjoyed a celebration of the first stage of our Senate Campaign with friends (Saturday) night at the LeBossier Event Center. We celebrated a strong 10 point lead over an incumbent going into a runoff. The good people of Senate 36 are taking their State Senate back from Ryan Gatti and his anti-reform policy co-conspiriators,” Mills said in an emailed statement. “I look forward to working with Governor Rispone, the Republican House and Republican Senate to get our state moving in the right direction.”

State Senate Dist. 36 candidate Robert Mills (R-Benton).

“My pledge going forward: you’ll get straight talk, conservative policies, and the very best I have to offer. This is only the beginning, we will win this race and start working to build a stronger, more prosperous Louisiana!” Mills added.

Barrow Peacock (R-Bossier City) will keep his seat in Baton Rouge as senator for Dist. 37. 

Peacock defeated challenge Debbie Hollis (D-Shreveport) with 71% to 29%. Peacock won Bossier Parish 68.3% to 31.7%.

“It’s been an honor to serve Senate District 37 for the past eight years and I am very humbled and reassured with the results of the election that I am doing what the vast majority of the district would like me to do as I represent them in the State Senate in the next four years,” Peacock said in a statement to the Press-Tribune. “We have a real opportunity to move our state forward as we complete the election cycle on Nov. 16. I thank the citizens of Bossier and Shreveport for letting me represent them in Baton Rouge.”

In the Bossier Parish Police Jury races:

  • Glenn Benton was re-elected to represent Dist. 2.
  • Philip Rodgers and Jim Viola will go to a runoff for Dist. 3 after winning 34% and 19%, respectively. 
  • In Dist. 4, John Ed Jorden defeated incumbent Norman Craig by winning 58.49% to 41.51%.
  • Chris Marsiglia took 57.59% of the vote to Greg Nichols’ 42.41% in the Dist. 6 election.

The proposed millage for Cypress Black Bayou failed 64.7% to 35.2%. The proposition would have seen the millage dedicated to the Cypress Black Bayou park rise from 1.56 mills to 3 mills, a total increase of 1.44 mills, beginning in January 2021.

Dist. 37 State Senator Barrow Peacock.

All five of the alcohol propositions in the Town of Haughton passed, garnering above 65% of the yes votes. The vote allows additional alcohol sales in stores, with the goal of recruiting major grocery stores and restaurants.

The State Representative for Dist. 1 race saw Republican Danny McCormick defeat Randall Liles and James Harper. Voters re-elected Wayne McMahen over Creighton Wilson, with McMahen winning 82% of the vote.

In the 26th Judicial District Court, Division B race, Charles Smith defeated Cynthia Carroll-Bridges with 54% to 46%.

Statewide, the governor’s race will go to a runoff with Gov. John Bel Edwards failing to get the necessary 51%, taking 47% of the vote. Republican Eddie Rispone narrowly edged out his fellow GOP candidate Ralph Abraham 27% to 24%, respectively.

Rispone won Bossier Parish with 38.6% of the vote. Edwards took 31.7% while Abraham was 27.1%. 

Lt. Gov. Bill Nungesser defeated Willie Jones 68% to 32%. Kyle Ardoin, 41%, and Gwen Collins-Greenup, 34%, will go to a runoff. Jeff Landry was reelected with 66% of the vote to Ike Jackson, Jr.’s 34%. John Schroder was re-elected with 60% of the vote. Agriculture and Forrestry Commissioner Mike Strain was re-elected as was Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon. 

Constitutional amendment 1 — an amendment to exempt raw materials, goods, commodities, personal property, and other articles stored in public and private warehouses and destined for the Outer Continental Shelf from ad valorem taxes — failed 53% to 47%. Bossier voters defeated it as well.

Constitutional amendment 2 — an amendment to provide for appropriations from the Education Excellence Fund for the Louisiana Educational Television Authority, Thrive Academy, and laboratory schools operated by public postsecondary education institutions — had a slight approval of only a few thousand votes with 99% of the state’s precincts reporting as of late Saturday night.

Constitutional amendment 3 — an amendment to protect taxpayers by requiring a complete remedy in law for the prompt recovery of any unconstitutional tax paid and to allow the jurisdiction of the Board of Tax Appeals to extend to matters related to the constitutionality of taxes — was approved by 58% of voters. It was supported by Bossier voters with the same percentage as the rest of the state.

Constitutional amendment 4 — an amendment to allow the City of New Orleans to exempt property within Orleans Parish from all or part of ad valorem taxes that would otherwise be due for the purpose of promoting affordable housing — was soundly defeated by state voters as well as Bossier Parish voters.