The deadline for challenging results of the May 21 special restricted election for Sorrento mayor passed without action by the losing candidate, state elections officials said Thursday.
Sorrento Town Councilman Randy Anny, who had said he was considering a challenge, fell one vote short of a tie in the eight-voter election. A tie would have forced a town-wide runoff this month.
Lacking a challenge, Sorrento Town Councilman Wilson Longanecker Jr. beat Anny, 195-194, according to unofficial but complete results.
Sailor Jackson, spokesman for the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office, said Thursday the deadline to file a challenge was noon Tuesday. None was filed, he said.
He said the Memorial Day holiday Monday did not delay the 10-day period for election challenges.
Longanecker and Anny were vying to fill the remaining term of former Mayor Blake LeBlanc, who resigned in October.
A state District Court ordered the eight-voter election due to a prior Anny challenge over voter notification for the original special election for mayor on April 2.
Longanecker led Anny in that election, 195-187, results show.
Mayor-elect Longanecker said Thursday he plans to take his oath of office during Tuesday’s regular Town Council meeting.
He said he sent the Louisiana secretary of state a letter resigning as town councilman, which he said would take effect right before he becomes mayor.
“I am going to take the ball and roll with it,” Longanecker said.
Longanecker said he wants to take a fresh look at the town budget and make sure it is “sensible,” “strong” and “fair to all departments” and that there is “no reckless spending.”
On May 21, seven of the eight registered voters allowed to cast ballots backed Anny.
But the eighth voter’s mail-in ballot was thrown out and not opened because it was neither notarized nor signed by two witnesses, as required by law, election officials have said.
Anny said Thursday he did not want to prolong the election process further by mounting an additional challenge and it is time for the town to heal.
“We wanted the people to vote, and the people had a right to vote. I hate that it ended up on a technicality again,” he said.
Anny added that he, as many others, would like to know just how the eighth voter voted.
That ballot cannot be opened but is thrown out under law, parish Registrar of Voters Robert Poche has said.