Qualifying for the Nov. 8 open primary ended July 22 with a dozen candidates seeking to oust current Republican U.S. Sen. John Kennedy and a total of 10 contested races that voters in Orleans Parish will decide or at least have a hand in determining.

Congressional Races

Two U.S. Senate race challengers, Gary Chambers, Jr. and Luke Mixon, have been raising money and crisscrossing the state to for months now, sharing their platform with Louisiana’s electorate. In addition to Gary Chambers, a Baton Rouge progressive who, if elected, would be the first Black U.S. Senator from the state since Reconstruction, and Luke Mixon, a moderate Democrat from central Louisiana, 10 others have thrown their hats into the ring.

Beryl Billiot, Devin Graham, Xan John, W. Thomas Olson, Bradley McMorris, Vinny Mendoza, Salvador Rodriquez, Aaron Sigler, Syrita Steib, the only other African American in the U.S. Senate race and Thomas Wenn all join Chambers and Mixon in an effort to unseat Kennedy.

While Louisiana isn’t necessarily a battle ground state, Chambers and Mixon could pose a threat for the incumbent Kennedy, who could end up facing one of them a runoff if he does not get more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary, making this race along with a handful of other U.S. Senate races across the country, including races in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, one to watch watched as the outcomes could help determine who will control the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. Senate race is not the only contest on the ballot that will determine who goes to Washington, D.C. from Louisiana. Both U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and U.S. Rep. Troy Carter also picked up challengers in their efforts to hold on to their seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

U.S. Rep. Carter faces a challenge for Dan Lux, a Republican from Jefferson Parish, to determine who will represent the 2nd Congressional District, which includes parts of Orleans Parish and picks up the West Bank of Jefferson Parish along with south Kenner, much of St. Charles, St. John and St. James parishes, along with parts of Ascension, Iberville, East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge parishes. Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District remains the state’s only majority Black district.

Covington Democrat Katie Darling and Howard Kearney, a Libertarian from Mandeville, have challenged Scalise for the 1st Congressional District seat, which includes parts of New Orleans, Metairie, parts of Kenner, Grand Isle and the town of Lafitte in Jefferson Parish, St Bernard, Plaquemines and St. Tammany parishes, southern Tangipahoa, along with parts of Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.

State Government Races

State Sen. Royce Duplessis faces a challenge from state Rep. Mandy Landry for the 5th District state senatorial seat he now holds.

The Public Service Commission – District 3 seat has also drawn interest, with four challengers, Willie Jones, Davante Lewis, Gregory Manning and Jesse T. Thompson vying for the seat now held by Lambert C. Boissiere III, who also qualified for the race.

Judicial Seats

Several judicial seats are also on the upcoming ballot. While Judges Nakisha Ervin-Knott, Tiffany Gautier Chase, Rachael John and Sandra Cabrina Jenkins are unchallenged in their races for district A, B, D and H seats, respectively, on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, the contest for an at-large seat on that same court has drawn four candidates, including former U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao, Orleans Parish Criminal Court Judge Karen Herman, Orleans Parish Municipal Court Judge Paul N. Sens, attorney Marie Williams.

First City Court jurists, Judge Monique Morial, Judge Marissa A. Hutabarat and Judge Veronica Henry, qualified to maintain their seats on that court without challenge.

Judge Mark J. Shea faces a challenge from attorney Derek Russ to hold on to his seat on Municipal and Traffic Court – Division D. The Division E seat on that same court has attracted two candidates as well, with attorneys Geoffrey L. gates and Bobbie Smith are both running to determine who will replace Judge Sean Early, who will retire in December. And Division G Municipal and Traffic Court Judge Steven Jupiter qualified for the seat without challenge.

First City Court Clerk Austin Badon drew one challenger in his effort to remain in office, with Donna Glapion, who temporarily filled the at-large City Council seat left vacant when Jason Williams was elected District Attorney, qualifying to run for clerk as well.

Orleans Parish School Board

Three New Orleanians – Leila J. Eames, Deidra A. Louis and Patrice Sentino – all are vying to fill the District 1 seat on the Orleans Parish School Board, which opened with the resignation of former school board member, John Brown, who stepped down during the Board’s search for a new superintendent after his daughter emerged as one of the final candidates for the job.

Important Dates

While the primary is more than three months away, Louisianans should note these important dates related to the election:

OCT. 11 — The deadline to register to vote in person, by mail or at the OMV Office

OCT. 18 — The deadline to register to vote through the GeauxVote Online Registration System

Oct. 25 – Nov. 1 — Early voting (excluding Sunday, Oct. 30) from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

NOV. 4 — The deadline to request an absentee ballot by 4:30 p.m. (other than military and overseas voters). You can request an absentee ballot online through our Voter Portal or in writing through your Registrar of Voters Office.

NOV. 7 — The deadline for a registrar of voters to receive a voted absentee ballot by 4:30 p.m. (other than military and overseas voters).

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