Qualifying for the March 25 primary election continued Tuesday, with races dotting the metro area, including contests for councils and mayors in Gretna and Westwego as well as a pair of appeals court seats, a Civil District Court seat in New Orleans, a state legislative seat and an open Covington City Council seat.
The largest numbers of races are in Gretna and Westwego, where the mayors, police chiefs and all City Council members are up for re-election.
In Gretna, incumbent Belinda Constant, a Democrat, and Green Party candidate William Boartfield have qualified for the mayor's race.
Police Chief Arthur Lawson, whose party affiliation is “other,” is thus far the only candidate to qualify for the job he now holds.
On the City Council, incumbents Wayne Rau (at-large), Milton Crosby (District 1), Michael Hinyub (District 2), Mark Miller (District 3) and Jackie Berthelot (District 4) are the only candidates to qualify for their races. Rau, Crosby and Hinyub and Democrats, while Miller and Berthelot are Republicans.
In Westwego, three candidates have emerged in the race to be mayor: incumbent John Shaddinger, Joe Peoples and former Councilman Ted Munch, all of whom are Democrats. Shaddinger defeated Munch for the seat four years ago.
On the council, Glenn Green, a Democrat, is the only candidate to qualify for the District 1 seat so far.
In District 2, incumbent Councilman Johnny Nobles and Joshua Melford, both Democrats, have qualified.
In District 3, Republicans Michael J. Hymel and Lisa Valence signed up to run for the seat now held by Norman Fonseca.
In District 4, Councilman Garrison Toups qualified to run again and drew a challenger, Matthew J. Rivere. Both are Republicans.
In District 5, Johnnie Lynn Thibodeaux, Robert Heffker and Courtney Watts Reyes qualified to run for the seat now held by Councilman Larry Warino. Thibodeaux and Heffker are Republicans, while Reyes lists no party affiliation.
Incumbent Police Chief Dwayne “Poncho” Munch is the only candidate so far to qualify for that post.
Former Kenner City Council member Joe Stagni and Gisela Chevalier, both Republicans, jumped into the House District 92 race. The district straddles Jefferson and St. Charles parishes.
Two candidates have qualified for an open seat on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal: Paula Brown and Tiffany Gautier Chase. Both are Democrats from New Orleans. The court's district includes Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes.
Two candidates also are vying for the Civil District Court Division B seat in New Orleans: Rachael Johnson and M. Suzanne "Suzy" Montero, both Democrats.
In Covington, Trey Blackall and Patrick McMath have qualified for a City Council seat that was vacated when longtime Councilman Lee Alexius died last year. The winner will serve for the remainder of Alexius' term, which expires in 2019.
Elsewhere in St. Tammany Parish, Allison Penzato was the lone candidate qualifying for the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal seat being vacated by Ernie Drake.
In St. John the Baptist Parish, Republicans James "Buddy" Duhe, Steven Fraker and Thomas Malik qualified for the Parish Council District 7 seat. Democrats Nia Mitchell and Lisa Johnson Pittman threw their hats in the ring for the School Board District 10 spot.
In St. Charles Parish, Paul Hymel was the lone qualifier for justice of the peace in District 5.
Qualifying ends Friday.
Editor's note: This story was changed on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 to correct House candidate Joe Stagni's first name and fix a typo that suggested Gisela Chevalier had been a Kenner City Council member.