CLINTON — The East Feliciana Parish sheriff’s race remained unsettled after last month’s primary balloting, with incumbent Talmadge Bunch lacking a few percentage points for an early win over five opponents.
Bunch, 63, faces challenger Joel L. Odom, 39, in the Nov. 19 general election.
Odom, who is running without party affiliation, is the elected District 2 constable in the parish and lives in Ethel.
Bunch, a Democrat from Clinton, is seeking his fourth term in the office.
Early voting at the East Feliciana Parish Registrar’s Office in Clinton begins Saturday and continues through Nov. 12, except on Sunday and Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Bunch led the Oct. 22 primary with 3,238 votes, or 46.29 percent, while Odom had 2,235, or 31.95 percent, to finish in second place.
Slightly more than 50 percent of East Feliciana’s 13,794 eligible voters cast ballots in the sheriff’s race during early voting and on election day last month.
The sheriff’s race is almost alone on the ballot, except for a showdown between Ken Dawson and Kenny Havard in House District 62, which includes part of East Feliciana Parish, and the District 8 BESE contest.
The primary election had races for governor and other statewide officials, parish assessor, BESE, state representative and state senator.
“I don’t know how the turnout will be this time,” said Odom, who said he will have telephone banks and a door-to-door campaign to stimulate voter interest.
Although he trailed Bunch by 1,003 votes, Odom noted that 1,522 voters cast ballots for other candidates.
“If I could get 66 percent of those, that’d put me even,” he said, adding that candidates Richard Sobers and Cliff Morris had endorsed him in the general election.
Going into the general election, “we want to finish what we’ve started,” Odom said.
Bunch said he is working to maintain interest among his supporters for the general election, while reaching out to voters who may have supported one of his primary challengers.
The campaign also is hoping to reach voters who did not cast ballots in the Oct. 22 primary and get them to vote during the early voting period or on election day, Bunch said.