East Baton Rouge will have a new Metro Council starting in January, with election season finally ending on Saturday night. Runoffs took place in six of the 12 EBR Metro Council districts and two area judicial races. A constitutional amendment was on the ballot, as well as the East Baton Rouge Mayor-President race runoff. Turnout was dramatically down from November, with only 34.2% of voters voting, less than half the number of voters a month ago. BRAC and its affiliated political action committee, FuturePAC, have watched the races closely.
EBR Mayor-President Race
The Mayor-President’s race saw incumbent Sharon Weston-Broome face former State Representative Steve Carter. Mayor Broome had a substantial lead coming out of the primary and won the race handily with 57% to Carter’s 43%.
EBR Metro Council Races
FuturePAC, which focuses on candidates and causes that support economic growth and development, made an endorsement in all six of the runoff Metro Council races. An endorsed candidate won in each of those races. FuturePAC’s endorsements are based on alignment to BRAC’s EBR Mayoral and Metro Council Platform.
- District 1: Brandon Noel* defeated Eric Lewis*
- District 4: Aaron Moak* defeated Tenika James
- District 6: Cleve Dunn, Jr.* defeated Dawn Chanet Collins
- District 7: Councilman Lamont Cole* defeated Alfred Bell
- District 10: Carolyn Coleman* defeated Jay Gaudet*
- District 12: Councilwoman Jen Racca* defeated Tania Nyman
The suspense of the night was in District 6, with the race decided by just 62 votes. It is a reminder that every vote matters, especially in traditionally low turnout elections. Six new members will be joining the 12-member Metro Council, creating an entirely new dynamic that could lead to great things for the parish.
The newly elected EBR Metro Council members have made commitments to work collaboratively to drive economic development progress. BRAC looks forward to working with them as the area recovers from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and as we all work to improve the area’s economic competitiveness.
EBR Judicial Races
There were also two Judicial races decided on Saturday. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals and the 19th Judicial District Court (JDC) Division K. Judge Chris Hester* defeated Melanie Newkome Jones for the 1st Circuit seat while the 19th JDC saw Eboni Johnson-Rose defeat Quintillis Lawrence*. These outcomes were predictable based on the vote split for the races coming out of the November primaries.
Federal and State Ballot Items
Also of note is a change in the Capital Region’s federal legislative delegation. Luke Letlow defeated State Representative Lance Harris to replace Congressman Ralph Abraham as the representative for Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District. Additionally, a constitutional amendment to allow the Governor to appoint out-of-state members to serve on public university governing boards failed at the ballot.
If you are interested in diving further into the election results, visit the Secretary of State’s website here. If you are interested in learning more about FuturePAC or joining to support business-oriented candidates, visit FuturePAC.biz.
*FuturePAC endorsed candidates
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.