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Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018

The November 6 Primary

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So, what did it tell us?

Simply put, that Shreveport voters had very little consensus.

Incumbent Mayor Ollie Tyler only received 24 percent of the mayoral vote. Adrian Perkins polled the highest percentage at 29 percent. The other eight candidates split 47 percent of the vote.

Most politicos think Perkins will win the Dec. 8 election. The question most often debated is how much his anticipated margin of victory will be.

Only two of the six contested City Council seats were decided.

Incumbent James Flurry won a second term. Incumbent Stephanie Lynch was defeated.

Incumbent council member Willie Bradford is in a runoff.

The three open – i.e., no incumbent – seats will be decided in the Dec. 8 runoff election.

Bradford, District A councilman, will be in a runoff with Rose McCullough Wilson. In the primary, he polled 44 percent of the votes, and Wilson had 31 percent. Bradford is favored to retain his seat. Bradford defeated Wilson in a 2014 runoff.

Incumbent District F representative Lynch was defeated by the Rev. James E. Green by a 53 percent to 47 percent margin. In 2014 Lynch won the seat outright in the primary with 53 percent of the vote; Green had 43 percent. As expected, Council District B will be a runoff between Democrat Levette Fuller and Republican Wendy Vance. Fuller polled 45 percent to Vance’s 22 percent in the primary. Fuller will probably win the runoff in a district that has a very heavy Democrat voter base.

District C will also have a runoff between two Republicans. John Nichelson gained 45 percent to Patrick Kirton’s 35 percent in the primary. Although Nichelson raised more than $40,000, his margin of victory casts some doubt as to who will be elected in December.

The other candidate in the District C race was Joseph Carstensen, a no-party candidate. He polled 19 percent of the vote despite the fact he did no campaigning.

Grayson Boucher (Republican) and Versa “V.D.” Clark (Democrat) will square off in a District D runoff. Boucher had 38 percent of the vote and Clark 23 percent. This district is heavily Republican, and Boucher is expected to win the seat.

Joey Hester, a Republican, missed the runoff in District D by a scant 39 votes. Hester conducted a social media campaign only.

And in District E, a no-name 19-year-old Democrat (Quinton Aught) almost unseated the incumbent Flurry, who campaigned heavily. Apparently, many District E voters either pulled the first lever or just voted for a Democrat with no consideration of qualifications.

Voter turnout is always critical in an election. This is especially true in the runoff race.

Over 48 percent of Shreveport voters actually voted for mayor in the primary. This turnout was probably influenced by the congressional race on the ballot.

Additionally, all the national publicity on the mid-term elections likely influenced voter awareness of the election. The heavy television advertising for the Texas U.S. Senate race may have had a factor as well.

The general election ballot on Dec. 8 will not have any federal elections.

The only state election is the Secretary of State, which could be surprising since Gwen Collins-Greenup finished second while only spending $1,500. Obviously, social media and cell phone texting played a major major role in her campaign.

Other than the mayor, there are no citywide votes on the ballot. In four of the seven Council districts, there will be races that could attract voters.

Negative factors for voter turnout can be winter weather, the various hunting seasons, college football games, and, of course, Christmas shopping. Guessing the voter turnout on Dec. 8 will be a real “crap shoot” that could lead to unexpected consequences.

The make-up of the next Council will most likely be the first black majority Council under the mayor-council form of government. The party affiliation will likely be four Democrats and three Republicans.

John Settle’s articles appear in local publications and on his blog Settletalk.com. His email is john@jesettle.com.

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