Jeremy Hidalgo and Josh Carlson will face a runoff for the District 3 seat on the new Lafayette Parish Council.
The two surfaced during Saturday's election as the top contenders out of the four Republicans vying for the district seat, which spans the southeastern section of Lafayette Parish, including Youngsville and Broussard.
Hidalgo led the race with about 41% of the vote.
"It was really close to what I expected," Hidalgo said Saturday night. "I anticipated a runoff. I'm very proud that I led. I didn't know whether I would or not, but I'm very proud that I did, and I'm very excited about November 16."
Carlson followed Hidalgo with about 31% of the vote. The two will compete for the seat in the general election on Nov. 16.
"This is about what we were expecting," Carlson said Saturday night. "We expected to be in a runoff. We've been planning for a runoff for the last few weeks while also maintaining momentum for this race."
Hidalgo is the chief operations officer for the city of Broussard and a small business owner. He also holds the District 9 seat on the Lafayette Parish School Board.
Carlson is a school technology director who owns an IT consulting firm.
The two were up against Mike Davis, an engineer who works for a Broussard company, and Jon Liprie, a doctor and hospital administrator.
Davis had about 23% of the vote. Liprie had about 5% of the vote.
Hidalgo watched the election results come in while attending campaign parties around the parish. He was at a party for Lafayette Parish Tax Assessor John Harold Broussard at The Ballroom in Broussard when the final results came in.
"We're just going to keep working," Hidalgo said. "We're full speed ahead. We're going to keep sending our message out. We feel like we're going to have some solid endorsements. At the end of the day, my platform has been broad, but it's about working together and forming relationships. That's important, and I think we're going to see more of it."
Carlson watched the election results come in at a small party at his home; he plans to host a larger party for the general election when the winner of the District 3 seat will be determined.
"We're going to treat this race like it's a brand new race," Carlson said. "We're going to continue to walk neighborhoods, make phone calls and try to meet with as many of the voters as possible."
The successful campaign to split up the Lafayette City-Parish Council last year centered on the city of Lafayette’s lack of a dedicated council, an anomaly among the parish’s six municipalities. That Lafayette Parish also lacked its own council was less often discussed. Still, voters elected the first Parish Council in more than two decades during Saturday's election.
The implications of a dedicated Parish Council will span a range of issues, including two that have recently provoked hot debate: drainage and libraries. Those two priorities have been frequently pitted against each other over the past year, revealing underlying political dynamics within the existing consolidated council.
See a complete list of election results at the Louisiana Secretary of State's website.
Advocate Staff Writer Ben Myers contributed to this report.