LeBlanc wins judge's seat in landslide win; takes office April 3

Staff reports
Jessie LeBlanc

Jessie LeBlanc drew a margin of nearly 3-1 in her win over fellow Gonzales attorney Matthew Pryor in a special election Saturday for the Division D district judge's seat in the 23rd Judicial District.

LeBlanc drew 10,191 votes  (71.8 percent) against the 3.997 for Pryor (28.2 percent). The votes were the unofficial results from Saturday night.

The Ascension Parish Clerk of Court's office opened the machines Tuesday. The state Board of Elections office was set to sign off on the tally Wednesday, at which point the results would become official.

Both candidates were Republicans.

LeBlanc, who takes office April 3, said the judicial seat has been a lifelong ambition.

"This is something I've looked forward to and I worked very hard for it, so I'm ecstatic,"  LeBlanc said. "I'm very happy my father was able to hang in there to see this."

LeBlanc's father, Gerald McCrory, served 23 years as Ascension Parish Assessor. McCrory has battled lung cancer the last four months.

LeBlanc will occupy the seat Jane Triche vacated in October  after she received confirmation for a federal judge's seat in New Orleans for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

LeBlanc, 42, currently serves as a hearing officer and judicial administrator for the 23rd Judicial District Court and Ascension Parish Court.

She took a leave of absence during the campaign, but plans to return to work April 1.

"Whether or I return or not will depend on when I'm sworn in," LeBlanc said. "I told the judges I'd go back to work until I'm sworn in, but I have to see what's facing me first.

"For a hearing officer's work, it's not like I have a trial that lasts four or five days -- its more like twelve in a single month," she said. "I want to be prepared for when I'm sworn for thebench, I want to see what's coming up on the docket, review it and be prepared."

LeBlanc said she is ready to tackle the workload that awaits her.

"I just want to be a hard worker and do everything I can to do the right thing," she said. "There's a lot of work to do with civil, criminal and judicial cases, and this covers three parishes."

The 23rd Judicial District consists of Ascension, St. James and Assumption parishes.