Although filling empty legislative seat, Denise Marcelle will take office in January _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Metro Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle speaks during a joint meeting of BREC Planning and Park Resources Advisory and Recreation and Special Facilities Advisory committees in July 2015.

Metro Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle, elected to the state House on Saturday, will be sworn in Jan. 11, like all the other legislative candidates who won seats this fall, despite filling a currently vacant seat opened by the death of former state Rep. Alfred Williams.

Because Williams died within less than six months of the end of his term, there wasn’t a need for a special election to fill the office for District 61, said Alfred Speer, clerk of the Louisiana House of Representatives.

Marcelle, a Democrat, won the seat against fellow Councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis on Saturday with 61 percent of the vote.

She was re-elected to her second term on the council in 2012, which lasts until the end of 2016.

She will appoint someone to fill her seat for the remainder of her term. The next council election is November 2016.

While Marcelle won in the primary, two other council members are still in the running for potential legislative seats.

Both Ronnie Edwards and Ryan Heck are facing challengers in a runoff.

Edwards, a Democrat, is facing Brusly attorney Edmond Jordan, also a Democrat, in the District 29 House race. She led in the primary with 36 percent of the vote to Jordan’s 29 percent.

Heck trailed Paula Davis, a former deputy commissioner of insurance, by 88 votes. Davis had 38 percent of the vote and Heck came in second place with 37 percent. Both are Republicans.

If Heck or Edwards win the Nov. 21 runoff, they also will appoint successors to finish out their terms.

But each of the council members could finish out the calendar year continuing their service to the East Baton Rouge city-parish government.

That’s exactly how Marcelle wants it.

She said she’s currently meeting with legislators to prepare herself for office and will take time to learn the needs of her new larger district.

But she said she has unfinished business with the Metro Council that she looks forward to working on through December.

Advocate staff writer Mark Ballard contributed to this report. Follow Rebekah Allen on Twitter @rebekahallen. For more coverage of city-parish government, follow City Hall Buzz blog at