Editor’s note: This story has been update to reflect Jan Swift’s statement on making an endorsement.
▸ The gist: Saturday’s election settled all but one local council seat, and it outlined the paths to victory in the mayor-president race for incumbent Josh Guillory and challenger Monique Blanco Boulet.
▸ Guillory’s magic number is 40%. That’s where he landed Saturday in overall vote share. And it’s the share of Jan Swift voters he would need to win over in the Nov. 18 runoff election, assuming turnout is similar to Saturday’s primary. Blanco Boulet finished second with 34% and Jan Swift came in third at 26%, eliminating her from the race.
▸ Majorities were scarce in the M-P primary. Guillory finished first in 88 precincts, but he won majorities in only 22 of those, meaning votes for Blanco Boulet and Swift combined to outnumber him in the other 112 precincts. Guillory ran strongest in the Youngsville area, but was unable to secure majority support in the vast majority of precincts in Lafayette and the rest of the parish. See a map of precinct results here.
▸ That’s particularly bad news for an incumbent whose challengers have generally aligned themselves as alternatives to his reelection bid and crafted similar messages. Swift told KADN News 15 Monday that she has decided not to make an endorsement in the runoff election.
▸ City voters picked Blanco Boulet by a slim margin over Guillory, according to The Current’s estimates that relied on turnout in City Council races, early voting totals and population distributions in precincts where some voters, but not all, live in Lafayette. Swift took third in the city but drew her strongest base of support in Saint Streets and Oaklawn areas.
- Blanco Boulet – 37%
- Guillory – 36%
- Swift – 27%
Outside the city:
- Guillory – 44%
- Blanco Boulet – 31%
- Swift – 24%
▸ The city outvoted the rest of the parish Saturday and in the 2019 M-P elections, though that wasn’t enough to sway the 2019 results as no-party candidate Carlee Alm-LaBar won 53% of city votes in the 2019 runoff but lost to Guillory parishwide 56% to 44%. But lower turnout could make this year a different story, as Saturday saw just 36% of registered voters cast ballots in the M-P race compared to 44% in the 2019 primary and 51% in the 2019 runoff.
▸ Council seats are all but settled after winners emerged in every race but one for Lafayette’s City and Parish councils. Only City Council District 1, a majority Black district repped by Pat Lewis, is headed to a Nov. 18 runoff, with Democrat Elroy Broussard and Republican Melissa Matthieu-Robichaux going head-to-head for the seat.
▸ City and Parish council seats:
- Nov. 18 runoff: Elroy Broussard vs. Melissa Matthieu-Robichaux
- Andy Naquin (reelected)
- Liz Hebert (unopposed)
- Thomas Hooks
- Kenneth Boudreaux
- Bryan Tabor (unopposed)
- Donald Richard
- Ken Stansbury
- John Guilbeau (unopposed)
- AB Rubin (reelected)
▸ The M-P election may swing on the City Council runoff, since it will be the only other local race on the ballot in Lafayette Parish. The Current estimates Blanco Boulet won 51% of the vote in that district Saturday, ahead of Guillory at 27% and Swift at 22%, giving her a potential advantage if turnout is lower in other parts of the parish. Abysmal turnout locally Saturday suggests even a small advantage could tip the scales in November.
▸ Expect a competitive race in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 18 runoff as Blanco Boulet looks to capitalize on a path to victory outlined in Saturday’s results and Guillory fights an uphill battle to bring his former challenger’s supporters over to his side.
Guillory remains in a strong position with his incumbent advantage and first place finish Saturday, while Boulet has a strong case to make that the majority of the parish has already voted against him. With more than a quarter of Saturday’s voters now looking for a new candidate to support — or potentially a reason to even vote — in the Nov. 18 runoff, the race is sure to intensify during the coming weeks.