The Nov. 6 midterm elections are not hotly contested in Louisiana, at least not at the federal level. However, the ballot contains a number of important races for state and local offices as well as seven statewide propositions. Early voting begins Tuesday, Oct. 23 and continues through Oct. 30.
Last week, we recommended voting for all six proposed state constitutional amendments and for a parish-by-parish initiative to allow fantasy sports wagering. Below are our endorsements in selected elections for local, state and federal offices. We do not endorse in judicial races.
The Nov. 6 ballot contains some important propositions that voters across Louisiana must decide. The propositions include six proposed constit…
For Secretary of State: Julie Stokes
State Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Metairie, is an easy choice in this special election, which was called when former Secretary of State Tom Schedler resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal. Early in her legislative career, Stokes established herself as a thoughtful, independent conservative who consistently put the interests of her district and the state above partisan machinations. A business owner and CPA, Stokes also is one of the Legislature’s few authorities on the state budget — and a leading voice for fiscal reform. Her skills and experience as a CPA will be an asset to her because the Secretary of State, as Louisiana’s chief elections officer, must ensure that voters’ information is protected, voting machines are tested and secured, and votes are counted timely and accurately. Most importantly, Stokes’ reputation for independence and fairness sets her apart in these times of political partisanship and polarization. Louisiana needs more elected officials like Julie Stokes, and we hope voters will elevate her to this important statewide position.
For Congress: Steve Scalise, Cedric Richmond
U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond defy the conventional norm in Washington. They belong to opposing political parties and disagree on most national issues, but they have a personal friendship and a deep mutual respect that allows them to put differences aside for their constituents across southeast Louisiana. Scalise, a Republican, represents the arch-conservative 1st District; Richmond, a Democrat, represents the mostly liberal 2nd District. In recent years, they have teamed up to provide millions of dollars in funding for improved flood protection and disaster relief, coastal restoration, and extension of the National Flood Insurance Program. Both men are now part of their respective parties’ leadership — Scalise as House Majority Whip and Richmond as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. No matter which party carries the day Nov. 6, southeast Louisiana will be well positioned.
Richmond’s views align with ours on national issues such as health care, immigration and tax reform, but we acknowledge that Scalise’s views reflect those of most voters in his district, which voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in 2016. We also recognize that his position as majority whip makes him an official cheerleader for the GOP. That said, we wish he would challenge the President on issues like tariffs, which are harmful to Louisiana’s economy, when the President uses inflammatory rhetoric that divides Americans and diminishes respect for the presidency — and when the president doesn't tell the truth, which is often.
For Clerk, Civil District Court: Jared Brossett
Locally, the special election for clerk of Civil District Court in New Orleans may be the most hotly contested race on the ballot. Two candidates hope to succeed longtime clerk Dale Atkins, who was elected to the state Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal last March. While both Interim Clerk Chelsey Richard Napoleon and District D City Councilman Jared Brossett present solid credentials, we give the nod to Brossett, who we feel will bring needed changes to an office that has lagged behind other clerks’ offices in southeast Louisiana in terms of electronic filing and retrieval of important legal documents. Brossett has a solid record of constituent service and working with others in the public arena as a state legislator and City Council member, and his commitment to make the office more accessible to attorneys and average citizens alike is genuine. Brossett’s experience as a lawmaker and council member also should enable him to get needed additional resources for the office and its staff.
For Clerk, First City Court: Austin Badon
The special election for Clerk of First City Court pits Interim Clerk Timothy David Ray against former state Rep. Austin Badon. While we endorsed Ray for City Council last year, we think Badon is the better choice for this position. Badon was a voice for reform in the Legislature, and we believe he will reform and improve the First City Court Clerk’s office as well. As a lawmaker, Badon understood the importance of working with other officials to get things done. The clerk likewise must work with First City Court judges to balance the office’s budget while providing important services to citizens, most of whom go to First City Court without legal representation. We believe Badon is best suited to that task.