Destrehan lawyer Tim Marcel cruised to victory Tuesday in the race for the Division E seat on St. Charles Parish’s 29th Judicial District Court bench in Hahnville.
With all precincts reporting, Marcel finished with 61 percent of the vote, according to preliminary figures from the secretary of state’s office. The incumbent, Judge Michele Morel of Luling, had 39 percent.
The election was a rematch between the two, following a tightly contested race for the same seat in a 2012 special election. Marcel lost that race by 168 votes.
Marcel, 46, a Democrat, is a Nicholls State University graduate who obtained his law degree from LSU. He started his law practice after finishing at LSU in 1996, handling “virtually everything that in the district court I will be called to preside over,” he said in an interview last month.
Marcel has overseen both criminal and civil litigation and practiced family law, and has also represented the St. Charles Parish Council on several occasions in the past six years, including in a lawsuit filed by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu over the council’s nomination of a representative on the New Orleans Aviation Board.
He garnered several high-profile local endorsements in the parish, including from Clerk of Court Lance Marino, Sheriff Greg Champagne and District Attorney Joel Chaisson II.
The first-term district attorney sent Marcel a letter last week commending him for “the positive and professional way” he ran his campaign. Chaisson added that he was “deeply offended by the tactics” used by Morel, who brought up Marcel’s three drunken-driving arrests from decades ago. The letter was posted Saturday on the Facebook page for Marcel’s campaign.
Chaisson continued: “If your opponent didn’t have such a poor record, she would not have to make her case for re-election by ruthlessly attacking you with stale, false and misleading slurs against your good character.”
Morel is the daughter of longtime parish District Attorney Harry Morel, who preceded Chaisson in office.
Follow Richard Thompson on Twitter, @rthompsonMSY.