Mirroring their party’s declining statewide fortunes, Republicans continued to solidify their grasp with the upper hand in Caddo Parish elections, which may hold consequences for Democrat-majority Shreveport.
You can’t say the same about Bossier Parish – because Democrats there already are an endangered species. In and around Bossier City excepting the small towns to the north, what few races even had a Republican being contested, with several GOP candidates drawing no opposition including the 26th District Attorney Schuyler Marvin, produced GOP winners, with the most high-profile being the passing of the city judge post from retiring Tommy Wilson to ally Santi Parks.
As another indicator of evaporating Democrat fortunes in Bossier, Democrat Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell – a fixture in Bossier elections for nearly a half-century – barely squeaked back into office. No thanks to Bossier, which handily gave it support to his GOP opponent from Ouachita Parish who hardly campaigned.
Democrats do retain a majority in Shreveport and allied governments, with this reflected by the reelection of Democrat Charlie Caldwell as city marshal. And without Republican opposition Democrat 1st District Attorney James Stewart cruised back into office. But in every other parish contest, wherever a Democrat or their surrogates competed against a republican, they lost.
Perhaps most galling to the political left, Chris Victory won outright a district judgeship. Victory has been a law partner with GOP state Rep. Alan Seabaugh, villain to liberals statewide, and he dispatched a pair of Democrats in the process. In the other contested district court contest, GOP incumbent Craig Marcotte easily won reelection.
A couple of candidates in the past registered as Democrats, attempting to avoid the increasing toxicity of the label, ran as independents. One, appointed School Board incumbent Jeri Bowen, had gained her seat in the traditionally Republican district when the Democrat majority on the Board rammed her into replacing her resigned GOP predecessor over Republican Christine Tharpe. Months later, Tharpe challenged and this week decisively defeated her.
The other, Clay Walker, tried to succeed the retiring Democrat Juvenile Court Judge Paul Young. Instead, he met defeat at the hands of Republican Natalie Howell.
Voters also dumped a Republican, in favor of another, that a lot of area officials of both parties shed no tear in seeing him now ineligible to draw upon taxpayer dollars. Ward 8 sent Constable Eric Hatfield packing in favor of Patrick Young, who had engaged in a running feud with Hatfield claiming unsavory, if not corrupt, behavior on his part. (One of Young’s allies hosts a website full of salacious public records and reports about Hatfield’s behavior.) In years past, Hatfield, who ran for sheriff last year and lost badly, attempted to build his own law enforcement empire that forced the Legislature to curtail his activities.
Perhaps as a final punctuation mark, while the fossilized Campbell won the parish almost two-to-one, for U.S. Senate favorite son Democrat Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins couldn’t get close, losing it badly to incumbent GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy and with Democrats barely outpacing Republicans in total votes. In Republican Rep. Mike Johnson’s cruise to reelection, Republicans did receive a majority of votes in the parish, although Democrats’ presidential candidate won about as narrowly.
Save for three of river parishes down south and three up north, the Democrat ticket won only in Caddo (Shreveport), East Baton Rouge (Baton Rouge), and Orleans (New Orleans) Parishes. The GOP tide increasingly isolates Shreveport from the rest of the parish, much like what has happened in Ouachita Parish with Monroe as it declines in population faster than the rest of the parish. Monrovians responded by electing a non-Democrat as mayor earlier this year. Will that future repeat in Shreveport?