Now that former Mandeville City Councilman Jerry Coogan has signed up to run for his old District 1 seat against one-term incumbent David Ellis, it’s official: No elected position in Mandeville will go unchallenged during the March 5 election.
Coogan, whose entry into the race capped the final day of qualifying Friday, fell 58 votes shy in a 2012 bid to gain one of the council’s two at-large seats.
He has served as the mayor’s appointee to the city’s Citizen Financial Committee and, at times, criticized the sitting council.
Coogan’s loss in 2012 was part of a major turnover on the council, with four of the five members being replaced. The lone survivor at that time, Carla Buchholz, who now represents District 2, has qualified to run for an at-large seat in March.
The man who finished just ahead of Coogan in 2012, Clay Madden, also qualified Friday, bringing the number of candidates for the at-large spots to three. Businesswoman Lauré Sica joins Madden and Buchholz in that race.
In District 3, John Keller has jumped into the race to challenge one-term incumbent Ernest Burguières. Jeff Lyons, the son of former Mayor Bubby Lyons, also is seeking that seat.
Michael Pulaski and Melinda Crawford are vying to replace Buchholz in the District 2 seat, meaning the council will have at least one new face after March 5.
Perhaps the hottest race will be between incumbent Mayor Donald Villere and his sole challenger, at-large Councilman Rick Danielson. That race has been underway for some time, and the two already have begun sniping at each other.
In nearby Madisonville, longtime Mayor Peter Gitz did not qualify for another term, leaving Mark Badeaux and Jean Pelloat to battle for the job. Eight candidates qualified for the city’s five council positions, all of which are at-large positions. All those candidates run in the same field.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.