LIVE BLOG: Qualifying Week 2015, Day 2

Welcome to the second day of qualifying for October’s elections (Day 1’s liveblog). By 5PM on Thursday, all candidates who are running for office must qualify. This is put up or shut up time.

Today is going to be more focused on legislative and parish races. Nearly all serious statewide candidates qualified yesterday.

Just like yesterday, the latest updates will be at the top of the post. Also, check here for press releases from the candidates as they qualify. Finally, there will be some snap analysis of the individual races as they develop.

5:04 PM: State Rep. Henry Burns (R-Haugton) is trying to flip chambers and is running for Senate District 36. He’s being opposed by Republican Bossier City attorney Ryan Gatti and Democrat businessman Todd Hollenshead.

5:01 PM: Qualifying is done for the day.

4:50 PM: State Sen. Norby Chabert (R-Houma) finally just qualified for reelection in District 20. He faces a very tough challenge from businessman Mike Fesi.

4:47 PM: State Rep. Jeff Arnold (D-New Orleans) just qualified for the State Senate race in District 7. He has to be considered the front runner.

4:36 PM: We have another candidate for governor, Jeremy “JW” Odom from Nachitoches. He’s a tax preparer and minister.

3:56 PM: We’re learning that Chas Roemer will not seek reelection in BESE District 6.

3:50 PM: State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R-Houma) just qualified for reelection in District 53. She maybe the incumbent, but she will have a difficult race. Both of her opponents are expected to be able to compete in fundraising.

3:35 PM: State Rep. Ray Garofalo (R-Meraux) is one of the most conservative members of the State House. He’s facing a challenge from two St. Bernard Parish Councilmen; George Cavignac and Casey Hunnicutt. Hunnicutt is a Democrat while Cavignac is a Republican.

3:12 PM: Correction to a report we made yesterday about the St. Tammany Sheriff’s race. We said that Sheriff Jack Strain’s office issued a honorary badge to the brother of former St. Tammany DA Walter Reed. That was incorrect. The badge was issued by the DA’s office. We regret the error and apologize to Sheriff Strain.

3:07 PM: Another incumbent state rep is facing a challenge. State Rep. Clay Schexnayder (R-Sorrento) is facing Republican businessman Lester McLin.

2:57 PM: State Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill (D-Dry Creek) is facing two opponents in District 32. She’s facing Republican Llewellyn “Biscuit” Smith, who is backed by LABI and Congressman John Fleming. She’s also facing Democrat Ty Pearce.

2:49 PM: Republican State Sen. Ronnie Johns has drawn an opponent in District 27, Democrat attorney Ginger Vidrine. She plans on tying Johns to Bobby Jindal and whack him on higher ed funding.

2:41 PM: Interestingly, State Sen. Norby Chabert hasn’t qualified yet for reelection in Senate District 20. His opponent, Mike Fesi, qualified yesterday.

2:38 PM: We have another rematch on offer. This time in Senate District 13. State Sen. Dale Erdey will face off against the Vice Chairman of the Louisiana Family Forum, Derek Babcock.

2:32 PM: Our friend State Sen. Conrad Appel (R-Metairie) has a challenger in District 9. He’s being challenged by Scott Songy, whose party registration is “other.” Songy is best known for building custom wheelchairs.

2:21 PM: We’re back! Apparently while I was gone, Kip Holden sobered up enough to qualify for Lieutenant Governor.

12:09 PM: We’re going to break for lunch, but when we get back we’ll have more races.

11:57 AM: We have our first Libertarian qualify for a state office. Jason France has qualified for BESE District 6.

11: 52 AM: We have another candidate for governor, S. L. Simpson, a Democrat out of Shreveport. We also have another candidate for Ag Commissioner, Charlie Greer who is a Democrat from Natchez.

11:47 AM: In House District 70, incumbent Republican State Rep. Franklin Foil has a challenger, Democrat Shamaka Schumake.

11: 37 AM: A couple of Baton Rouge races to talk about. House District 68 will have Republican State Rep. Steve Carter facing off against Robert Cipriano. Cipriano has run as surprisingly strong race so far by hitting Carter on two issues: Common Core and the $700 million in tax increases he voted for in the last session. Carter though has the support of LABI and the business community and could easily pull this one out.

House District 69 has seen lobbyist Paula Davis qualify as a Republican. Meanwhile attorney Mark Holden has qualifed as a Democrat. Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Ryan Heck is expected to enter the race as well as a Republican. Heck has to be considered the odds on favorite in the race.

11:30 AM: House District 53 has another Democrat vs Republican battle. Democrat Brenda Babin is going to take on Republican Tanner Magee. The seat is currently held by Republican State Rep. Lenar Whitney. It is unknown if Whitney will run for reelection.

11:27 AM: House District 41 has seen its first Democrat qualify, Germaine Simpson. She will take on Republicans Phillip DeVillier and Greg Fruge for the open Democrat seat.

11:25 AM: House District 34 saw another candidate, Wilford Dan Carter Sr. qualify. He will be facing fellow Democrat Alvin Joseph and Republican Tom Quick.

11:21 AM: House District 20 will be a rematch. Incumbent State Rep. Steve Pylant will be facing Cleve Womack, who he beat last time. Womack this time switched parties from Democrat to Republican.

11:16 AM: Senate District 38 is starting to develop into a race. Yesterday, State Rep. Richie Burford and Cloyce Clark qualified as Republicans. Today, they were joined by John Milkovich, a Democrat.

10:57 AM: Little change in the State Senate races. Senate District 1 will be an all Republican battle between Sharon Hewitt and former State Rep. Pete Schneider. The current incumbent, A.G. Crowe, declined to run for reelection. This race will be one of the more expensive legislative races in the state.

Senate District 7 is also pretty interesting. The incumbent, David Heitmeier, suddenly announced his retirement a last week. Yesterday, Orleans Parish School Board member Leslie Ellison qualified. Today, former New Orleans City Councilman Troy Carter qualified for the race. Carter was defeated for Mayor of New Orleans in 2002 by Ray Nagin and was beaten for Congress in 2006 by “Dollar Bill” Jefferson.

Senate District 35 will be another hot race. House Appropriations Chairman Jim Fannin is trying to flip chambers. Fannin was the author of the current state budget that is already being cut. He’s being opposed by Stewart Cathey Jr.

10:31 AM: Interesting developments with BESE.

BESE District 4 has Glynis Johnston qualifying. She’s a teacher out of Shreveport who is very anti Common Core, but also anti-Jindal. But Johnston qualified as a Republican. She’s facing Mary Harris is a part of the anti Common Core “Flip BESE” slate, but Harris was appointed to the seat on an interim basis by Jindal.

BESE District 5 has “Johnny” Fatheree qualifying as a Republican. He’s running against former Rapides Parish Superintendent Gary Jones.

BESE District 7 has incumbent member Holly Boffy running against Mike Kreamer who is the principal of St. Martinville High School and a school choice opponent. Kreamer also qualified as a Republican.

10:18 AM: Tom Schedler has finally filed for reelection for Secretary of State. A Democrat has entered the race for Insurance Commissioner, Charlotte McDaniel McGehee.




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