Bossier City Seats Up for Grabs in April of this Year
If you thought elections were over for a while, think again. The 2013 cycle of elections begin on Saturday, April 6. On the ballot will be some municipal races, a couple of races for judge, and tax propositions.
Qualifying for the offices up for election will be February 13-15 at parish clerk of court offices.
Candidates must pay a qualifying fee. To run for judge on the court of appeal, it’s $450, and for judge on the district court, it’s $300.
Candidates running for a municipal office must pay a qualifying fee based upon the population of the municipality. In Bossier City, the qualifying fee to run for mayor and city council is $225. The State Central Committee of each party may collect a fee of $112.50, and Parish Executive Committees may collect a fee of $112.50 as well.
Bossier City elections
In Bossier City, elections will be held on April 6 for mayor and city council. Runoffs, if necessary, will be on May 4.
So far, Republican Mayor Lorenz “Lo” Walker, who is seeking a third term, has no declared opposition. It is likely that the popular Walker will walk into a third term without an opponent.
The city council is a different story. All council members, with the exception of District 4 Councilman David Jones, are seeking re-election. Let’s look at the current situation district by district:
Council-at-Large – There are two at-large council seats on the seven-district Bossier City Council. They are represented by Tim Larkin and David Montgomery, both Republicans, who are running for another term. No opponents have surfaced. The entire city of Bossier votes on these two positions.
District 1 – Represented by Republican Scott Irwin, who already has one declared opponent. He is Republican Mike Beam, a retired Bossier City police officer and the owner of Beam’s Restaurant.
District 2 – Represented by Jeff Darby, an African-American with no party affiliation. He does not have declared opposition at this time and is considered a safe bet to keep his council seat.
District 3 – Represented by Democrat Don “Bubba” Williams, who has no declared opponent. He is a safe bet to return to the council.
District 4 – Represented by Republican David Jones, who is stepping down after serving three terms, and is, therefore, an open seat. Jones will be missed and leaves big shoes to fill.
He was the man of vision on the city council and was a key player in many of the city’s successful projects and in planning for future growth.
Jeff Free, a realtor, has announced that he is definitely running. The only other name being mentioned at this time is Jonathan Newton, also a realtor.
Newton told the Fax-Net he is giving the race serious consideration, but has not made a definite decision on whether he will run. One never knows if others will pop up and qualify. That often happens when there is an open seat.
District 5 – Represented by Republican Larry Hanisee. He has no declared opposition, but Tommy Harvey, who lost to Hanisee by two votes in a 2011 special election, told the Fax-Net he is seriously thinking about running, but has not made a definite decision.
Hanisee is retired from FedEx and served previously on the city council from 1989-1993. In a May 2009 runoff election, Hanisee lost to James “Chubby” Knight by 50 votes. When Knight resigned his seat in 2011, Hanisee ran and defeated Harvey.
Harvey, a Republican, is a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant and is in business with his sister, operating the UPS store on Airline Drive.
Harvey and Hanisee have been friends since childhood, and he said he wants to talk with Hanisee and others before he decides if he will jump into the race and create a instant replay of the 2011 election.
Nerren-Graves final figures
Running these days for a judicial seat, like other elected offices, is not cheap. Candidates for judge often put varying amounts from their own pockets into the race.
The race for the open seat on the 26th Judicial Court, which includes Bossier and Webster parishes, was an expensive one for the three candidates involved – Assistant District Attorney Mike Nerren, Bossier attorney Whit Graves, and Springhill City Court Judge John Slattery.
In the primary election on November 6, 2012, the results were: Nerren 39.80 percent, Graves 31.18 percent., and Slattery 29.02 percent. All three candidates are Republicans.
In the runoff on December 8, Nerren received 51.42 percent of the vote to 48.58 percent for Graves to win the seat on the bench.
Here are the final campaign finance figures from reports filed with the Louisiana Ethics Commission.
*Mike Nerren – Total receipts: $301,312 of which $24,000 was a personal loan to his campaign committee. Total expenditures: $294,683. (The figures include both the primary and runoff elections).
*Whit Graves – Total receipts: $233,545 of which $140,00 was a personal loan to his committee. Total expenditures: $228,151 of which $10,662 was a loan repayment. (The figures include both the primary and runoff elections).
*John Slattery – Total receipts: $125,835 of which $60,000 was a personal loan to his committee. Total expenditures: $121,971. (All of his expenditures were made in the primary).
The reality of politics is that winners of elections have a good chance of recouping personal funds they spent on their races. Losers, not so much.
It is, therefore, why two judges who recently won their seats on the bench are holding fundraisers.
Appellate Judge Frances Pitman, who won the race for the opening on the Second Circuit Court of Appeal, is having a Debt Retirement Reception tonight (Tuesday, February 5) at Ristorante Giuseppe, 4800 Line Avenue, Shreveport.
The event will take place from 5 until 7 p.m. No contribution amount was listed, but the maximum an individual can give is $2,500. As reported earlier, Judge Pitman spent $76,000 of her own money on her race.
Bossier-Webster District Judge Mike Nerren is holding a fundraiser Thursday, February 7 at Snyder Floor Covering, 4464 Viking Drive, Bossier City.
The event is scheduled from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. No contribution amount was listed on the invitation. As note earlier, Nerren put $24,000 of his own money into his race for the seat on the 26th Judicial Court bench.
Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.