Voting signs (stock election)

A stack of signs are stacked at the Louisiana Voting Machine Warehouse 

Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard has drawn a challenger in the October election, but many other parish-level incumbents remain unopposed towards the end of qualifying Thursday.

Walter Ray "Beau 22" Wesley, an Independent, filed Thursday against incumbent Ard, a Republican.

Clerk of Court Jason Harris, Coroner Ron Coe and Parish President Layton Ricks remain without challengers as of noon Thursday. Assessor Jeff Taylor remained unopposed for much of qualifying but Republican Brandon Browning joined the race late Thursday.

In the statewide races, the 71st District State Representative race had a lengthy five-candidate list as of late Thursday, all of whom qualified on the first day.

Democrat Lori Callais of Denham Springs will take on Republicans Jonathan Davis of Walker, Ivy Graham of Denham Springs, Buddy Mincey Jr, of Denham Springs, and Robert Poole of Denham Springs.

Incumbent Clay Schexnayder, a Sorrento Republican, hasn't drawn any challengers for the 81st Representative District, and 95th District incumbent Sherman Mack, a Republican, is challenged by Walker Democrat Robin Parrott.

Qualifying for the Oct. 12 election began Tuesday and runs through close of business Thursday. If a candidate secures 50 percent of the vote on election day they will have won the seat, but if not, the top two candidates will move to a runoff race Nov. 16.

All nine districts on the parish council are up for re-election, and almost all incumbents have formally expressed their interest in keeping their seat at the table.

Jeff Ard, Garry "Frog" Talbert, Maurice "Scooter" Keen, John Wascom, R.C. Bubba Harris, Tracy Girlinghouse, and council president Shane Mack, all Republicans, had qualified. District 6 and 8 incumbents, Jeff Averett and Tab Lobell, had not qualified as of Thursday.

Four newcomers have qualified, however, for Averett's seat. Derek Babcock, Muriel Laws, Steve McDaniel, and Gerald McMorris have all qualified. Laws is a Democrat, and the rest are Republican.

Randy Delatte and Barry Hardy, both Republicans, have qualified for Lobell's seat.

Kyle "Hoot" Parker, a Republican, is challenging Talbert for his District 2 seat, Republican Julius Craig is challenging Ard in District 1 and both Shannon Sloan and Brian Ross, a Libertarian and Republican, respectively, are in competition for District 3. All other incumbents have not yet drawn challengers.

The recent retirement of 21st Judicial District Court Judge Doug Hughes left a seat in Division D open in late June. Brian Abels, a Denham Springs Republican, Ernie Drake, a Springfield Republican, and William Scott Dykes, a Hammond Republican, have all qualified as of Thursday. 

One candidate, Cary Mosby, had qualified for the troubled French Settlement Police Chief position. Former chief Harry Brignac stepped down from his role in late 2018 after multiple allegations surfaced during a state audit that landed him malfeasance in office charges. In part, Brignac was charged with letting his wife drive a patrol car despite being unlicensed, and charging personal fuel expenses to a village credit card.

Brignac had been the village's police chief more than 30 years before stepping down. The village's board of alderman in November appointed interim chief William Bliss, who said at the time he would not run for the position come election time.

Email Emma Kennedy at ekennedy@theadvocate.com.