School board races across New Orleans-area suburban parishes kicked off Wednesday with the opening of qualifying for the Nov. 6 election. Government and judicial races in Jefferson, St. Tammany, Plaquemines and Orleans parishes also dot the ballot.
The three-day qualifying period ends Friday.
In the high-profile Jefferson Parish School Board election, five incumbents drew challengers in their races. They are Mark Morgan, Ricky Johnson, Tiffany Higgins Kuhn, Cedric Floyd and Marion "Coach" Bonura.
Clay Moise was the only candidate to qualify for the District 4 seat now held by Melinda Bourgeois.
East bank incumbents Larry Dale, Melinda Doucet and Sandy Denapolis-Bosarge also filed to run for re-election but drew no opponents Wednesday. Dale lives in Metairie, Doucet is from Harahan and Denapolis-Bosarge is from Kenner. All are Republicans.
In Harahan, Mayor Tina Miceli and Councilman Tim Baudier, both Republicans, filed to compete to be the city's mayor.
Police Chief Tim Walker, a Republican, qualified for re-election.
The five seats on the Harahan City Council attracted 10 candidates as of Wednesday. Incumbents Carrie Wheeler, Susan Benton and Craig Johnston, all Republicans, filed to seek new terms. They were joined by Eric Chatelain, Tommy Budde, Nathan "Nate" Lepre, Patrick McDaniel, Gabrielle Izzo, Bobby Moss and John Riehm.
Chatelain, a former councilman who lost to Miceli in the runoff election for mayor four years ago, is a Republican, as is Budde, who is on the city's zoning board. McDaniel, Lepre and Izzo are also Republicans. Riehm, who has been spearheading efforts against a local sandpit operator on behalf of nearby residents, is registered as "no party," while Moss is an independent.
Judge John Molaison of the 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna filed to run for an open seat on the Louisiana 5th Circuit Court of Appeal. The seat came open in January when Judge Robert Murphy retired. It has been filled in the meantime by retired Judge Marion Edwards.
Molaison, a Republican, is a former assistant district attorney who was elected to the 24th JDC bench in 2007.
The eight judges on the state 5th Circuit Court hear appeals from state district courts in Jefferson, St. Charles and St. John the Baptist parishes. Jefferson elects six of those judges, while St. Charles and St. John each elect one.
In the race for an open seat on the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court bench, Amanda Calogero, a Republican, was the only qualifier Wednesday.
In Orleans Parish, there were few surprises on the first day of qualifying.
City Councilman Jared Brossett is running against Chelsey Richard Napoleon, the longtime deputy clerk of Civil District Court, for the clerk's post vacated by Dale Atkins when she was elected to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal in March.
Tort lawyer Omar Mason is vying with attorney Richard Perque for the Civil District Court Division E judgeship, which was left open when Judge Clare Jupiter died in May. Mason and Perque both made unsuccessful runs for separate Civil District Court seats over the past year.
In the race for 1st City Court clerk, former state Rep. Austin Badon qualified to run against Timothy David Ray, who has been filling in at the position since Ellen Hazeur’s election as a Civil District Court judge.
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Paula Brown, 2nd City Court Clerk Darren Lombard, 2nd City Court Constable Edwin Shorty Jr., 2nd City Court Judge E. “Teena” Anderson-Trahan, Municipal and Traffic Court Division F Judge Joseph “Joe” Landry and Division F Judge Robert “Bobby” Jones III, all Democratic incumbents, qualified and face no opponents thus far.
In Plaquemines Parish, incumbent Parish President Amos Cormier III has drawn a challenge from Councilman Kirk Lepine, whom Cormier defeated to fill out the rest of the current term two years ago. The post came open when Cormier's father, Amos Cormier Jr., died while in office.
In St. Tammany, candidates qualified in all but one of the 15 School Board races.
No candidates qualified for District 9, the Madisonville area district represented by Sharon Lo Drucker. Eight other board races drew only one candidate Wednesday.
Three candidates signed up to run for the House District 90 legislative seat, which Greg Cromer relinquished June 30, just before he took office as Slidell's mayor.
Brian Glorioso and John Raymond, both Republicans, qualified in the race along with Shawn Morrison, the chairman of St. Tammany's Democratic Parish Executive Committee.
Abita Springs, Folsom and Pearl River have municipal elections on the November ballot. All three incumbent mayors qualified Wednesday. But while Pearl River Mayor David McQueen, a Republican, did not draw an opponent, artist John Preble, no party, qualified to run against Abita Springs Mayor Greg Lemons, a Republican.
Folsom Mayor Lance Willie, a Republican, also drew an opponent, Democrat Wendell Sams.
Four candidates qualified for the five seats on the Pearl River Board of Aldermen: incumbent David McGregor, a Republican; Angel Galloway, an independent; Claud Stucke, no party; and Joe Lee, a Republican.
In Abita Springs, Evette Randolph, a Republican; Stewart "ManyLightnings" Eastman, a Green Party candidate; and George Long, who lists no party, qualified for the three seats. No incumbents qualified.
Only one candidate qualified for Folsom's three-member Board of Aldermen: Shawn Dillon, a Republican.
In addition to Jefferson and St. Tammany, there are school board races in Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles and St. John the Baptist parishes.
Advocate staff writers Sara Pagones and Matt Sledge contributed to this story.