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The Comeback Kid?


Former longtime state Rep. Billy Montgomery, who represented House District 9 in Bossier for 20 years, may be thinking about a political comeback.

When term-limits caught up with him and he had to leave the House, Montgomery ran for the state Senate in District 37. In doing so, he changed his political affiliation from Democrat to Republican.

He made the runoff, but lost to Republican B.L. “Buddy” Shaw by a 57-43% margin in the runoff. Montgomery tells the Fax-Net that he is casting an eye at the open Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Robert Adley, a Republican, who is term-limited.

Republican state Rep. Henry Burns, who took over House District 9 from Montgomery in 2008, has announced he is running for the Senate seat.

lou BurnettSo has state Rep. Jeff Thompson, who represents House District 8. But what has peaked Montgomery’s interest is the fact that Thompson is indicating he may decide to run for a judicial seat rather than the Senate.

So, will Montgomery attempt to become the “Comeback Kid”? Time will tell.


Whitman makes it official

Popular Bossier City Marshal Lynn Austin will not seek a second six-year term, creating an open seat.

Running for the post is Deputy Marshal Jim Whitman, who has the backing of Austin, making him the immediate frontrunner.

Whitman officially kicks off his campaign on Tuesday, February 4 with a fundraiser at the Silver Star Smokehouse, 1201 Dixie Overland Road, Bossier City. Time of the event is 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Vicky Whitman at 286-1103 or jimwhitman2014@gmail.com.


Available: Judicial robes

There seems to be more openings on the various court benches this year than ever before. Some judges have moved up or are attempting to move up to a higher court, while others are retiring.

Court of Appeal, District, and City judges serve six-year terms. Therefore, all of these judicial seats are up for re-election or election this year in 2014.

Here is a look at where things stand as of today:

*Louisiana Supreme Court

The the term of Associate Justice Jeff Victory expires on December 31, 2014. State Supreme Court justices serve 10-year terms, and Victory has decided to retire after serving two terms.

The vacancy is in District 2, which encompasses most of northwest Louisiana. There are seven judges on the state’s high court.

Running to replace Victory is Caddo District Judge Scott Crichton. He announced his candidacy for the judgeship before Victory announced his retirement.

Consequently, he got a huge head start and has never let up. So far, he has not drawn an opponent, and political analysts do not believe he will.

*2nd Circuit Court of Appeal

The term of Judge James E. Stewart Sr. expires on December 31, 2014. He is expected to seek another term and is not expected to have any opposition.

There are already two new judges on the nine-member court. Judges Charles Peatross and Gay Gaskins retired last year, and special elections were held to replace them.

The new members of the court are Frances Pitman, replacing Peatross, and Jeanette Garrett, replacing Gaskins. Both were district judges prior to moving up the judicial ladder.

*Ist Judicial District (Caddo District Court)

There are already two new judges on the Caddo District Court. Katherine Dorroh was elected to replace Pitman, and Brady O’Callaghan was elected to replace Garrett.

Caddo Parish is divided into three judicial subdistricts for election purposes. One of the subdistricts is majority-black and two are majority-white.

There will be at least three new vacancies on the Caddo District Court, which will be on the ballot in November.

Judge Leon Emanuel is retiring and Judge Scott Crichton is running for the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Judge Roy Brun is also retiring and will assume the position of Judicial Administrator, replacing former Judge Eugene Bryson, who is retiring from that position.

Already declared for Emanuel’s seat is Assistant District Attorney Karelia Stewart. She is the daughter of U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Carl Stewart and the niece of 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal Judge James Stewart.

She is not expected to have any opposition in this majority-black district because of the two influential relatives who are already on the bench.

Two candidates have announced for the Crichton vacancy, which is in a majority-white subdistrict – Don Weir Jr. and Charles Tutt, both Shreveport attorneys.

For the Brun seat, Caddo Commissioner Doug Dominick has indicated he will run in this majority-white subdistrict.

*Shreveport City Court

Longtime Judge Bill Kelly, currently the chief judge, is retiring. Caddo Assistant District Attorney Brian Barber has announced he in running.

He has already scheduled a fundraiser for March 4 at Savoie’s Catering Place on East 70th Street between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

26th Judicial District (Bossier-Webster)

There are currently two vacancies on the Bossier-Webster District Court. Judges Ford Stinson and Johnny Robinson are retiring.

Randall Robinson has announced for Stinson’s seat, and state Rep. Jeff Thompson says he is considering it.

Charles Jacobs has announced for Robinson’s post.

The Fax-Net will keep you up-to-date on these judicial elections as the year progresses.


A bridge to disaster?

The controversy surrounding Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the closing of the George Washington Bridge is causing negative fallout for the potential presidential candidate in 2016.

And it comes at a time when he is taking over as the chairman of the Republican Governors Conference.

Whether Christie had knowledge of what his staff was doing is unknown at this point, but it’s that old adage of where the buck stops.

In December, three different polls had Christie slightly ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical match-up of the 2016 presidential race.

But recent polls show that the “Bridgegate” scandal has taken its toll on Christie. The latest poll has Clinton ahead of Christie 50-37%, a 13-point lead.

He still has strong support among Republicans, however, the scandal is something that Christie did not need and could eventually affect his presidential aspirations. On the up side, he still has time to whether the storm.


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

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.