Key Judgeships On Dec. 8 Ballot

Key Judgeships On Dec. 8 Ballot

GOP Could Get 4-3 Majority on Supreme Court

BATON ROUGE — With the results of the Nov. 6 election still settling into people’s minds, candidates who face runoff elections on Dec. 8 are realizing that the December election, held in the middle of Christmas holidays, will be a very low turnout election where every vote will count.

If the Nov. 6 election was primarily about the election for President and Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish, the Dec. 8 runoff will be about judgeships.

Voters will choose between Democrats and Republicans in three critical races — Louisiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and Baton Rouge City Court.

In the Supreme Court race, the stakes are high.  Republican nominee Jeff Hughes, who now serves on the Court of Appeal, would give Republicans and conservatives a 4-3 majority on the court for the first time in history.  On the other hand, Guidry, a moderate Democrat with some business support, would be the first black judge elected to the Supreme Court from the Baton Rouge area in history.

The Nov. 6 primary for the Supreme Court was supposed to result in Guidry running first and then a close five-way race among the Republican candidates for the second spot in the runoff.  Democrat Mary Olive Pierson was given an outside chance for a runoff spot with Guidry.

Instead, while Guidry did run first in the primary, Hughes ran a strong second, ahead of Pierson and far ahead of the other Republicans.  He ran so well in the primary based on an overwhelming vote in Livingston Parish, his home parish, a strong vote in Ascension Parish, and a first place showing in Central.  In East Baton Rouge Parish as a whole, he was neck and neck with the other EBR Republican candidates.

Hughes has been endorsed by the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish, and Guidry has been endorsed by the Democratic Party of East Baton Rouge Parish.

In the race for Court of Appeal, incumbent Judge Mike McDonald narrowly missed an outright victory in the primary, followed by civil right attorney Gideon Carter III, a Democrat, and Judge Trudy White, a Republican.  McDonald was endorsed by the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish.

In the race for Baton Rouge City Court, incumbent City Judge Suzan Ponder is facing her first opposition since being elected 19 years ago.  Ponder, the Republican-endorsed candidates, ran first, while Democrat Tiffany Foxworth was a close second, and Republican Cliff Ivey was third.

Hughes said Tuesday, “The Dec. 8 runoff is all about who votes.  If conservative Republican voters go to the polls, we will have a great victory.  But if they stay home, we will have no chance.”

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