ST. FRANCISVILLE - Former West Feliciana Parish Police Juror Bert Babers said Tuesday he is withdrawing from the Nov. 19 general election for the jury’s District 6 seat.
The move automatically elects Heather Howle, who led Babers by eight votes, 249-241, in Saturday’s primary balloting. Jody Bendily received 163 votes.
Babers, who retired from the Police Jury four years ago, said Tuesday he was persuaded to run again as a “bridge candidate” who could possibly facilitate consensus and reform with the mix of elected and re-elected jurors.
Babers said that rationale “was rendered meaningless by the primary results and what the general election portends.”
Voters ousted two veteran jurors, Billy Shoemake and John Roach, in Saturday’s balloting, while Jurors Otis Wilson and Lea Williams were re-elected.
Two more jurors, John Cobb and Randy Stevens, are in run-offs, while jury President Ken Dawson is in a runoff with Kenny Havard for the House District 62 seat.
Babers said he put aside personal obligations to accept responsibility “to help restore credibility and professionalism to the jury,” but he said the newly elected and runoff participants ran on similar principles.
“Therefore, with some reluctance not to finish the runoff because of a competitive nature, I choose to withdraw and remain retired as I intended in 2007,” he said.