On Oct. 12, Lafayette Parish and city voters headed to the polls to cast their votes for numerous elections. This election was the first time in decades that there was a separate city and parish council.
“The main difference in a split council is that national politics are really penetrating into state and local politics,” said Pearson Cross, Ph.D., the associate dean of the college of liberal arts. “This is important for electability, attitudes and changing people’s outcomes.”
With at least 200,000 more voters than normal from surrounding rural areas, this election had a much bigger turnout than previous elections. This could be because of President Trump’s entrance into the race in supporting Rispone, seeing as most of these rural voters voted for Rispone or Abraham.
“Edwards and many of his biggest supporters thought he would win re-election Saturday night by taking at least 50% of the vote,” said a recent article from The Advocate. However, Edwards did not get a majority vote, and is now in a runoff with Republican opponent Eddie Rispone. The runoff election will take place on Nov. 16.
There will also be a runoff for city-parish mayor-president between Josh Guillory and Carlee Alm-Labar. Guillory received 31% of the votes and Alm-Labar received 28%.
The parish school board races were decided without any runoffs, with two candidates, Tommy Angelle and Tehmi Chassion, winning third terms, as well as three new board members being added to the nine-member body.
Lafayette Parish also voted to transfer $10 million in library revenue to fund roads, bridges and drainage. $2 million of this is said to go to parks and recreation. The library has been sitting on $26 million in revenue while the parish’s drainage needs are increasingly growing. It is estimated that $500,000,000 is needed at a minimum for capital improvements according to KATC.
Despite the larger voter turnout for this election compared to previous years, many students at UL Lafayette were not completely informed of the candidates, their goals or the results after the fact.
“I usually pay more attention to policy, not candidates,” said freshman Cailin Magee. “I didn’t know much about these candidates, or the city’s politics, because I just moved here this fall.”