Incumbent Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi secured re-election, while parish President Mitch Ourso extended his tenure after defeating three challengers.
Ourso fended off two other Democrats and a non-party candidate angling for his seat by securing roughly 55 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. He finished roughly 15 percentage points over Plaquemine business owner Percy E. Butler Jr.
Two other contenders attracted less than five percentage points.
Ourso said he plans to step down as president after his next term. But he said he needed to extend his lengthy career by one term to build a much-needed bridge over the Mississippi River to solve transportation woes on the westbank.
He's he held the parish’s administrative leader official since 1997 following the passage of a Home Rule Charter and sailed to an easy victory in 2015 by attracting 70 percent of the vote.
He pointed to his experience and contacts within state and federal agencies as key to getting a bridge built over the river in southern Plaquemine, an undertaking that would cost well over $1 billion and require coordination among local, state and federal governments.
Stassi, a Democrat, overwhelmingly defeated Democratic challenger and White Castle police officer Darren "D-man" Bourgeois, 28, by a nearly a 4-to-1 margin, according to unofficial returns.
The parish is grabbing with fallout from the opioid epidemic, including a rise in both legal and illegal drug abuse.
Stassi said among his goals are to curb drug abuse in the parish that's contributing to some 400 to 500 annual arrests. He faulted a rise in prescription painkiller abuse that's led to a rise in heroin abuse.
The Parish Council joined thousands of other local governments by filing a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies accusing them of over-distributed prescription opioid drugs that doctors prescribed beyond their patients' medical needs. The result has been an enormous strain on the sheriff's office and its budget, parish officials allege.
Stassi, a Democrat, became sheriff in 2012 and worked as a detective for the District Attorney's Office for more than three decades before running for sheriff. He was unopposed in 2015 and won with 54 percent of the vote in 2011.
A recent program Stassi helped to divert drug offenders to treatment while their criminal cases are pending has seen about 100 people pass through it. He said that it's helped address their addictions before they leave jail, Stassi said.
Jessel "Mitchell" Ourso Jr.
EDUCATION Plaquemine High School 1971
PROFESSION: Business Owner, Parish President
NAME: Brett M. Stassi
EDUCATION: Graduated from St. John High School. Associate's Degree in criminal justice at Nicholls State University.
PROFESSION: Iberville Parish Sheriff. Previously detective for the District Attorney's Office.