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Two secondary elections for statewide seats

Monday, October 14, 2019

Note: this story is from Sunday morning's online-only edition covering the results of Saturday's primary election

Five Republican incumbents won reelection to their statewide positions on Saturday: Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Attorney General Jeff Landry, Treasurer John Schroder, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon and Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain.

GOP Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin was forced into a runoff.

Donelon faced the fiercest competition, an intraparty challenge from Tim Temple, who's worked in the insurance industry for 20 years and put $1.8 million of his own money into the race.

But Donelon, in office since 2006, secured a fourth term as commissioner. He earned 54.92% of votes in Lincoln Parish compared to 45.08%  (4,811) for Temple.

Few other opponents to the GOP incumbents had done significant fundraising.

Nungesser easily gained a second term, defeating Willie Jones, a New Orleans Democrat.

Nungesser totaled 70.09 percent (8,128) of the Lincoln Parish vote.

Landry, also in his first term, bested Ike Jackson Jr., a Democrat from Plaquemine and lawyer who once worked in the attorney general's office. Landry won Lincoln Parish with 69.05% (7,984) of the vote.

Schroder, a former state lawmaker who won his position in a 2017 special election, overcame two opponents, including New Orleans area lawyer Derrick Edwards, who unsuccessfully challenged Schroder two years ago. Schroeder captured 63.94% (7.276) of Lincoln Parish votes.

Strain, a veterinarian in office since 2008, won outright against four people vying to unseat him, including Charlie Greer, a Natchitoches Parish farmer and Democrat who ran unsuccessfully in 2015. Strain's other challengers also were farmers: New Orleans vegetable and flower farmer Marguerite Green and Lettsworth tree farmer Peter Williams are Democrats, while rice and crawfish farmer Bradley Zaunbrecher from Egan is a Republican.

Lincoln Parish voted for Strain with 62.17% of the ballots cast (7.051).

But while those incumbents dominated, Ardoin, who worked as a top deputy in the secretary of state's office before winning the job in last year's special election, will face a rematch in November against Gwen Collins-Greenup, a Democrat from Clinton who has worked in notary and real estate businesses and who lost to Ardoin in the 2018 runoff.

Ardoin totaled 40.27% of the Lincoln Parish votes (4,630), with Collins-Greenup picking up 30.80 percent of the parish votes (3,541) while Republican Thomas J. Kennedy III brought in 22.15% of the parish votes (2,546).