Kevin Kimball BR.judgerace18jdc.adv

Kevin Kimball

Steve Marionneaux officially dropped out of the race for a vacant judge's spot within the 18th Judicial District Court, officials with the Louisiana Secretary of State's Office confirmed Friday. 

His withdrawal means Port Allen attorney Kevin Kimball gets an automatic win in the runoff election that was set for Nov. 18. 

Marionneaux could not be immediately reached on Friday for comment. 

Marionneaux on Tuesday posted a message on his campaign's Facebook page announcing his intention to drop out of the run-off election. In the post, he said, "Although we earned a fantastic vote October 14, I recognize that our collective efforts and resources would have to be extended to an extent that perhaps might be unreasonable."

"After discussions with my family and friends, I have decided to withdraw as a candidate in the Judicial runoff election," he wrote. 

Marionneaux and Kimball, who is a cousin of retired Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball, were the top two vote-getters in last week's primary election, edging ahead of a third opponent, Lonny Guidroz.

But Kimball had a healthy lead over Marionneaux. According to results from Saturday's race, Kimball won 45 percent of the vote compared to Marionneaux' s 31 percent.

Kimball said Friday Marionneaux reached out to him after posting the message on social media and the two shared a gracious conversation. 

"I'm very appreciative of him," Kimball said after learning Marionneaux had officially conceded. "I'm happy that now I can start the transition and get to work."

Kimball said he'll have about 30 days to close out any pending cases at his law practice before he has to be sworn into office. 

"I've already started the process of contacting active clients," he said. "That's going to take some time to make sure all those cases are handled properly."

Kimball centered his campaign around promises to address the judicial district's ongoing struggles with juvenile justice.

He said previously that holding parents more accountable for their children and utilizing early intervention programs are the best way to address the underlying issues driving juvenile crime in the 18th JDC, which encompasses Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and Iberville parishes.

The 53-year-old attorney also said he intends to encourage the district attorney's office to utilize the resources available through the "Families in Need of Services" program, which seeks to reduce juvenile court involvement by offering an array of outreach services for children. Kimball spent 17 years as a public defender and 11 years in general practice.

Kimball would also like to push the implementation of a truancy program in Pointe Coupee Parish to get more young offenders attending school on a regular basis.

Follow Terry Jones on Twitter, @tjonesreporter.