West Feliciana Parish Council hopefuls fought over fewer seats this election, as the parish continues its transition from a police jury form of government to a president and council.
With all precincts reporting, two incumbents — John Kean and Heather Howle — lost re-election bids. Otis Wilson qualified for a run-off. Mel Percy and Melvin Young were voted back into office, while Lea Williams chose not to run again and Ricky Lambert Sr. lost in the race for parish president.
In District A, Young defeated Cheryl Franklin with 59 percent of the vote.
In District B, John Thompson and Wilson reached a run-off with 45 and 39 percent of the vote, respectively. Kean lost with 16 percent of the vote.
In District C, Percy narrowly won the seat with 53 percent of the vote to Mary Daniel-Godke’s 47 percent.
In District D, Bill May III claimed 57 percent of the vote, besting Howle.
At-large candidate Sydney Picou Walker was unopposed.
Winners will face several challenges, including roads and zoning ordinances, as well as the costly, ongoing Lambert lawsuit over disputed land on the Mississippi River.
West Feliciana previously had seven council seats, a holdover from the police jury days. The first parish president was elected two years ago after West Feliciana approved a Home Rule Charter.
The new system has proved divisive. Recently, several council members tried to put the matter up to voters to decide if the parish should revert back to a police jury. A majority voted to put the item on the ballot, but the attempt needed backing from five of seven council members and failed by one vote.
Voters were split on the issue Saturday. Young was for the ordinance, and Percy voted against it, and both candidates won. Kean supported the vote, and Howle opposed it, and both lost. Wilson was for the ordinance and will continue the race in a run-off next month.