While most media attention has been on the presidential election, arguably more-important local elections were making news as well. BRAC, and its affiliated political action committee, FuturePAC, were closely watching several races, constitutional amendments, and propositions in the nine-parish Capital Region. In East Baton Rouge, the Mayor-President race, as well as several Metro Council and Judicial races, are headed to runoff while some new parish leaders were elected outright last night. The runoff election will be on December 5 and is projected to have a dramatically different voter turnout.
The EBR Mayor-President race is on its way to a runoff between Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and former State Representative Steve Carter. Mayor Broome had a firm lead in the primary, with 48 percent of the vote over Carter’s 20 percent. A few times Tuesday night it appeared there would be no need for a runoff. The race will likely be much tighter on December 5.
FuturePAC, which focuses on candidates and causes that support economic growth and development, made endorsements in 10 of the 11 EBR Metro Council races, and in all 10 of those races, the PAC’s endorsed candidate either won outright or is heading to a runoff.
- District 1: Brandon Noel* & Eric Lewis*
- District 2: Councilwoman Chauna Banks (winner)
- District 3: Rowdy Gaudet* (no opposition)
- District 4: Aaron Moak* v. Tenika James
- District 5: Councilwoman Erika Green* (winner)
- District 6: Cleve Dunn Jr.* v. Dawn Chanet Collins
- District 7: Councilman Lamont Cole* v. Alfred Bell
- District 8: Councilwoman Denise Amoroso* (winner)
- District 9: Councilman Dwight Hudson* (winner)
- District 10: Carolyn Coleman* v. Jay Gaudet*
- District 11: Laurie White Adams* (winner)
- District 12: Councilwoman Jen Racca* v. Tania Nyman
*FuturePAC endorsed candidates
The District seven and 12 races were nearly decided last night, falling 320 and 247 votes short, respectively, of the required majority. These remaining races will determine the direction of the Metro Council over the next four years.
As for the Judicial races, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals and 19th Judicial District were close. Three of the five races were decided Tuesday night, and a fourth came very close. FuturePAC’s endorsed judicial candidates had mixed results.
- 1st Circuit Court of Appeals: Judge Chris Hester* v. Melanie Newkome Jones
- 19th Judicial District Court
- Will Jorden* (winner)
- Quintillis Lawrence* v. Eboni Johnson-Rose
- Judge Tiffany Foxworth (winner)
- Christopher Dassau (winner)
Finally, the state had seven Constitutional Amendments on the ballot and a sports betting proposition in each parish. BRAC supported Constitutional Amendments 3 (passed), 5 (failed) and 7(passed). Constitutional Amendment number 3 allows the state budget stabilization fund to be used during a federal emergency, and Constitutional Amendment number 5 would have authorized local governments and manufacturing companies to enter into Cooperative Endeavor Agreements for Payments in Lieu of Taxes while Constitutional Amendment 7 creates a fund to protect unclaimed property. BRAC also supported a parish-by-parish vote allowing sports betting, which passed in all of the nine parishes within the Capital Region.
Finally, although BRAC did not take a position on the specific campaigns, millage renewals in downtown Baton Rouge and in Livingston Parish passed, which will continue to provide support for redevelopment and transportation, two priority pillars from BRAC’s strategic plan for economic development.
As BRAC’s Manager of Governmental Affairs, David Zoller is responsible for the organization’s governmental relations and advocacy efforts and managing other projects related to economic competitiveness and quality of life.