Voters in House District 72 easily reelected state Rep. "Robby" Carter, of Greensburg, on Saturday to a fifth non-consecutive term, defeating first-time candidate Marylee Bellau, of Kentwood.
Carter received 81 percent of the vote, according to complete but unofficial returns.
Carter, an attorney, was originally elected to the House of Representatives in 1996 and then reelected to two more terms. He “termed out” in 2008. District 72 was then represented by John Bel Edwards, of Amite, who was later elected governor. After sitting out two terms, Carter was returned to the House in 2015.
District 72 covers St. Helena Parish as well as parts of East Feliciana and Tangipahoa parishes. Of its 28,356 registered voters, almost 61 percent are Democrat and 59 percent are black.
On Sept. 18, Bellau was arrested by Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies on Sept. 18 and charged with possession of illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia and child endangerment. She bonded out of parish jail two days later. Bellau could not be reached for an interview with The Advocate in advance of Saturday’s election despite numerous attempts to reach her.
Carter said his priorities remain education, health, and improved roads and bridges. Carter, however, said he’s against raising the gas tax to pay for improved infrastructure because many of his constituents had long commutes to work. He said he’d reconsider if the state raised the minimum wage.
Carter also pledged to work to keep Lallie Kemp Hospital in Independence, one of the few charity hospitals still administered by the state, in operation and fully funded.
Carter has reported raising more than $43,000 for his re-election campaign, while Bellau has thus far submitted no campaign finance reports.
Candidate: “Robby” Carter
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Experience: Served in State House of Representatives 1996-2008; Reelected 2015.