EBR GOP Squares Off with EBR Demos
With the primary election scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 4, the national election is focused on the battle between Democrats and Republicans, but that is not the case here in East Baton Rouge Parish. In this parish, most districts are either heavily Democratic or heavily Republican. Only in a minority of districts do Democrats and Republicans run against one another in competitive races.
In this election, Democrats face head-to-head races against Republicans in four judgeships.
Perhaps the race getting the most attention is District Judge, Division G, which covers Baker, Zachary, and Central. Long-time Democratic District Judge Mike Erwin is facing a strong challenge from Metro Councilman Trae Welch, a Republican. Erwin was first elected in 1991, the last District Judge to be elected parishwide, before subdistricts were created. When sub-districts came along, Erwin was assigned to the district in the north part of the parish. He has continued to reside in South Baton Rouge and has not moved into the district. That is permitted under the law but is a legitimate campaign issue, and Welch has been using it.
Some black leaders are making a strong push for Mary Landrieu, and this is expected to help Erwin, both in early voting and on election day.
In two other races, incumbent Republican judges face Democratic candidates who are not well financed. District Judge Todd Hernandez (R) is being challenged by local attorney Colette Greggs (D). District Judge Richard Anderson (R) faces attorney Joyce Plummer (D).
Another incumbent Democratic judge faces a strong Republican challenge. Juvenile Court Judge Kathleen Richey (D) is opposed by former Assistant District Attorney Adam Haney (R).
In East Baton Rouge Parish School Board races, in District 1, Democrat Jennifer Andrews faces Republican Mark Bellue, and no party incumbent Mary Lynch. In District 5, Republican Jerry Arbour is running against Democrats Patty Merrick, Evelyn Ware-Jackson, and W.T. Winfield. In District 7, incumbent Republican Barbara Freiberg faces Democrat Anthony Nelson.
In Central School Board, District 6, Republican Ruby Foil is opposed by No Party Nick Carmena.