Shreveport Attorney John Settle
Opinion by John Settle

Southwest Shreveport voters have a clear choice in the December 6 council run-off between James Flurry and Durwood Hendricks, Jr. In the primary, Flurry captured 44% of the vote compared to Hendrick’s 39 %.

The candidates are as different as night and day. Flurry is a Republican; Hendricks is a Democrat. Flurry is white and Hendricks is black. Flurry has lived in the district for 35 years; Hendrick’s residence is subject to question.

District E James Flurry
James Flurry

Hendricks owns a home on Baxter Street in Shreveport and the phone book lists this address. Baxter street is not in District E. Hendricks changed his voter registration in October 2010 to South Brookwood Drive; Hendricks is not the owner of this house. (Hendrick’s was not available for comment.)

Flurry has a very solid background in public service and in business. He served 2 consecutive 6 year terms as Justice of the Peace in Ward 7 – which includes his district. Flurry served as the president of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association as well as Chairman of the Board. He worked 10 years for Bird & Son, an asphalt roofing manufacturer, and is currently a sales manager for a casket company.

Durwood Hendricks, Jr.Hendrick’s is currently in the U.S. Air Force Reserve at Barksdale; he is a former member of the Louisiana Army National Guard and a Desert Storm veteran. He serves on the board of the Northwest Louisiana Sickle Cell Chapter and as a Trustee of New Bethel Baptist Church.

The voter composition of District E is 56% white, 40% black and 4% other races. By party affiliation Democrats are approximately 48%, 29% are Republicans and 23% are Independents.

Voter turn out for the Saturday run-off is anticipated to be, at best, 50% of primary vote count. Weather, college football, and hunting season/other recreational activities generally influence, i.e. dampen, voter participation. The endorsement of third place finisher Wanda Wright (or at least her supporters) will be important. Flurry is anticipated to be the benefactor of most of Wright’s voters.

Red-rheaded step child?
Red-headed step child?

District E, like District A (Martin Luther King area), has often been the redheaded stepchild on the Council. Strong, involved leadership from a team builder is needed for this district, and Flurry has the most promise of the two candidates. In any event, District E will have a new face on the Council in December.