Two East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council members jumped into races for the Louisiana Legislature on Tuesday and two more are expected to enter races before qualifying ends on Thursday.
Democratic Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards qualified for the District 29 House seat, where she will run against attorney Edmond Jordan from Brusly and East Baton Rouge School Board member Vereta Lee, who are both Democrats. The House seat, held by Rep. Regina Barrow, who is running for state Senate, crosses the Mississippi River.
Councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis signed up to run for the District 61 House seat, in which she is expected to face fellow Democrat and Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle. That seat had been held by state Rep. Alfred Williams, who died earlier this year.
Republican Councilman Ryan Heck has started his campaign for the District 69 state House, but he was not qualified for the race Tuesday. His opponent, Paula Davis, also a Republican, qualified on Tuesday. She has worked in state government, including as a deputy commissioner of insurance.
State Rep. Regina Barrow, a Democrat, and state Rep. Dalton Honoré, also a Democrat, both qualified for longtime state Sen. Sharon Weston Broome’s seat. Broome, who was prohibited from seeking re-election by term limits, plans to run for mayor in 2016.
State Rep. Darrell Ourso, a Republican who was elected earlier this year to a seat in the south part of East Baton Rouge Parish, picked up two challengers: Antoine Pierce, a Democrat, and Rusty Secrist, a Republican.
Two Democrats qualified to run for Honoré’s District 63 House seat: Barbara West Carpenter, a Southern University dean, and Joyce Marie Plummer, a lawyer.
Scott McKnight, a Republican from Baton Rouge, qualified to run for the District 16 Senate seat held by fellow Republican Dan Claitor, who had not yet signed up to run but is expected to by the end of the week.
Other incumbents who qualified without opposition on Tuesday include: Sen. Bodi White, a Republican from Baton Rouge; Rep. Patricia Smith, a Democrat from Baton Rouge; Steve Carter, a Republican from Baton Rouge; Franklin Foil, a Republican from Baton Rouge; Rep. Barry Ivey, a Republican from Baton Rouge; and Rep. Kenny Havard, a Republican from St. Francisville.
In Ascension Parish, incumbent state Sen. Troy Brown, D-Paincourtville, has drawn opposition from Chris Delpit, a Democrat from Gonzales, for the District 2 seat.
State Rep. Eddie Lambert, R-Prairieville, is so far unopposed for the Senate District 18 seat, a Prairieville-area district now held by state Sen. Jody Amedee, who is term-limited, as is Lambert in his House district.
State Rep. Ed Price, D-Gonzales, has drawn opposition from Nathaniel Rapp Jr., a Democrat from Darrow, for re-election to state House District 58.
Former Parish Council Chairman Pat Bell and Tony Bacala, a former chief deputy for Sheriff Jeff Wiley, have qualified to replace Lambert in his House District 59. Both are Republicans.
Meanwhile, one-term State Rep. Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, has drawn opposition from Lester McLin, a Republican from Springfield, for re-election to state House District 81.
In Livingston Parish, state Sen. Dale Erdey, R-Livingston, qualified, as did state Reps. Valarie Hodges, a Republican from Denham Springs, J. Rogers Pope, a Republican from Denham Springs, and Sherman Mack, R-Albany.
Rep. Clay Schexnayder, a Republican from Sorrento, whose District 81 seat also extends into Livingston Parish, drew an opponent in Lester McLin, a Republican from Springfield.
On the west side, incumbents state Sen. Rick Ward III, R-Port Allen, and Major Thibaut, D-Oscar, both qualified without opposition. Chad Brown, a Democrat, qualified for the District 60 House seat currently occupied by Rep. Karen St. Germain, who is blocked from seeking re-election by term limits.