Lt. Gov. Bill Nungesser on Saturday night easily won a second four-year term as Louisiana’s second highest ranking official.
The count is incomplete but with more than half the precincts counted the 60-year-old Republican is on track to defeat Democratic candidate Willie Jones, of New Orleans.
In addition to taking the reins when the governor is incapacitated, the lieutenant governor oversees tourism, one the state’s largest industries, as well as the state’s 45 recreational parks, fishing areas, seafood industry, and the state’s 13 museums.
Once the polls close in Louisiana on Saturday night, results will begin to come in for statewide and Baton Rouge-area races in one of the busi…
The son of former Republican Gov. Dave Treen’s closest aide, Nungesser was the two-term president of Plaquemines Parish before entering the 2015 race when Jay Dardenne decided to run for governor. Dardenne had defeated Nungesser for the post in 2011.
In the 2015 runoff, Nungesser defeated Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden with 55.4 percent of the vote, attracting 628,864 votes.
Jones served on the Orleans Parish District E Democratic Executive Committee and the Louisiana State Central Committee for District 100. He wanted to support small businesses and would have started an entrepreneurial program. He wanted to ensure better representation of minorities and women to 29 boards.
His tenure was marked with criticisms about using a unit in the historic Pontalba Apartments for personal use. He opposed the removal of four Confederate statutes from public areas in New Orleans and offered to take them for placement at historic sites controlled by the lieutenant governor.
Some State Parks faced closure because of budget cuts, but he saved a $17 million appropriation. Nungesser wants to create public-private partnerships to raise funding and provide greater services at the parks.