After the first day of qualifying for the October general election, the fields in the Teche Area parishes are filling up.
All but a few races had someone qualify to run Monday, with some races sporting several candidates already.
Two parish presidents — M. Larry Richard in Iberia and David Hanagriff in St. Mary — already have challengers. In Iberia, Ronald “Ronnie” Miguez filed his paperwork Monday to run against Richard. In St. Mary, Keneth W. Perry of Franklin qualified to face Hanagriff. Chester R. Cedars in St. Martin Parish is so far unopposed.
The sheriff’s races in Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary parishes seem to be the most popular so far. In Iberia, six candidates — Roberta Boudreaux, “Joe” LeBlanc, Fernest “Pacman” Martin, Murphy Meyers, “Tommy” Romero and Clinton “Bubba” Sweeney — have already qualified to run for the seat Louis Ackal has held for the last 12 years. In St. Mary Parish, Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi, Todd Pellerin and incumbent Blaise W. Smith qualified to run on day one for the seat Smith won in a special election last year after Sheriff Mark Hebert retired.
Only one candidate has qualified so far for the St. Martin Sheriff’s seat that current Sheriff Ronnie Theriot will vacate. Contender Albert “Buz” LeBlanc filed his paperwork Monday, but Brian Douglas Theriot, the incumbent’s son, and challenger Becket Breaux also are expected to file their candidacy this week.
Several other candidates qualified for offices being vacated this term.
In the District 48 State Representative race, left open after Rep. Taylor Barras was term limited, New Iberia businessman Beau Beaullieu and Iberia School Board member Dana Dugas qualified Monday, with Iberia Parish Councilman Ricky Gonsoulin expected to qualify as well this week.
Barras qualified to run for the Iberia Parish Assessor’s office formerly held by his father and being vacated by Ricky Huval. Huval’s son, Ryan, and incumbent David Ditch have qualified to run for the Iberia Parish Clerk of Court’s seat left open after the conviction of former clerk Michael Thibodeaux in May.
Two candidates — Robert Jordan and James Trahan — qualified for Gonsoulin’s District 8 council seat. The District 3 seat, being left by Thomas “Tommy” Landry, has two contenders so far, Brad Davis and Madelyn Coleman Dugas.
So far, three incumbent parish councilmen will have opposition. In District 10, incumbent Eugene Olivier faces former Iberia Parish Councilman Roger Duncan. In District 11, incumbent Brian P. Napier is being challenged by Brock Pellerin.
In District 14, former councilman Wayne Romero qualified, but incumbent Chad Maturin has not yet filed his paperwork to run.
Three parish council seats — District 1, held by Tommy Pollard, District 9 being vacated by Joel Dugas and District 12, currently held by Berwick Francis, so far have no qualifiers.
In St. Martin Parish, three candidates have qualified for the District 2 seat left open after Parish Council Chairwoman Lisa Nelson terms out. Jess E. “Poppa” Crosier, Carla JeanBatiste, and former St. Martinville Mayor Thomas Nelson, the incumbent’s father, will run in the district. District 3 Councilman Jason Willis is also term limited. Vonda LeBlanc and LaTanghue “Tangie” Narcisse have so far qualified for that race.
In District 4, incumbent Neil Thibodeaux has not yet filed, but David M. Poirier and Andrea L. Sonnier have qualified to run in that district.
The qualification period continues today and Thursday until 4:30 p.m.