McInnis elected St. Bernard Parish president _lowres

Wayne Landry

By 354 votes, St. Bernard Parish Councilman Guy McInnis edged former Councilman Wayne Landry in a close race for the parish presidency Saturday.

McInnis took 52 percent of the vote.

About 45 percent of parish residents turned out for the runoff, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Incumbent David Peralta, whose legal woes made him a long shot in the seven-way primary as he sought a second term, finished fifth in last month’s election with 3 percent.

McInnis, 52, of Meraux, has worked as a teacher and basketball coach at Chalmette High School for the past 16 years. He has no party affiliation.

An accountant, he served as Parish Council chairman. He also was elected a justice of the peace in 1996 and managed the Sheriff’s Office’s finances in the mid-1990s.

Landry, 56, a Democrat who lives in eastern St. Bernard, served on the council from 2008 to 2012. He is a lifelong parish resident who spearheaded development of the $70 million parish hospital. He served without pay as its interim CEO after the nonprofit Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System withdrew from managing it in late 2012.

He lost a bruising race for sheriff in 2011 to Jimmy Pohlmann.

Peralta faces pending criminal charges in three separate jurisdictions.

In last month’s primary, Landry took 32 percent of the vote; McInnis had 27 percent.

Follow Richard Thompson on Twitter, @rthompsonMSY.