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Voters head to the polls on Tuesday

Sunday, November 6, 2022
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Lincoln Parish voters have only a handful of decisions to make when they go to the polls on Tuesday. What they decide will either bring change or validate that they like the way things are.

Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Voters should bring photo identification, such has a valid driver’s license.

Ten local races are on the ballot, as well as contests for one of Louisiana’s U.S. Senate seats and the Lincoln Parish-inclusive 5th District Congressional seat. Local voters will also help decide the fate of eight proposed state constitutional amendments (See a recap of the amendments, page 10).

Voters in some precincts will have only the congressional races and amendments on their ballot, while others will have those decisions plus Lincoln Parish School Board and municipal races. Clerk of Court Linda Cook, whose office oversees election day voting, said she doesn’t expect a large turnout parishwide, though individual races could draw heavy voter participation.

At the close of the in-person early voting period Nov. 1, some 3,541 people had cast ballots outpacing the tally from four years ago, the last time some of the same races were on the ballot.

But parish election officials say a strong early vote isn’t necessarily a predictor of what will happen on election day.

“It’s pretty much election by election,” Cook said.

Five of the 12 parish school board seats are up for grabs, as is one seat on the Dubach Town Council. Choudrant and Grambling both have mayor and council races.

The most crowded contests are in Grambling where three candidates are trying to unseat third-term Mayor Edward Jones and 11 people are vying for the city’s five council seats.

Grambling council members are elected at large.

Challenging Jones are Mayor Pro Tem Toby Bryan, Alvin Bradley, and Leshaun “Yummy” Johnson. Bryan and Bradley are Democrats; Johnson claims no party affiliation.

Jones, a Democrat, was first elected in 2010, following the turbulent second term of former Mayor Martha Andrus. He was handily reelected in 2014 and unopposed in 2018.

He and the council butted heads this year over adoption of Grambling’s 2022 budget. Only after Jones took the council to court did they finally vote in March to adopt the approximately $5 million spending plan.

In Choudrant, longtime Mayor Bill Sanderson has one opponent, former law enforcement officer Brandon Milner. Both men are Republicans.

Sanderson has been mayor for 31 years, succeeding his father, the late Lynn “Ikey” Sanderson.

In the Lincoln Parish School Board races, four of the five contests pit incumbents against challengers. Only in District 1 is there no incumbent; Susan Wiley will not seek reelection.

Willie Washington, Jr., and Danielle Williams want that seat. Washington claims no party affiliation; Williams is a Democrat.

District 3 incumbent Republican Clark Canterbury drew two opponents, Paul E. Bean and Gloria Miller. Both claim no party affiliation.

District 7 incumbent Hunter Smith, a Republican, is facing firsttime candidate Ginny Shadoin Canterbury, also a Republican. In District 10, longtime board member Otha Anders is being challenged by Juan Hooper. Both are Democrats.

District 12’s Debbie Abrahm, an Independent, has one opponent, Doug Perry, who claims no party affiliation.

In the congressional contests, firstterm House member Rep. Julia Letlow, R-Rayville, has four opponents, while in the Senate race, first-term Sen. John Kennedy, R-Madisonville, has 12 opponents.

House members serve two-year terms; senators, six-year terms.

Here’s a list of candidates on the ballot:

Lincoln Parish School Board: District 1-Willie Washington, Jr., No Party; Danielle Williams, Democrat. District 3: Paul E. Bean, no party; Clark Canterbury, Republican, incumbent; Gloria Miller, no party.

District 7: Ginny Shadoin Canterbury, Republican; Hunter Smith, Republican, incumbent. District 10: Otha Anders, Democrat, incumbent; Juan Hooper, Democrat. District 12: Debbie Abrahm, Independent, incumbent; Doug Perry, no party.

Grambling mayor: Alvin Bradley, Democrat; Toby Bryan, Democrat; Leshaun “Yummy” Johnson, no party; Edward Jones, Democrat, incumbent.

Choudrant mayor: Brandon Milner, Republican; Bill Sanderson, Republican, incumbent.

Choudrant aldermen: (three to be elected) John Croswell, Republican, incumbent; Blake Duncan, no party; Rick Maier, no party, incumbent; Thomas Patton, Republican, incumbent.

Dubach council: District A-Ruby Dawson, Democrat; Angela Dunn, no party, incumbent.

Grambling council: (five to be elected) Kerry Blakemore, Democrat; John F. Brown, Jr., Democrat; Cathy Holmes, Democrat, incumbent; Jerry Lewis, Democrat; Aundrea Livingston, Democrat; Karen Ludley, Democrat; Marvin McCarty, Democrat; Phyllis Miller, Democrat, incumbent; Devaria Hudson Ponton, Democrat; Delores Wilkerson Smith, Democrat; Garnet Wagner II, no party.

Fifth District U. S. representative: Oscar “ Omar” Dantzler, Democrat, Hammond; Allen Guillory, Republican, Lawtell; Walter Earl Huff, Democrat, Monroe; Julia Letlow, incumbent, Republican, Rayville; Hunter Pullen, Republican, West Monroe.

U. S. Senate: Beryl A. Billiot, no party, Kentwood; Gary Chambers, Jr., Democrat, Baton Rouge; Devin Lance Graham, Republican, Gonzales; Xan John, other party, Lafayette; John Kennedy, incumbent, Republican, Madisonville; W. Thomas La Fontaine Olson, no party, New Orleans; Bradley McMorris, Independent, Livingston; MV “Vinny” Mendoza, Democrat, Ponchatoula; Luke Mixon, Democrat, Bunkie; Salvador P. Rodriguez, Democrat, Tangipahoa; Aaron C. Sigler, Libertarian, Hammond; Syrita Steib, Democrat, Metairie; and Thomas Wenn, other party, Amite.