The Slidell City Council will have at least two new faces, a guarantee from the start with two open seats due to term limits. Both winners in those races racked up big victories: Glynn Pichon, a member of the Slidell Planning and Zoning Commission, beat Jonathan Johnson for the District A seat with 73 percent of the vote, in complete but unofficial returns, and Val Vanney overcame Kristie Fraught and Susie Morris in District D with 55 percent of the vote.
District C also has a new council member, but the winner in that race, Warren Crockett, recaptured the seat that he had lost to Buddy Lloyd in the 2010 race. He captured 55 percent of the vote in the rematch.
For the most part, it was a good night for incumbents, with at-large council members Landon Cusimano and Kim Harbison walking back in for second terms with 33 percent and 26 percent of the vote respectively. While the at-large seats go to the top two vote-getters, the candidates had to have 25 percent of the vote plus one in the field of four to avoid a runoff. Newcomer Brad Rummel just missed with 24 percent of the vote while Lionel Hicks, who was term-limited in District A, came in last with 17 percent of the vote.
District F incumbent Jay Newcomb sailed in to a second term, besting challenger Irma Russell with 76 percent of the vote.
The one incumbent who was forced into a runoff was District E Councilman Sam Caruso, who will meet retired business owner Pete O’Connell in the May 3 election. Caruso got 48 percent of the vote and O’Connell 32 percent. Optometrist Keith Sehon came in last with 21 percent.
Two district council members were re-elected without opposition, District B Councilman Sam Abney and District G Councilman Bill Borchert. Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan and Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith were also re-elected without opposition.
Elsewhere in St. Tammany, a 5-mill tax for streets in Abita Spring passed by 211 to 106 in complete but unofficial returns with unofficial turnout estimated at 17.5 percent. A 3.5 mill tax for St. Tammany Parish Recreation District No. 1 won in complete but unofficial returns, with 2,711 votes in favor and 1,583 against. The unofficial turnout was estimate at 10.3 percent.