Rob Maness, who twice ran for the U.S. Senate, had better success in pursuing a state legislative seat, leading a field of four candidates for House District 77 to reach the Nov. 18 runoff with Covington City Councilman Mark Wright.

The two Republicans beat out attorney and business owner Lisa Condrey Ward, who listed no party affiliation, and Casey Revere, another Republican who is a justice of the peace.

The Covington-based district is comprised of much of western St. Tammany, including Madisonville and parts of Folsom.

In complete but unofficial returns, Maness had 37 percent of the vote and Wright had 25 percent. Ward came in third and Revere was in last place.

Maness, 55, called the seat, left open by John Schroder's resignation to run for state treasurer, the right seat "to put me back in public service." 

The retired Air Force colonel, who worked for Entergy after leaving the military, campaigned on reforming Louisiana's tax policy to make the state more attractive to business and create jobs. Among his goals are reducing or eliminating the corporate income tax and ending lawsuit abuse.

Wright, 47, is term limited in his Covington City Council seat, and said he had long planned to run for the legislative seat when Schroder's term ended. He is vice president of the American Waterways Operators trade association, a job he says has put him in the center of Louisiana's economy, he said.

He campaigned on the need to overhaul the state's highway department and create a better business climate by addressing lawsuit abuse, workforce development and the tax code.

Follow Sara Pagones on Twitter, @spagonesadvocat.