With qualifying wrapping up on Aug. 10 for the fall primary, a number of New Orleans-based state legislators have been re-elected to their seats by default.
State senators, Joe Bouie, Jimmy Harris and Royce Duplessis, along with state representatives, Alonzo Knox, Matthew Willard, Aimee Adatto Freeman, Jason Hughes and Delisha Boyd, can all breath easy as they are opposed. The same is true for Civil District Court judges, Monique Barial and Veronica Henry, as well as Elroy James who ran unopposed for First City Court judge.
And while there are a few statewide and parish-wide races that voters must still decide, many across New Orleans and Louisiana have turned their attention to who will be next to occupy the Governor’s Mansion.
The gubernatorial primary is set for Oct. 14, with state’s former transportation secretary Shawn Wilson, a Democrat and native New Orleanian who now calls Lafayette home, ready to prove that he can rise to the top of a crowded field of that features 15 other candidates, including right-winged Jeff Landry, the state’s attorney general.
Speaking to a gathering of supporters at a meet and greet in New Orleans on Aug. 17, Wilson said his candidacy is about moving Louisiana forward. He touted gains made during Gov. John Bel Edwards’ tenure and under is his leadership as the secretary of the state Department of Transportation and Development.
“We’ve built $5.5 billion of infrastructure, 7,000 miles of road across Louisiana. We grew jobs, but we also balanced the budget. We also gave Medicaid to 500,000 people across the state of Louisiana.”
Wilson, a 25-year-veteran of public service, has already picked up a slew of endorsements, including ones from his former boss, Gov. Edwards, U.S. Rep. Troy Carter, several members of the New Orleans City Council, Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and many others, according to the candidate’s website.
The Louisiana Democratic Party has also come out swinging in support of Wilson, calling him “the lone hope for progress” in an endorsement announcement earlier this summer that read, in part:
“Shawn Wilson is a proven leader that worked across the aisle as transportation secretary to spearhead more than $5 billion in infrastructure investments . . . He is a man of high character that knows how to get the job done. As governor, Shawn will build on Gov. John Bel Edwards’ progress for our state. On the other hand, his opponent, Jeff Landry, has burned bridges and torn our state down in advance of his political career.”
Wilson expects to take the momentum of a united party all the way to the state capitol. And if successful, he will make history – becoming Louisiana’s first Black governor since Reconstruction.
In addition to the governor’s race, several other statewide seats are on the Oct. 14 ballot.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser faces five challengers, including Gary Rispone and Elbert Guillory, in a race to hold on to his seat for another term.
Baton Rouge’s Gwen Collins-Greenup and retired Orleans Parish clerk of criminal district court, Arthur Morrell, are two of eight candidates vying for Secretary of State. Five candidates are seeking the attorney general’s office, and three are vying for state treasurer. Meanwhile, Mike Strain and Tim Temple are unopposed in the races for Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry and Commissioner of Insurance, respectively.
Voters across Orleans Parish will decide on two seats on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), with Paul Hollis and Lauren Jewett vying for the District I seat, which encompasses all of St. Tammany Parish and portions of Orleans and Jefferson parishes. Sharon Latten Clark and Eric Jones are both seeking BESE’s District 2 seat, which covers a significant portion of Orleans, part of Jefferson Parish, all of St. Charles, St. John and St. James parishes and a portion of Assumption Parish.
Contests in state senatorial districts 1 and 9 must also be decided, along with state representative districts 105, 23, 91, 94, and 99, where incumbent Candace Newell faces a challenge from Richard Bell Sr.
A single judicial contest remains with Leon Roche and Melanie Talia seeking the Section I seat on the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.
For a full list of candidates running for offices across the state and in Orleans Parish, visit https://voterportal.sos.la.gov/candidateinquiry.