Ed Price.jpg

Ed Price

Edward "Ed" Price captured 63 percent of the vote Saturday in a special election run-off to fill the state senate seat vacated by former Sen. Troy Brown Saturday.

Price, a state representative from Gonzales, will serve through Jan. 13, 2020, which is the remainder of Brown's term. Brown resigned in mid-February following his admissions of violence against women.

There was 20 percent voter turnout Saturday, the same as in the primary election where Price and Warren Harang III were the top two finishers among 13 candidates. 

Some 14,731 voters cast ballots were in the runoff election. Price captured 9,224; Harang got 5,507.

With the vote falling on the Memorial Day weekend holiday and as the lone question on the ballot, political observers and analysts had little idea how the run-off would play out.

But the election of Price, a seasoned black elected official and retired plant worker, fell in line with the history of the majority-minority district, designed to increase the chances of producing black elected officials. 

Harang, a white Donaldsonville farmer and Democrat who has not held political office and ran as a conservative, led the April 29 primary, but ended up with just 37 percent of the votes on Saturday. 

More than 4,700 people cast their choice in the run-off through absentee ballots and early voting, which lasted a week and began May 13, according to the state Board of Elections. Those ballots made up almost a third of the run-off's total votes. 

Stretching from Port Allen to Thibodaux to the south and just beyond LaPlace to the east, the sprawling Senate District 2 encompasses parts of eight parishes along the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche.

Brown, a Democrat from Napoleonville who had been re-elected to a second term in October 2015 with 72 percent of the vote, resigned from the Senate Feb. 16, the eve of what would have been the first Senate expulsion proceeding in 35 years.

Brown had twice pleaded no contest in two separate incidents involving physical violence against two women. Under Louisiana law, both charges were misdemeanors. He served a short time in jail, paid a fine and sought counseling.

Brown said though he felt he was treated unfairly, he believed two-thirds of the Senate would have voted to remove him so he resigned instead.

Follow Grace Toohey on Twitter, @grace_2e.