Although there will be no school board or mayor/council races on the east side of the Red in 2014, there are several front burner elections to be monitored. And for some elections, the politicking has already began in earnest.
The most closely watched election will no doubt be the one to fill the shoes of State Senator Robert Adley, who is termed out.
Early names for this race are well established Bossier politicians – State Representative Henry Burns and State Representative Jeff Thompson. Rickey Jackson, another Republican, is being mentioned, and reportedly former State Representative Billy “Coach” Montgomery is giving this race a look see.
This election could be a major brawl, with Bossier losing at least one very effective voice in Baton Rouge if Burns and Thompson square off. The entry of either or both of them into the race will open up their positions, which are definitely locked in if they seek re-election.
Bossier City Marshal Lynn Austin is hanging up his spurs, – and going back to retirement after serving as Bossier City Police Chief and Bossier City CAO. Austin has radically changed the largess spending habits of his predecessor, and has tightened the fiscal policies of the Marshal’s office.
The leading candidate to replace Austin is Jim Whitman, who has served eleven years with the Marshal’s office. Whitman has Austin’s endorsement which will be a major factor in the election. Shreveport deputy marshal Carl Richard, who was sounded defeated by Austin in 2010, is likely to make a second try for this office.
26th Judicial District Judge John Robinson is counting the days until his term ends next year, and the list of judge wannabes is already formed. This judicial district encompasses both Bossier and Webster parishes; a victor must poll well in Bossier. Whit Graves, who lost a run off judicial election to Mike Nerren in 2012, is back in the hunt. Charles Jacobs, a Webster Parish resident, has also decided to seek Robinson’s seat. Jacobs, a part-time assistant district attorney, will probably have the endorsement of D.A. Schuyler Marvin.
Rumor has it that Judge Ford Stinson may not seek re-election; Stinson says at this time he does intend to run. Both Graves and Jacobs would welcome the opportunity to not run head to head, and Stinson’s decision will have a profound affect on the landscape of other judicial candidate. Names being mentioned as other possible judicial candidates includes Cynthia Carroll, Randy Robinson, and possibly John Bokenfohr.
Bossier/Webster politics can be much more cut throat than Caddo, and there are plenty of skeletons and land mines that candidates must navigate through and around. Much like in Shreveport, campaign dollars will be in short supply and D.A. Marvin (who should be unopposed for re-election) has a September fund raiser scheduled. These elections will be hard fought and many casualties can be expected.