SHREVEPORT, La. – The race for the badge in six Northwest Louisiana parishes Saturday had a hodgepodge of results, with two new sheriffs elected, two incumbents winning re-election and two races still to be decided in run-offs.
The outright winners are in Bienville, Red River, Natchitoches and Webster parishes.
In Bienville Parish, Sheriff John Ballance trounced a field of four opponents, with 58 percent of the vote. The closest candidate was Henry Ford with 21 percent. Also knocked out of the running were Stephen Beard, Henry Ford and Tony Thompson.
In Red River, two-term Sheriff Glenn Edwards had no trouble defeating challenger Tom Mangham. Edwards garnered 87 percent of the vote over Mangham’s 13 percent.
The newcomers are in Webster and Natchitoches parishes.
In Webster Parish, former deputy Jason Parker, who received the backing of retiring Sheriff Gary Sexton and other parish officials, managed to draw 50 percent of the vote to narrowly avoid a runoff with two fellow deputies, Gene Hanson and Don Smith, who drew 6 percent and 44 percent, respectively.
In Natchitoches Parish, the support of retiring Sheriff Victor Jones Jr. also appears to have vaulted Stuart Wright into office without a run-off with candidates Steve Rachal and Steve Pezant. Wright received 52 percent, with Pezant second with 32 percent and Rachal third with 16 percent.
The races continue until Nov. 16 in Claiborne and Sabine parishes.
In Claiborne Parish, Sheriff Ken Bailey’s retirement opened the door to five men who want to his job. Businessman Sam Dowies and retired state trooper Michael Allen were No. 1 and 2, respectively, putting them in next month’s run-off. Dowies had 41 percent and Allen had 38 percent.
Out of the race are Jerry Lee Dunn Jr., Russell Mills and Vincent Smith.
Sabine Parish Sheriff Ronny Richardson came in second place in a field of four. Leading the pack was Aaron Mitchell with 44 percent. Richardson had 32 percent, putting both in a run-off next month.
Finishing out of the numbers were Frankie Howard and Chris Abrahams.