If the early voting turnout trend continues, voting in Ascension Parish will be brisk Nov. 2.


If the early voting turnout trend continues, voting in Ascension Parish will be brisk Nov. 2.

 Parish Registrar of Voters Robert Poche said over 2, 745 persons early voted from Oct. 19-26, and approximately 124 mail-in ballots were recorded.

On Tuesday, parish residents will be voting for U.S. Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and 3rd and 6th Congressional District U.S. Representative.

 They’ll also be deciding the fate of three parish millage renewal proposals.

 The election drawing most interest in the U.S. Senate seat where embattled incumbent Republican David Vitter faces a challenge from former 3rd Congressional District Representative Charlie Melancon, a Democrat.

 Vitter’s campaign has been mostly conducted over the airwaves of radio, television and the Internet, with a low profile in public.  Melancon, the former sugar industry lobbyist from Napoleonville, has been visible on all mediums, and has made numerous public appearances, including a recent one in Ascension Parish where he spoke to students at a local primary school.

 Should Melancon win the election and join incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu on Capital Hill, Louisiana, a famously conservative red state, will be represented by two moderate Democrat senators despite the rise of Tea Party politics.

 There are a total of 11 candidates in the senatorial race, though none has presented a challenge to Vitter and Melancon as the frontrunners. Running are  Michael Karlton Brown, No Party, from Shreveport; R.A. “Skip” Galan, No Party, Pontchatoula; Milton Gordon, No Party, Alexandria; Randall Todd Hayes, Libertarian, Atlanta; Thomas G. “Tommy” LaFargue, Other, Baton Rouge; William Robert “Bob: Lang Jr., Other, Natchitoches; William R. McShan, Reform Party, Leesville; Sam Houston Melton Jr., No Party, Winnfield; Michael Lane “Mike” Spears, Other, Lafayette; Ernest D. Wooton, Other, Belle Chasse.

 Current Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, a Republican, is in a hot race with Democrat newcomer Caroline Fayard for lieutenant governor. They’re vying for a seat Gov. Jindal tried to eliminate earlier this year.

 The race is also generating interest because the winner would become governor of the state in the event that Jindal decides to use some of his fundraising war chest to run for national office.

Dardenne is a moderate Republican who nonetheless graded President Obama with an “F” during a recent televised debate with Fayard, who is seeking her first elective office. Fayard responded by grading. Obama with a “B-plus” during the debate.
In the 3rd Congressional District, Democrat Ravi Sangisetty and Republican “Jeff” Landry are vying for the seat formerly held by Charlie Melancon, who is now running against Vitter for a U.S. Senate Seat.

 In the 6th Congressional District, incumbent William “Bill” Cassidy, the Republican medical doctor who won his seat in the last election cycle, faces a challenge from Democrat Merritt E. McDonald Sr.

 Both men are from Baton Rouge, and if elected will represent a small northern portion of Ascension Parish which is included in the 6th District.

 One of the Ascension parishwide millage propositions calls for renewal of the 10-year, 2 mill property tax for maintaining and supporting the parish mental health program. The proposition states: Shall the Parish of Ascension, State of Louisiana (the “Parish”), renew the levy of a two (2) mill tax on all the property subject to taxation in the Parish, (an estimated $1,500,000.00 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the Tax for an entire year), for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2011 and ending with the year 2020 maintaining and supporting a mental health program in the Parish?

There are  two millage propositions pertaining to operation of  parish libraries:

 1) Parishwide Proposition (Library Millage Renewal) (2.6 Mills) Summary: Renewal of a 10-year, 2.6 mill property tax, for maintaining and supporting the Ascension Parish Library and its branches. Shall the Parish of Ascension, State of Louisiana (the “Parish”), renew the levy of a two and six-tenths (2.6) mill tax on all the property subject to taxation in the Parish (an estimated $2,145,763.00 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the Tax for an entire year), for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2011 and ending with the year 2020, for the purpose of maintaining and supporting the Ascension Parish Library and its branches?

  2) Parishwide Proposition (Library Millage Renewal) (4.2 Mills) Summary: Renewal of a 10-year, 4.2 mills property tax for maintaining and supporting the Ascension Parish Library and its branches. Shall the Parish of Ascension, State of Louisiana (the “Parish”), renew the levy of a four and two-tenths (4.2) mills tax on all the property subject to taxation in said Parish (an estimated $3,466,231.00 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the Tax for an entire year), for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2011 and ending with the year 2020, for the purpose of maintaining and supporting the Ascension Parish Library and its branches?