Reggie Thomas has been elected as Lafayette City Marshal for the next six years.
According to complete but unofficial results from Saturday's election, Thomas was the top vote-getter with 51% compared with 49% received by Kip Judice. There was only a 274 vote margin.
The two men emerged from the November primary election as the top vote-getters in a field of four candidates.
The election of Thomas, 54, is historic. He is the first Black person elected to a city-wide position in Lafayette.
A U.S. Air Force veteran, Thomas has 30 years of law enforcement experience, including 11 months as interim Lafayette police chief and three years as deputy chief in which he oversaw the entire department and assisted in preparing the department's $33 million budget.
Thomas retired in June after Mayor-President Josh Guillory said he would eliminate the deputy chief's position, which would have dropped Thomas several levels in the hierarchy of the department.
Former Mayor-President Joel Robideaux created the deputy chief position for Thomas when the highest-ranking Black person on the force was unable to seek the vacant chief position because he had a two-year college degree and not a four-year bachelor's degree. Thomas has since earned his bachelor's degree.
The marshal's office assists with Lafayette City Court hearings, serves warrants and assists with evictions.
C. Michael Hill, an attorney and former federal magistrate judge, has been serving as interim city marshal since October 2018, after Brian Pope, the elected city marshal, was convicted of felony malfeasance in office. Pope attempted to run for reelection, but two judges ruled he was ineligible to do so. He later was sentenced to a year in prison on the felony convictions.