NEW IBERIA — New Iberia’s first new city judge in over three decades took the oath of office Tuesday, a cold, overcast day.
Theodore “Trey” Haik, who had been New Iberia’s city attorney, choked up twice as he recalled a hard-fought campaign that got nasty at times.
“It’s been a long, tough road,” Haik said about the election he entered six months ago to succeed New Iberia Judge Robert Segura.
Segura earlier this year announced he would not run for another six-year term. Segura, 65, was elected in special election in 1981 to succeed a City Judge Ward Tilly, who died while in office.
Haik, a 42-year-old Republican, ran against four other candidates in the Nov. 4 primary, and he won the Dec. 6 runoff by pulling 51 percent of the vote and besting opponent Edward Landry, who also is a Republican.
Swearing Haik in on Tuesday was his “Uncle Dickie,” U.S. District Judge Richard Haik, who also alluded to a race that got bitter at times.
“During the campaign we all got excited,” Richard Haik said.
“I was ready to get into the gutter,” he said, until his nephew reminded him that the gutter was no place for a judge.
“(Trey) wanted to stay above the fray because he loves the people of New Iberia,” said Richard Haik, a former 16th Judicial District judge who was appointed to the federal bench in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush.
Trey Haik — the son of former state Rep. Ted Haik, who served in the Legislature from 1976 to 1996 — officially will be city judge Thursday, Jan. 1.
“He ran a clean campaign,” said Mayor Hilda Curry. “I think his true colors came through.”
Curry joined about 200 supporters who braved a bone-chilling wind in the courtyard at City Hall.
Near the lectern where the new city judge spoke sat his wife, Jeanne, and young sons Evan and Elliot.