Bossier and Webster Voters Make Their Choice for Judge
Score one for the establishment. Assistant District Attorney Mike Nerren landed the knockout punch on Bossier City Attorney Whit Graves to conclude what had been a mean-spirited political boxing match.
Nerren prevailed in the race for a seat on the 26th Judicial District Court, which includes Bossier and Webster parishes, by capturing 53.54 percent of the vote. By the numbers, it was Nerren 7,390 votes to 6,412 for Graves (46.46 percent).
The contentious race apparently did not excite voters – or it turned them off. Overall voter turnout for both parishes was 14 percent. In Bossier, voter turnout was 13 percent, and in Webster, it was 17 percent.
Nerren was endorsed by Bossier-Webster District Attorney Schuyler Marvin, Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker, Bossier City Marshal Lynn Austin, and Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton.
The Louisiana Republican Party had endorsed Graves, and he got some support from retired Air Force Gen. Peyton Cole, who filed an ethics complaint against Nerren before the election with the Louisiana Ethics Commission.
Graves also had the support of a group of voters who are not happy with the way the Bossier-Webster District Attorney’s Office is being run. Nerren was a part of that operation.
Nerren will serve out the remaining two years of the term of District Judge Bruce Bolin, who retired. He will have to run for a full term in 2014, when all of the district judges will be up for re-election.
Political observers believe the fight is far from over and could re-surface again in 2014 when the judges and DA Marvin are also up for re-election.
Here are the results of the election by parish:
Mike Nerren 4,808 votes (51.4 percent); Whit Graves 4,542 votes (40.6 percent). Voter turnout was 13 percent.
Mike Nerren 2,582 votes (58 percent); Whit Graves 1,870 votes (42 percent). Voter turnout was 17 percent.
Mike Nerren 7,390 votes (53.54 percent); Whit Graves 6,412 votes (46.46 percent). Voter turnout was 14 percent.
It’s getting to be that time of year. No, not just the Christmas holidays, but football bowl season. Between December 15 and January 7, one has the opportunity to park in front of the TV set and watch 35 bowl games.
There are so many bowl games now, virtually every team with a winning record in football Division 1 gets an invite to participate in one. (Except Louisiana Tech this year, which missed out with a 9-3 record).
Many critics of the number of bowl games reflect back to the days when only the best teams played in seven or eight bowls. They wonder whether a 6-6 team deserves to be in a postseason contest.
Proponents of the current number of bowl games say that they are a reward for a football team with a winning record, giving it national exposure and earning money for the school.
Each year, Sports Illustrated (SI) ranks the bowls according to “level of interest.” In other words, which are the best to watch. Here are its Top Five or most interesting to watch for this year:
*BCS National Championship Game, January 7, between Notre Dame (12-0) and Alabama (12-1).
*Fiesta Bowl, January 3, between Oregon (11-1) and Kansas State (11-1).
*Cotton Bowl, January 4, between Oklahoma (10-2) and Texas A&M (10-2).
*Chick-fil-A Bowl, December 31, between LSU (10-2) and Clemson (10-2).
*Orange Bowl, January 1, between Northern Illinois (12-1) and Florida State (11-2).
Interestingly, while LSU fans were disappointed that the Tigers were relegated to a second-tier bowl, it is still regarded as one of the best match-ups to watch.
The Bottom Five bowls, the least interesting to watch, according to SI:
*Armed Services Bowl, December 29, between Air Force (6-6) and Rice (6-6).
*Little Caesars Bowl, December 26, between Western Kentucky (7-5) and Central Michigan (6-6).
*Hawaii Bowl, December 24, between Fresno State (9-3) and SMU (6-6).
*New Orleans Bowl, December 22, between Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) and East Carolina (8-4).
*Beef ‘O’ Brady Bowl, December 21, between UCF (9-4) and Ball State (9-3).
Where does the Independence Bowl rank, you ask? SI ranks it at number 21 out of 35 in level of interest for the matchup on December 28 between Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) and Ohio (8-4).
To its credit, however, the Indy Bowl makes a very select list compiled by football historians. Among the more well-known, enduring bowls of recent years are:
*Fiesta Bowl (est. 1971, now Tostitos Fiesta Bowl)
*Gator Bowl (est. 1946, now Konica/Minolta Bowl)
*Tangerine/Citrus Bowl (est. 1947, now Capitol One Bowl)
*Liberty Bowl (since 1959, now Auto Zone Liberty Bowl)
*Peach Bowl (est. 1968, now Chick-fil-A Bowl)
*Independence Bowl (est. 1976)
Date change for Hall of Fame
Mark your calendars. There has been a change in the date for the induction of the late Angelo Roppolo and former Bossier City Mayor George Dement into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame.
The date of the event has been changed to Saturday, February 9. The change was made because the original date, February 2, conflicted with the Washington Mardi Gras and with the Super Bowl in New Orleans.
There will be an afternoon reception at the Louisiana Political Museum in Winnfield on February 9, followed by the induction dinner at the Winnfield Convention Center.
For ticket information, call the Louisiana Political Museum at 318-628-5928.
New time for ‘Talk of the Town’
You will now be able to listen to Tom Pace’s “Talk of the Town” radio show on The Promise 90.7 FM while driving home from work.
Beginning this week, the show will be aired from 5 to 6 p.m., known in the radio business as “drive time.” Pace does the show five days a week, Monday through Friday. Pace accepts phone calls on the live program from listeners who want to express an opinion on issues and events of the day. Call 318-550-2000 to get on the air.
Ed Baswell’s “Crossfire” program will continue to be aired from 7 to 9 a.m., which covers the morning drive time.
Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.