Early voting for the May 14 general election kicks off Saturday for voters in portions of East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge parishes who will be selecting the next representative in the runoff election for House District 29.
The runoff, which is the only item on the ballot, is for voters to decide between Edmond Jordan and Vereta Lee, two Democrats seeking to fill the seat left open by the recent death of Ronnie Edwards from pancreatic cancer.
House District 29 includes parts of north Baton Rouge and Port Allen.
Whoever wins will enter the Legislature past the midpoint of its regular session. Another special session is expected to be called at the conclusion to deal with raising revenue or more budget cuts to close a $750 million budget shortfall.
Early voting will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at the registrars of voters offices in the parishes the district encompasses starting Saturday and concluding May 7.
Meg Casper, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s Office, said Friday because the race is the only item on the ballot, turnout could be a little light but is more likely to match voter participation in the April 9 primary.
“It’s really going to depend on how much interest there is,” Casper said.
Early voting constituted about 16 percent of the overall turnout for the race in April. According to election data posted on the secretary of state’s website, 560 early ballots were cast in East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge parishes.
Jordan and Lee pulled ahead of three other candidates to make it into the May 14 runoff. Jordan got 31 percent of the 3,484 votes cast, while Lee took 24 percent.
Jordan, who serves as vice president of South Louisiana Charter Foundation Inc., previously made it to the runoff in an election against Edwards in November. He has said he’s a school choice advocate.
Jordan has proposed fixing the state’s budget woes through tax reform.
Lee is in her 10th year on the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board. She also works as a student support services supervisor for the Baker school system and previously had worked as a teacher in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Lee said her priorities are protecting funding for education and supporting expansion of Medicaid, the federal insurance program for the poor.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has moved forward on expanding Medicaid later this year.
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