School Board Races Shape Up In Neighboring Parishes
School board races around Acadiana have shaped up in varying levels, some with less competition than others. Here's a breakdown on races in the five parishes surrounding Lafayette.
Half of the eight-member board will remain intact, as four incumbent candidates are running unopposed. Current Board President Doug LaCombe of Egan will continue to represent District 2, along with Vice President James “Boz” Higginbotham Jr. of Church Point in District 7. In District 4, John Suire of Crowley will continue to serve, as will Iota’s Milton Simar in District 8.
Three more incumbent candidates will face challengers. Incumbent Israel Syria and Jeff Cavell — both of Crowley — will vie for the District 1 seat. In Rayne’s District 5, incumbent David Lalande will run against Blane Harmon, and in Church Point’s District 6, incumbent Gene Daigle will face Candy Leger.
In District 3, newcomers Delo Hebert Jr., of Morse, and Dalton Newman, of Midland, will campaign for outgoing Board Member Lynn Shamsie’s seat.
A quiet campaign season for the Iberia Parish School Board, as seven of the parish’s nine districts will retain the same board members. In District 1, Nursey Ozenne McNeal will run unopposed for outgoing Board Member Clara Carrier’s seat. Only in District 9 will the parish see competition, as Quinten Adcock will run against incumbent Board Member Dana Dugas.
Incumbent Board President Dee Pradia will keep his District 2 seat, as will Jay McDonald in District 3; Thomas Jolivet, District 4; Robbie John Leblanc, District 5; Kenneth Lockett Sr., District 6; Dan LeBlanc Sr, District 7; and Ed Buford Jr., District 8.
A little more competition in this parish’s 13-district school board race. Current Vice President Anthony Standberry of Opelousas will face Lawtell candidates Allen Guillory Sr. and Armond “Rocky” Declouette for the District 1 seat. In District 5, Darlene Smith-St. Romain of Morrow will run against incumbent Candy Gerace for her seat. District 9 Board Member Randy Wagley of Opelousas has one challenger, Ricky Julien Sr., of Sunset.
District 10 residents will choose from three Opelousas candidates in the November elections. Ceasar Veazie Jr. and Matthew “Smiley” Washington will run against incumbent Hazel McCrea-Sias. Four candidates from Eunice are vying for outgoing Board President Josie Frank’s District 12 seat: Donna Baltakis, Albert “Al” Hayes Jr., Roland Miller and Will “La Will” Stevens. And in District 13, Mary Ellen Donatto and incumbent Harry B. Fruge, both of Eunice, will run for the position.
Seven incumbent board members will run unopposed: Charles W. Ross of Opelousas, District 2; Milton “Coach” Ambres of Opelousas, District 3; Raymond P. Cassimete of Opelousas, District 4; Donnie Perron of Port Barre, District 6; Huey Wyble of Arnaudville, District 7; Kyle C. Boss of Church Point, District 8; and Roger Young of Eunice, District 11.
Only one district will see any competition for this parish’s school board elections. In District 2, Raymond J. Lee will challenge incumbent Wanda Babin for her seat. District 6 will see new representation, as Burton Dupuis of Breaux Bridge is running unopposed for Robert E. Hollier’s seat.
Eight incumbents will stay in their positions: Steve Fuselier, District 1; Aaron Flegeance, District 3; Jimmy Blanchard of Breaux Bridge, District 4; Russel C. Foti, District 5; Richard Potier of Breaux Bridge, District 7; Frederic Stelly Jr. of Breaux Bridge, District 8; Floyd “Y” Knott of Arnaudville, District 9; and Mark Hebert of Cecilia, District 10.
Half of this eight-district parish will see competition for school board seats. In District A, Luddy Herpin of Kaplan will run against incumbent Skip Gardiner of Gueydan. Incumbent Dexter Callahan and Laura Hebert LeBouef, both of Kaplan, will vie for the District C seat. Lamondon Williams and incumbent Charles Campbell — both Abbeville residents — will run for District F, and in Abbevile’s District G, incumbent Carroll “Bubba” Leblanc will face challenger Sara Bourgeoius Duplechain.
Four board members will retain their seats: current Board President Chris Gautreaux of Maurice, District B; Vice President Stacey Paul Landry of Abbeville, District D; Anthony “Tony” Fontana Jr. of Abbville, District E; and Erath’s Ricky J. Broussard, District H.