The special election for Division A of Lafayette City Court judge is set for Nov. 8, the same day as the U.S. Senate race, Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court Louis Perret told The Acadiana Advocate. The runoff, if needed, will be scheduled for Dec. 10. The Qualifying period will be July 20-22.

The winner will replace Judge Michelle Odinet, who resigned Dec. 31 after a video circulated of her using a racial slur. The video went viral, attracting national attention.

On Wednesday, retired District Court Judge Jules Edwards announced his bid to fill the seat vacated by Odinet. Edwards, who is running with no party affiliation, was defeated in the 2020 election by Odinet, who ran as a Republican, capturing 57% of the vote.

No other contenders have announced they are running so far.

City judges serve six-year terms. The division A and B seats do not represent geographic regions, so eligible Lafayette voters elect both positions.

On Dec. 17, the Louisiana Supreme Court appointed retired Opelousas City Court Judge Vanessa Harris as judge pro tempore through Feb. 28 to temporarily replace Odinet. Harris became the first Black judge to serve on Lafayette City Court.

It’s still not clear at the moment if Harris will serve until the new elections or if she will be replaced after Feb. 28.

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