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Story Archives: Few voters cast ballots in primary; big turnout expected in general election
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|Few voters cast ballots in primary; big turnout expected in general election|
Less than 20 percent of Ouachita Parish's 99,000 voters turned out at the polls Saturday to cast their ballots in a host of local races as well the Republican primary election in the 5th District congressional race.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander dealt a handy defeat to challenger Andrew Clack of Rayville. Alexander garnered 90 percent of votes district-wide in an election in which only registered Republicans cast ballots. Since both candidates were Republicans and no Democrats qualified for the Democratic primary, Alexander secured another two-year term representing the 5th District of Louisiana in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Alexander's landslide occurred amid increasing dissatisfaction among voters for incumbents. Given the mood among voters, Alexander was pleased with the results of the Oct. 4 primary.
"For us to win by that number was a reason to be happy," Alexander said. "But we've got a lot of work to do, and we'll continue going as we've gone in the past."
The anti-incumbent mood Alexander mentioned failed to play a factor in any of the local or regional races on the ballot Saturday.
Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell easily defeated challenger Jimmy Crowley, securing 80 percent of the vote to earn another term as District 5 public service commissioner.
Incumbent Monroe City Court Judge Tammy Lee defeated former Ouachita sheriff Chuck Cook, overcoming Cook's effort to unseat her as Division A judge.
In that race, Lee drew some 60 percent of the vote, besting Cook by almost two-to-one.
Monroe City Marshal Wince Highshaw beat challenger Chris Handy to secure another term at the helm of the Monroe City Marshal's office.
Highshaw received some 6,100 votes to Handy's 2,800 votes, or 68 percent of votes cast.
In West Monroe, city marshal William Guyton took more than 60 percent of the vote to overcome challenger Stan Hayden.
Voters in three Ouachita Parish wards decided who will serve as constable for the next four years.
In Ward 1, Gerald York defeated Dale Lowery, 62 percent to 37 percent.
In the Ward 2 race, Ronnie Allen narrowly avoided a runoff, drawing 50.05 percent of votes cast. He defeated Jim Addison and Steve Wells.
The Ward 6 race saw Mike Lee overcome Richard Puckett with 56 percent of votes cast in that contest.
Parish-wide, some 18,000 voters went to the polls, according to Ouachita Parish Registrar of Voters Christa Medaries. Medaries said she expected the low turnout. She is anticipating a high turnout in the Nov. 4 general election.
As of earlier this week, more than 100,000 voters are qualified to cast ballots in the general election, the highest registration in the history of Ouachita Parish.
"I don't think we've ever topped 100,000 before," Medaries said.
Medaries said she expects that number to rise as the mail-in registrations come on the rolls in the next few days.