Saturday’s primary election proved a mixed bag for Lafayette area legislative races. Some candidates cruised to victory, others were upset by political newcomers and still others face fighting it out for another month until runoff elections decide a victor.
Incumbent Sen. Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, will begin a second term representing District 23 after taking 84 percent of the vote to 16 percent for political newcomer Terry Hughes.
The district covers most of Lafayette Parish, except for Carencro.
Hughes, who works in the oil and gas industry, wanted to see an end to Common Core standards in Louisiana and contract hiring for state work. Cortez has said that in the regular session, he plans to keep pushing forward funding for projects such as the I-49 corridor and other road projects for Lafayette.
Cortez began his legislative career in 2007, when he was elected to the House of Representatives.
Voters elected Gerald Boudreaux over current District 40 state Rep. Ledricka Thierry to represent Senate District 24, which covers parts of Lafayette Parish, much of western St. Landry Parish and some of St. Martin Parish.
Boudreaux brought in 61 of the vote compared to Thierry’s 39 percent.
Boudreaux, 55, is Parks and Recreation Director for Lafayette Consolidated Government.
Thierry is a state representative from Opelousas who won a special election in 2009. She opted to run for the senate seat vacated by Elbert Guillory, who ran for lieutenant governor.
Both candidates are Democrats.
Incumbent District 31 Rep. Nancy Landry, a Republican, will serve a third term after receiving 85 percent of the vote over Evan Wright, a Democratic newcomer who got 15 percent.
The district includes southwest Lafayette Parish and north Vermilion Parish.
Landry, a 53-year-old family law attorney and petroleum landman, was first elected to the Legislature in a special election in 2008. Wright, 59, is a realtor.
Republican Julie Emerson unseated incumbent Rep. Stephen Ortego in a close contest for the District 39 seat, with Emerson taking in 51 percent of the vote over Ortego’s 49 percent — or a difference of 247 votes.
Emerson, 27, is a communications professional. Ortego, 31, is an architect. Both are from Carencro.
The district covers north Lafayette Parish, including Scott and Carencro, and portions of south and rural St. Landry Parish.
Incumbent Rep. Vincent Pierre, D-Lafayette, is headed for a second term after winning 84 percent of the vote versus Desmond Onezine, a non-partisan political newcomer from Lafayette.
Pierre, 51, is works as a sales consultant. Onezine, 36, is a retired U.S. Marine who works as an analyst for Acadian Total Security in Lafayette.
The district covers downtown and north Lafayette.
Andre Comeaux and Jean-Paul Coussan will go head-to-head in a runoff election in the race for the District 45 House of Representatives seat, vacated by term-limited Joel Robideaux.
Comeaux, 54, a risk management and insurance executive, took in 41 percent of the vote. Coussan, a 37-year-old property title attorney who also has other small businesses, took 37 percent.
Jan Swift, 57 and a lawyer who runs the Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation, got 22 percent of the vote.
The district includes central Lafayette.