Bossier and Webster Parishes will have a new 26th Judicial District Judge this Saturday.
Bossier Parish Assistant District Attorney Mike Nerren will take on Whit Graves in the runoff election. Nerren won 40 percent of the vote and Graves took 31 percent in the Nov. 6 election. Judge John Slattery, the third candidate, finished the election with 29 percent of the votes.
Nerren told the Press-Tribune on Nov. 6 that he was “incredibly happy” with the results, despite the close nature of the race.
“We knew the overwhelming likelihood was it would result in a runoff,” He said.
Nerren said his campaign since that election was no different than the first election in November.
“We were very happy with the results, but we didn’t want to take anything for granted so we have worked straight through to this election. You have to work harder to get the voters to the polls and we think we are going to be able to do that.”
Whit Graves said he was unhappy with how the tone of the election has become “nasty” with “false allegations.”
“I’m trying to keep my campaign clean and on point with my achievements and experience and my ability to become the next judge in Webster and Bossier,” he said.
He said the runoff is a completely different election due to the loss of interest by people who turned out to vote in the presidential race.
“We’re concentrating our efforts on those people who consistently vote on a regular basis no matter what the election may be about,” said Graves. “We are very optimistic about the outcome of the election this Saturday.”
Graves previously told the Press-Tribune that living in both Minden and now Bossier City has given him the opportunity to get to know both communities. He added that being elected judge would be one more way for him to serve the people.
“This would be an opportunity for me to give back to the system and serve the people in one more capacity than I've served before,” Graves said.
If elected, Graves said his goal is to get all judges in the system to play a more active role.
“What I'm looking to do is assign judges to particular types of cases. Right now, every judge does everything. If we can narrow it down, a single judge would do the same thing every day,” he said. “I want to make it to where they do the same thing every day. That way, a judge would be available if an emergency case comes up. I want to speed it up and make things work better for all of us.”
Nerren’s experience has taken him through domestic, civil and criminal law and 12 years experience in juvenile law.
''My proven record in all areas of the law and my experience, desire and dedication will bring leadership and integrity to the office of District Judge,” Nerren told the Press-Tribune when he announced his candidacy. “I have worked hard to earn the respect of my colleagues and Judges. I am proud of my record as an attorney. I have the experience and dedication to serve as your next District Judge.”
He thanked his family and supporters for their hardwork during the “grueling” process.
“This has been a long process for them and they have worked very, very hard and I’m proud of them,” said Nerren. “I want to thank them and let them know that if we can get past Saturday, we can sit back and reflect on what we’ve done.”