Denham Springs attorney Brian Abels has won a seat on the 21st Judicial District Court in Division D, defeating challenger Ernie Drake III in Saturday's election runoff.
Abels, 50, is magistrate for the mayors' courts in Killian and Springfield. He also previously served as the Springfield prosecutor.
Complete but unofficial results show Abels winning the seat, 56% to 44%. In last month's primary, Abels got 42% of the vote to 36% for Drake. The two Republicans had defeated William Dykes in the primary.
Abels, who's practiced law for 22 years, has a number of family members serving or having served in public office in Livingston. He said during his campaign that when the 21st Judicial District Court seat was left open upon the retirement of Judge Doug Hughes, he felt if was his turn to run for office, "to make a career change, if I'm fortunate enough to be elected."
Drake, 37, served as a public defender for the 21st Judicial District Court for two years before resigning in August to run for the Division D seat.
The 21st Judicial District Court covers Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes.