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David Amrhein

Early voting for the Dec. 8 election starts Saturday and continues Nov. 26 through Dec. 1.

Most Zachary leaders will keep their jobs for another four years after residents voted Mayor David Amrhein and several members of the city council and school board back into office in the Nov. 6 election.

Voters ousted only one incumbent: City Councilman Tommy Womack. And of the nine local races on the ballot, just one — for the school board seat currently held by longtime member Beth Kimmell — will go to a runoff.

Amrhein, who will begin his third term in January, won with 67 percent of votes over first-time political candidate Jeff Ponder’s 33 percent, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office. Just over 7,100 people cast votes for mayor — the only citywide office up for grabs in the election — at an estimated turnout of about 57 percent.

Amrhein said during his campaign that his priorities will essentially stay the same: upgrading infrastructure as funds allow and continuing to make Zachary attractive to developers, potential new residents and business owners. Ponder argued that the mayor shouldn’t be so fast to invite more people and buildings because roads and drainage are struggling to keep up.

Concerns about Zachary’s growth also played an important role in races for the city council, which will see two new faces come January.

District 5 Councilman Womack lost his bid for a third term, falling 18 points short of Lael Montgomery’s 59 percent of votes. In District 4, 64 percent of voters picked Hunter Landry to replace incumbent Ben Cavin, who didn’t seek reelection.

Incumbents Francis Nezianya, of District 1, and Laura O’Brien, of District 3, were re-elected with 70 percent and 75 percent of votes, respectively.

Four school board races were also on the ballot.

District 2 incumbent Brandy Westmoreland, who was appointed to fill a former board member’s unexpired term in 2016, won a full term with 58 percent of votes. Heidi Vessel, the District 6 incumbent, beat out two opponents and was re-elected with 62 percent of votes.

In District 4, sitting board member Donna Grice did not seek reelection. With 56 percent of votes, Kenneth Mackie won back the post he held from 2011 to 2014.

The District 7 seat remains up in the air. In the Dec. 8 runoff, voters will choose between Kimmell, who has served on the board since its inception in the early 2000s, and challenger Jennifer Boyd.

Boyd got 49 percent of votes compared to Kimmell’s 40 percent. Another 11 percent of voters supported Ginger Zeringue Deroche.

Several officials were re-elected without opposition. They are Police Chief David McDavid; City Councilman Brandon Noel; and school board members Gaynell Young, Marty Hughes, Hubie Owen, Ann Watkins and David Dayton.