Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand announces he is stepping down as sheriff in Harvey, La. on July 25, 2017. Joseph Lopinto, a former JPSO detective pictured in uniform in the background, was appointed to serve as interim sheriff.

Updated at 11 a.m. Wednesday:

Below is a list of candidates who have qualified thus far for the March 24 primary. Qualifying runs through Friday. 


Judge, Court of Appeal 4th Circuit, 1st District, Division F

Robin Pittman, Democrat

Dale Atkins, Democrat

State Representative 93rd Representative District

Kenneth Charles "Kenny" Bordes, Democrat

Royce Duplessis, Democrat

Judge Civil District Court, Division A

Ellen Hazeur, Democrat

Richard Perque, Democrat



John Fortunato, Republican

Joseph Lopinto III, Republican

Member of School Board District 3

Tiffany Higgins Kuhn, Republican

Constable 5th Justice Court

Allen Leone Jr., Republican

Jack Rizzuto, Republican

Mayor City of Kenner

"Ben" Zahn, Republican

Chief of Police City of Kenner

Michael Glaser, Republican

Councilman at Large Division A, City of Kenner


Councilman at Large Division B, City of Kenner

"Tom" Willmott, Republican

Councilman District 1, City of Kenner

"Jackie" Brown-Cockerham, Democrat

Gregory W. Carroll, Democrat

Councilman District 2, City of Kenner

Michael G. "Mike" Sigur, Republican

Councilman District 3, City of Kenner

Glenn Hayes Sr., Republican

Councilman District 4, City of Kenner

Leonard Cline Jr., Republican

Councilman District 5, City of Kenner

James "Brian" Brennan, Republican


Justice(s) of the Peace Justice of the Peace Ward 1 (2 to be elected)

James "Scott" Ruel, Republican

Amy Murphree, Republican

Charles "Chuck" Wohltmann, Republican

"Wally" Porter, Republican

Casey Revere, Republican

Mayor City of Slidell

Bruce Clement, Republican

L. Landon Cusimano, Republican

Kevin C. Davis, Republican

Chief of Police City of Slidell

Randy Fandal, Republican

Council Members at Large City of Slidell (2 to be elected)

"Bill" Borchert Jr., Republican

Glynn Pichon, Democrat

Council Member District A, City of Slidell

Leslie Denham, Democrat

Council Member District B, City of Slidell

"Tommy" Benasco, Republican

Council Member District C, City of Slidell


Council Member District D, City of Slidell

Valsin C. "Val" Vanney Jr., Democrat

Council Member District E, City of Slidell


Council Member District F, City of Slidell

Kim Baronet Harbison, Republican

Council Member District G, City of Slidell

Ray L. Larry, Republican

Councilman District C, City of Covington

"Tim" Burke, Republican

Original Story:

The campaign for Jefferson Parish sheriff has been a two-horse race for weeks, as Joe Lopinto, Newell Normand's hand-selected successor, seeks to stave off a challenge from John Fortunato, the longtime Sheriff's Office spokesman. 


Retired Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office Col. John Fortunato officially announces his candidacy for Jefferson Parish sheriff in Metairie, La., on Oct. 19, 2017.

But that equation could change Wednesday — with the entry of one or more additional candidates — as the three-day qualifying period begins for the March 24 primary.

The ballot in Jefferson Parish includes several other elected offices, including Kenner mayor, for which incumbent Ben Zahn is expected to run for re-election.

There are no statewide races on the ballot, but 35 parishes are deciding local contests, said Meg Casper Sunstrom, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Tom Schedler.   

Early voting will be held March 10-17. The deadline to register to vote in person or by mail is Feb. 21. 

In Orleans Parish, voters will select a new 4th Circuit Court of Appeal judge, a seat that opened last year when Judge Madeleine Landrieu, a sister of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, stepped down to become the dean of the Loyola law school.

The field of candidates in that race includes Dale Atkins, the longtime Civil District Court clerk, and Criminal District Court Judge Robin Pittman. Landrieu's brother, Martin, a longtime attorney, also announced his intention to run for the appellate judgeship last year. 

Another judgeship opened last year in Civil District Court when Judge Tiffany Chase was elected to the 4th Circuit. 

The ballot in New Orleans also will feature the District 93 state House of Representative seat, which covers a swath of neighborhoods in and around downtown New Orleans, including the French Quarter. That office opened last year when Rep. Helena Moreno was elected to an at-large seat on the City Council.

Moreno, a former TV reporter, has held the legislative office since 2010. Royce Duplessis, the chairman of the City Planning Commission, has announced his candidacy for the seat. Camille Whitworth, a former WDSU-TV anchor, is said to be weighing a run as well.  

Another House seat opened last month in Tangipahoa Parish with the unexpected resignation of state Rep. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond. While qualifying in that race also opens Wednesday, the special election to fill Broadwater's District 86 seat will be held Feb. 17, with a March 24 runoff if necessary. 

Broadwater told colleagues in a letter that he decided to step down to spend more time with his family. Nicky Muscarello, a Hammond attorney, has announced his candidacy for the seat. Bradley Stevens, an Amite attorney who is the nephew of Gov. John Bel Edwards, is also reportedly weighing a run.  

None of those races is likely to draw as much attention as the Jefferson Parish sheriff's race, which has been heating up since Normand, the longtime sheriff, abruptly retired last year to become a talk radio host on WWL.

Normand tapped Lopinto, a former state lawmaker and attorney for the Sheriff's Office, to assume the mantle of sheriff. But that move rankled a number of longtime lawmen within the agency, including Fortunato, who has urged voters to reject Lopinto's "coronation." 

Early polling showed Fortunato with a strong lead, but newly filed campaign finance reports show Lopinto has a significant edge in fundraising. The incumbent took in about $448,000 over the past four months, the reports show, compared to about $255,000 for Fortunato over the same time period.  

The race could be upended this week by the entry of another candidate. One name that's been in the mix for months is John Young, the former Jefferson Parish president.

Young didn't return a call Tuesday seeking comment. He also is said to be weighing a possible run against Mike Yenni, his embattled successor, in 2019.  

Ben Zahn talks Kenner mall revitalization, maintaining city’s safe reputation at mayoral campaign kickoff _lowres

Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn

In Kenner, Mayor Ben Zahn will be seeking re-election a little more than year after he won a runoff to fill Yenni's unexpired term. It's not clear whether Zahn will face competition. He nearly won a special election outright, winning 49 percent of the vote in a five-way race in late 2016.

Kenner Police Chief Michael Glaser said he also intends to seek another term, adding that he does not know whether anyone plans to challenge him.  

In St. Tammany Parish, qualifying began for all of Slidell’s municipal races in an election that promises to see lots of turnover as mayor Freddy Drennan is term-limited, as are six of the nine council members.

Some big names expected to make a run for Slidell mayor made their intentions official Wednesday, including former three-term St. Tammany Parish president Kevin Davis, current Slidell Councilman at-large Landon Cusimano and Slidell Memorial Hospital COO Bruce Clement.

State Rep. Greg Cromer said he will also join the race.

This isn’t the first time Davis or Cusimano has looked at running for mayor, with Davis running once before becoming parish president and Cusimano long having aspirations of following his grandfather, who served as mayor from 1962 to 1978.

Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal also is seeking re-election, with the first day of qualifying falling exactly a year after he was sworn in to fill the remainder of Randy Smith's term following Smith's election as St. Tammany sheriff.

Randy Fandal

Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal

The nine-member Slidell City Council, meanwhile, will see big changes with all but three of the incumbents term-limited.

Two candidates have so far qualified to run for the two available at-large positions — current District G councilman Bill Borchert and current District A councilman Glynn Pichon.

The only district councilmember seeking reelection so far is District D’s Val Vanney Jr.

One candidate has qualified so far in each of the District B, F and G races, with Tommy Benasco in B, former at-large councilwoman Kim Harbison in F and Ray Larry in G.

No candidate has qualified yet in either of the District A or C races, though current District C councilman Warren Crockett said he plans to run for reelection.

In Covington, its District C seat is open after Mark Wright won the special election for state House District 77, succeeding now-state Treasurer John Schroder.

Tim Burke is the only candidate to qualify so far in that race.

And in Madisonville, two justices of the peace will be elected for Ward 1, with Amy Murphree, Wally Porter, Casey Revere, James "Scott" Ruel and Chuck Wohltmann having qualified thus far.

Qualifying continues through Friday, Jan. 5.

Sara Pagones, Ramon Antonio Vargas, Jessica Williams, Chad Calder and Nick Reimann contributed to this report.

Follow Jim Mustian on Twitter, @JimMustian.