The second day of qualifying for the Oct. 24 primary for area elections was fairly sleepy Wednesday, as is usually the case. The three-day process wraps up Thursday.
Jefferson Parish Councilman Ricky Templet drew a challenger for the District 1 seat in Scott Grindstaff, a political newcomer, and at-large Councilman Chris Roberts filed his paperwork to run for re-election against Louis Congemi and Jimmy Lawson in Division A. Roberts and Congemi are Republicans; Lawson is a Democrat.
Vincent Joseph De Salvo Jr., a Republican of Gretna, filed to run for parish president, joining Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni, Parish Councilman Elton Lagasse, Robin Daldegan Christiana and Al Morella.
In the race for the District 7 seat in the state Senate, state Rep. Jeff Arnold and former New Orleans City Councilman and state Rep. Troy Carter filed, joining Orleans Parish School Board member Leslie Ellison, who signed up Tuesday. All three are Democrats.
The seat, which includes Algiers and parts of West Jefferson and Plaquemines Parish, is being vacated by David Heitmeier.
In St. Tammany Parish, the field for parish president grew to three, with L. Kevin Coleman, who listed no party, of Mandeville, joining anti-fracking activist Margie Vicknair-Pray, of Lacombe, in challenging incumbent Pat Brister.
In the hotly contested race for St. Tammany sheriff, a fourth announced candidate, Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith, qualified Wednesday. Incumbent Jack Strain and challengers Jennifer Werther and Scott Illing had qualified Tuesday.
In St. Bernard Parish, one candidate was still conspicuously absent: Parish President David Peralta, who faces criminal charges in three jurisdictions. Many observers wondered Wednesday if he had reconsidered his plan to run for re-election, but Peralta said he plans to file his papers Thursday.
He said he has gotten “no less than 30 calls” from residents asking if he has another position in mind: sheriff. Though he said he was flattered by the attention, Peralta noted that the callers were “evenly divided on people who wanted me to and people who told me not to.”
“Law enforcement will always be my first and true love,” said Peralta, a former policeman, before adding: “I’m not finished doing what I need to do here” in the president’s job.
Louis Pomes, a Democrat, filed to run for president Wednesday, joining Wayne Landry, Guy McInnis, Tony “Ricky” Melerine and Roland Roques. All but Roques are current or former Parish Council members.
“I’ve got some damn good candidates running against me,” Peralta said. “Almost every one of us has been involved in public service of some kind since we came into the workforce. That’s pretty damn good that these are the kind of people that want to run for president and want to lead this parish.”
Taking a closer look at qualifying in area parishes:
Grindstaff said that in the race for the District 1 seat, he’ll focus on getting results on day-to-day issues of traffic congestion, street repair and drainage. “Too often we just rest on our laurels and say someone else is going to take care of it,” said Grindstaff, 38, who lives in Harvey and works at Mothe Life Insurance in Gretna.
In the race for the Senate District 9 seat, incumbent Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, was joined by Scott Songy, of Metairie, who listed his party as “other.”
Kenneth Cutno and Kenneth Garrett Sr. joined Lourdes Moran and Gary Carter in filing to run for the state House District 102 seat.
In legislative races, incumbent Scott Simon, an Abita Springs Republican, qualified for the 74th House District, so far drawing no opponents.
“Ben’’ Barnett, a Covington Republican, qualified in the 104th House District, challenging incumbent Paul Hollis, who had qualified Tuesday.
Additional candidates qualified for five of the 14 Parish Council seats.
Mike Shay, a Covington Republican, will run in District 1 against incumbent Marty Dean.
Incumbent Dennis Sharp qualified in District 2; so far he has no opponents.
The field for the District 7 seat doubled in size Wednesday with candidates Joseph “Joe Demco’’ Savarese and Jacki Schneider, both Republicans from Lacombe, joining incumbent Jake Groby, also a Lacombe Republican, and Gerrin Narcisse, a Lacombe Democrat.
Two challengers entered the race for District 11: Haley Galloway and George Haase, both Slidell Republicans. Incumbent Steve Stefancik, also a Slidell Republican, had qualified Tuesday.
In District 14, incumbent T.J. Smith, a Pearl River Democrat, qualified Wednesday. Jimmy Strickland III, a Slidell Democrat, had qualified Tuesday.
St. John the Baptist
Incumbent Parish President Natalie Robottom filed to run for re-election, joining Daniel Becnel Jr., DeLisa Brown, Charles Julien, Terry Gene Lewis Sr. and Kent St. Amant.
St. Amant, who also filed Wednesday, is the lone Republican in the race.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.