Even though he was a front-runner expected to win reelection easily, Larry Richard was not leaving anything to chance. As well-wishers, family, friends and supporters gathered at the Hadrian Building for his victory party, Richard was still taking calls and tallying votes.
“If we get 4,000 more, then we got it,” Richard said after one call.
He was the only person in the room who seemed to have any doubt. At the end of the night, Richard earned his second term as Iberia parish president with 66 percent of the vote, 47 points higher than his nearest competitor Ronnie Miguez. Richard garnered 14,395 votes to Migues’ 4,031, or 19 percent. Iberia Parish District 9 Councilman Joel Dugas came in third with 3,228 votes, or 15 percent.
Richard will also return to a fairly stable council. Of the 14 seats, nine incumbents will return, and one seat is still facing a runoff. Three seats left vacant will hold new members, but only one incumbent was defeated in Saturday’s election. That’s a dramatic shift from 2016, when two-thirds of the council seats changed hands.
Of the incumbents in contested seats, only District 12 Councilman Berwick “June” Francis was defeated. Francis had 579 votes, or 42 percent, to Lady Fontenette Brown’s 787 votes, or 58 percent.
In District 10, incumbent Eugene Olivier will face a runoff against former Iberia Parish Councilman Roger Duncan. Olivier garnered 868 votes, or 45 percent, to Duncan’s 655 votes, or 34 percent.
The other four contested incumbents won their races. In District 6, Councilwoman Natalie Broussard won handily with 74 percent or 1,157 votes to challenger Frederick “Bozo” Metz’ 26 percent, or 415 votes. District 7 Councilman Paul G. Landry easily turned away a challenge from Wes Pattillio. Landry earned 73 percent, or 1,450, of the votes in his district to Pattillo’s 27 percent, or 539 votes.
In District 11, incumbent Brian Napier barely survived a strong run from newcomer Brock Pellerin. Napier got 795 votes, or 52 percent, to Pelleron’s 724 votes, or 48 percent.
In District 14, incumbent Chad Maturin survived two challengers to win on the first ballot. Maturin got 52 percent, or 754 votes, to former Iberia Parish Councilman Wayne Romero’s 32 percent, or 471 votes, and challenger Michael Poirrier’s 16 percent, or 238 votes.
The three open seats — District 3, left open when Councilman Thomas Landry announced he would not run, District 8 left open when Councilman Ricky Gonsoulin announced for the District 48 legislative seat, and District 9, vacated when Councilman Joel Dugas ran for parish president, were a mixed bag. In District 3, Brad Davis won by a 20-point margin over Madelyn Coleman Dugas. Davis earned 60 percent of the vote, or 854 votes, to Dugas’ 40 percent, or 579 votes.
In District 8, James Trahan raced to victory over Robert Jordan. Trahan garnered 69 percent of the vote, or 1,461 votes, to Jordan’s 655 votes, or 31 percent.
In District 9, Scott Ransonet won with 56 percent of the vote, or 1,211, to Hubert Landry Jr.’s 44 percent, or 965 votes.
The runoff for the District 10 seat between Olivier and Duncan will be on the Nov. 16 ballot.