Lafayette voters turn in no surprises on president, top races; race for marshal and some judicial seats head for a runoff

Photo by Travis Gauthier
Voters pool out of the afternoon voting at the East Regional Library in Lafayette Parish

The gist: The president matched his margin in 2016 and the rest of the ballot followed from there. Some races will go to a runoff. 

As expected, turnout was big. Lafayette Parish turned out nearly 71% of registered voters in the presidential election. Donald Trump is still very popular in Lafayette. His margin diminished only slightly on the higher turnout. He claimed 61% of the vote in Lafayette Parish, down from 65% in 2016. 

Rep. Clay Higgins and Sen. Bill Cassidy handily won re-election. The Republican incumbents were never really in danger. Both faced longshots of hitting a runoff. 

Don Landry thumps Danny Landry for district attorney. Here’s the part where I say “no relation.” Don Landry ran away with the tri-parish race, sweeping Danny Landry 63% to 37%. The race between Republicans turned bitter in the final weeks. 

Two district court races are headed for a runoff.

  • Democrats Valerie Gotch Garrett and Travis Brousard will face off in December for Div. B. Garret narrowly missed winning the race outright at 49%. 
  • Royal Colbert (44%) and Amanda Martin (41%), also Democrats, take a tighter race for Div. D to a runoff. 
  • Republican Michele Billeaud (56%) handily bested two other Republicans in a race for Div. K. 
  • Republican Susan Theall (54%) also safely won the Div. M family court seat. 

Kip Judice takes a strong lead into a runoff with Reggie Thomas. The Duson police chief, a Republican, took 44% of the vote. Reggie Thomas, a no party candidate and Lafayette Police Department veteran, has a lot of ground to make after claiming 26% of votes in that contest. 

Michelle Odinet defeated Jules Edwards by a wide margin for City Judge Div. A. The Republican finished with a commanding 57% to 43% win over the longtime district court jurist. 

CREATE rededication passed easily. The .25 mill property tax, controversial when passed as a tack-on to a drainage measure, will be split into funds that pay for rural fire protection and parish roads and bridges. Voters said “yes” 56% to 44%. 

Lafayette school renewal also passed without trouble. Recent renewal defeats cast an air of uncertainty around this property tax funding public school maintenance, infrastructure and construction. It passed 60% to 40%. 

Voters cast their lots with Sports Betting. On the ballot separately in all 64 parishes, the measure cashed out in Lafayette Parish 63% to 37%. The measure is picking up  

Five of the seven constitutional amendments look likely to pass easily. Lafayette Parish voted with the rest of the state on all but Amendment #3. There are still some precincts outstanding elsewhere in Louisiana. In the meantime. Here are the statewide margins. 

  • Amendment #1 enshrining no right to an abortion in the state constitution is headed to a strong finish 65% to 35%
  • Amendment #2 changing how oil wells are taxed is on its way to passing 58% to 42%
  • Amendment #3 allowing more flexible use of the state’s rainy day fund is trending toward to passing 54% to 46%
  • Amendment #4 setting harder limits on state spending growth is unlikely to overtake a 45% to 55% margin
  • Amendment #5 creating a new tax incentive tool to attract industry is all but dead in the water 38% to 62%
  • Amendment #6 raising the income threshold on an assessed property value freeze for seniors will likely pass handily 62% to 38%
  • Amendment #7 creating a trust fund unclaimed property is breezing 65% to 35%