St. Tammany Sheriff, Parish President races go to run-off
Two former Covington city leaders are heading to run-offs in their respective bids to unseat a pair of parish wide elected officials in St. Tammany.
Former Covington Mayor Mike Cooper has advanced to a runoff in the race for St. Tammany Parish President, forcing two-term incumbent Pat Brister into a second round of voting.
With 100 percent of election day precincts reporting, Cooper carried 48 percent to Brister's 41 percent. Third-place finisher Karen Champagne earned 11 percent of the vote.
These results mean Cooper and Brister will face off in a Nov. 16 runoff.
"A lot of people have worked very hard to get to this point," Cooper said. "We're ready for round two, and we will work just as hard in the next five weeks to cross the next finish line in first place!"
Cooper's campaign emphasized his success in eight years as mayor of Covington, including improvements to infrastructure and public safety without raising taxes, and criticized Brister for multiple efforts to raise taxes, including her 2017 implementation of sales taxes in business-only areas, avoiding a vote of the people.
Taking to social media to speak with supporters Saturday night/early Sunday, Brister said, "I can’t thank everyone enough for their support leading up to tonight. We knew it would be a close race and we are ready to double down and work even harder in the month ahead. Thanks to everyone who has already offered their help in the runoff, we’ll be calling on you!"
In the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's race, incumbent Randy Smith finds himself in a run-off with former Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz.
With 100 percent of votes counted (other than early voting), Lentz earned 32 percent. Incumbent Randy Smith carried 47 percent and challenger Nick Tranchina had 22 percent of the vote.
"When we started this journey a year ago, we knew we would work hard and have a lot of support, but we didn't know where it would end," Lentz said. "Tonight, we are one step closer - one giant step closer - to restoring public trust in law enforcement in St. Tammany Parish.
"Running for office is always difficult, and trying to defeat an incumbent sheriff brings extra challenges," Lentz said. "We have risen to meet them this far, and now we have another five weeks to make our case to the voters."
Lentz's campaign focused on his 35 years of law enforcement experience, his advanced education, and his proven commitment to public service at the Sheriff's Office and Covington Police Department.
Other St. Tammany races include:
St. Tammany Parish Council
District 3: Martha Cazaubon (R)—43 percent
Jerry Coner (NP)—14 percent
Arthur “A.J.” Davis (R)—13 percent
John J. Martin (R)—30 percent
District 5: Terri Lewis Stevens (I)—33 percent
Rykert O. Toledano, Jr. (R)—67 percent
District 6: Eric Lowe (R)—38 percent
Richard Tanner (R)—62 percent
District 7: “Jimmie” Davis III (R)—56 percent
Carlo Hernandez (I)—13 percent
Gerrin Narcisse (NP)—31 percent
District 9: Jacqueline Carr (D)—11 percent
*“Chuck” Lamarche (R)—15 percent
“Jeff” Pittman (R)—8 percent
Peggy H. Seeley (R)—15 percent
*Michael “Mike” Smith (R)—36 percent
Floyd Trascher (R)—15 percent
District 11: James Lyle (R)—45 percent
“Steve” Stefancik (R)—55 percent
District 12: “Jerry” Binder (R)—70 percent
Belinda Parker-Brown (D)—30 percent