LIVINGSTON – A slim margin between the top two candidates in a special election forced a runoff for the unexpired term of French Settlement Police Chief, according to unofficial returns in a primary election Saturday.
The race was one of four items in a predominately low turnout on the Livingston Parish ballot, which may have also prompted a runoff for one seat on the Killian Board of Aldermen.
The results were based on all precincts reporting, according to Secretary of State Tom Schedler.
In French Settlement, former Police Chief Harry Brignac drew 104 votes (40 percent) to edge past Waylon Stafford, who garnered 95 votes (37 percent). Jeffrey Lee Arnold, the third man in the race, tallied 60 votes (23 percent).
In Killian, a runoff potentially looms between Blaine LeMarie and incumbent Vince Deliberto Jr. who drew the two lowest totals in the six-man race – 38 and 37, respectively.
The runoff races are set for Saturday, April 29.
Former Springfield Mayor Charlie Martin and incumbents Gregory Hill and John Traylor each drew 41 votes, while longtime member Mildred Cowsar and newcomer Tim Hutchinson each garnered 34 in the race for the town’s Board of Aldermen.
L.D. Barringer, who was appointed Alderman in 2013 and went unopposed in a race for the unexpired term, was voted out after he drew 30 votes.
A formula determines the runoff in low-turnout elections, such as the 6.3 percent (278 voters) and 13.5 percent (221) in Springfield.
“The way it works, you take the total number of votes cast, divide it by the total electorate and divide that number by two to get a number which constitutes fifty percent,” Livingston Parish Registrar of Voters Jared Andrews said Saturday night. “It worked that way for Springfield, but not for Killian.”
Voters in Recreation District 5 – covering the Town of Livingston and surrounding areas – overwhelmingly nixed a 15-mill, 10-year renewal. A total of 259 voters opposed the measure, and 151 favored.
Turnout was anemic in all races except for the heated campaign for French Settlement Police Chief, which drew 38 percent of the voters. The race in Springfield attracted 13.5 percent of the voters, while only 6.9 percent of the Recreation District 5 voters showed up at the polls.
Here’s the totals for each election:
POLICE CHIEF – VILLAGE OF FRENCH SETTLEMENT
(1 of 1 percent reporting, and 100 percent of absentees)
Jeffrey Lee Arnold Jr. (Rep) 60 (23 percent)
Harry Brignac (Dem) 104 (40 percent)
Waylon Stafford (No Party) 95 (37 percent)
Unofficial Turnout: 38 percent; Total: 259
Early Voting: Arnold 11; Brignac, 0, Stafford, 3. Total: 14
ALDERMEN – Town of Killian
(5 to be elected, 1 of 1 precinct reporting, 100 percent of absentee)
Jerry “JJ” Barnum Jr. (No Party) 54 (19 percent)
Brian Brinkley (Rep) 43 (15 percent)
J. Paul Canik (Rep) 51 (18 percent)
“Vince” Deliberto Jr. (No Party) 37 (13 percent)
Blaine Marie (Rep) 38 (14 percent)
Gillis Windham (Rep) 55 (20 percent)
Unofficial Turnout: 6.3; Total: 278
Early Voting: Barnum, 0; Brinkley, 3; Canick, 3; Deliberto, 1; LeMarie, 2 and Windham, 5. Total: 14
ALDERMEN – TOWN OF SPRINGFIELD
(5 to be elected, 1 of 1 precinct reporting, 100 percent of absentee
L.D. Barringer (No Party) 30 votes (14 percent)
Mildred Ratcliff Cowsar (Dem) 34 (15 percent)
Gregory Hill (No Party) 41 (19 percent)
“Tim” Hutchinson (Other) 34 (15 percent)
Charles Martin (Dem) 41 (19 percent)
John Traylor (Dem) 41 (19 percent)
Early Voting: Barringer 5; Cowsar, 3; Hill, 5; Hutchinson, 3; Martin, 4 and Traylor, 5. Total: 25
RECREATION DISTRICT TAX DISTRICT No. 5 – 15 mills renewal, 10 years.
YES – 151 (37 percent)
NO – 259 (63 percent)
Early Voting: No, 36; Yes, 17 Total: 53