EADD voters renew tax, LASC?seat decided, PSC?seat set for runoff

Staff reports

Voters on the east bank of Ascension Parish approved renewal of a 10-year, 5-mill property tax for the East Ascension Consolidated Gravity Drainage District No. 1, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s office.

Meanwhile, incumbent Catherine “Kitty” Kimball claimed victory in the race for the Louisiana Supreme Court’s 5th Circuit Justice race and a runoff was set for the District 1 seat on the state’s Public Service Commission.

With all 49 precincts reporting in the drainage tax election Friday, the tax passed with 8.628 votes, or 62 percent of the vote.

With all 580 precincts reporting In the Supreme Court race, Kimball  (D-Ventress) finished with 113,939 votes, or 65 percent. Challenger Jefferson Hughes (R-Walker), a court of appeals judge, finished with 62,269 votes, or 35 percent.

The district encompasses Ascension Parish, along with East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes.

Kimball, a Democrat, is in line to become the state’s first female chief justice because of her seniority on the court and the impending retirement of Chief Justice Pascal Calogero.

Kimball won Ascension Parish by earning 12,170 votes to Hughes’ 7,836 votes in the parish’s 61 precincts.

The runoff for the PSC seat will be between Republican Eric Skrmetta  and independent candidate John F. Schwegmann, both of Metairie.

With all 705 precincts reporting Friday, Schwegmann lead all candidates with 61,711 votes, or 42 percent. Skrmetta finished second with 34,206 votes, or 23 percent. Finishing third was Kenneth L.  Odinet Sr. (R-Arabi) with 33,470 votes, or 23 percent, while Bruce Kincade (N-Metairie) finished with 18,440 votes, or 12 percent.

The district represents Ascension, Jefferson, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes.

The seat is currently held by PSC Chairman Jay Blossman, who chose not to seek reelection.

Schwegmann claimed Ascension Parish in the primary, earning 1,543  votes in the parish’s 14 precincts. Odinet finished second with  1,264 votes in the parish, followed by Kincade with 1,004 and Skrmetta with 820.

The runoff will be decided during the Nov. 4 presidential election.