Bacala wins House 59 race, beating Bell, Messer in election for open Prairieville seat _lowres

Tony Bacala

Tony Bacala won the House District 59 election Saturday with 66 percent of vote, beating two challengers for the open legislative seat and avoiding the need for a runoff.

Pat Bell had 25 percent and Rusty Messer garnered 9 percent of the vote.

Cutting the state budget and finding more money for roads have been big issues for the three Republicans running to replace term-limited state Rep. Eddie Lambert in fast-growing district.

The candidates, all Republicans, campaigned on finding a way to bring more infrastructure money back to the district, which represents the Prairieville and Dutchtown-area seat.

Bacala, a retired chief deputy for the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, had a lot of support, including Sheriff Jeff Wiley, many top deputies, a broad array of business people and conservative activist Lane Grigsby. Bacala has been the strongest fundraiser, but former one-term Parish Councilman Bell has deep family connections in the Duplessis area through his wife and touted years of experience on regional government boards before and after his council term.

As a contract public defender, Messer has contacts in the parish’s legal community.

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter @NewsieDave.