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Story Archives: McCain, Kennedy carry Ouachita; Monroe voters approve taxes
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|McCain, Kennedy carry Ouachita; Monroe voters approve taxes|
Despite near-record voter turnout in Ouachita Parish, there were few surprises when the dust settled on Election Day 2008.
According to unofficial election returns, more than 67,000 voters went to parish polls Tuesday to cast their votes in races for the presidency, U.S. Senate and to decide a number of constitutional amendments and local tax initiatives.
Ouachita voters sided with Republican John McCain by a wide margin in his campaign against Democrat Barack Obama.
Some 41,708 votes went to McCain, while Obama garnered just 24,769 votes in the parish.
McCain carried Louisiana and its nine Electoral College votes by almost 20 percentage points statewide, besting Obama almost 60 percent to 39 percent.
Despite a strong showing in southern states, Obama captured 339 Electoral College votes and 54 percent of the popular vote to become president-elect.
A double-digit advantage in Ouachita Parish could not help State Treasurer John Kennedy oust incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu either.
Kennedy outpaced Landrieu by more than 11 percentage points in Ouachita Parish. However, he fell short statewide in what became one of the most bitterly contested and closest Senate races in the nation.
Landrieu went on to win a third term as Louisiana's senior senator, drawing 52 percent of the vote statewide.
Closer to home, Monroe voters approved five property tax renewals and a new millage to improve the Monroe Regional Airport.
Speaking late Tuesday, Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo expressed optimism voters had approved the taxes.
Mayo said his administration would continue to practice sound fiscal management as the city moved forward with plans to build a new terminal at the Monroe Regional Airport.
"This vote of confidence for the new airport tax shows our citizens want to be a progressive city and have a progressive airport to help us attract businesses," Mayo said.
Construction of a new airport terminal will be funded, in part, by the 1-mill property tax voters approved.
The Monroe Chamber of Commerce endorsed all six of the taxes.
The taxes help pay for a number of services the city provides. They also help the city operate the civic center, the zoo and provide capital for the police and fire departments.
Ouachita voters also mirrored statewide voting trends, voting to approve three of the seven constitutional amendments on Tuesday's ballot.
Voters approved Amendment 1, which provides for term limits for a number of state boards and commissions.
Also, voters said "yes" to Amendment 2, increasing the amount of time necessary for notice of a special session of the Legislature.
Voters also approved Amendment 3, which will allow the Legislature to develop a way to appoint temporary replacements for legislators called to active military duty.
The remaining four amendments were defeated.