James Carstensen with Gerry

Former Shreveport City Council District B candidate James Carstensen (right) discusses his court challenge.

SHREVEPORT, La. -- A candidate for city council who challenged the election results saw his case dismissed by a Caddo Parish District Court judge because of strict wording in the law.

James Carstensen filed suit against elections officials, claiming new council redistricting maps were not properly followed for ballots in District B. He also said there were voting machine problems.

More than a dozen voters who signed complaints to back up Carstensen's case were in court, ready to testify. But Judge Mike Pitman ruled that Carstensen's attorney, Patricia Gilley, used improper wording and failed to name other candidates as defendants -- as required by law.

"We weren't going to get an opportunity to expose any of the irregularities, such as paper ballots, and the voting missions, and the redistricting, and the illegal actions that took place amongst all of that," Carstensen said.

However, Caddo Registrar of Voters Dale Sibley and Caddo Clerk of Court Mike Spence told KTBS that any problems along the way toward election day were ironed out, or did not impact District B.

Carstensen, the only Republican in the race, finished third. He was just 48 votes behind the second place candidate, Mavice Hughes Thigpen, according to results posted by the Louisiana Secretary of State.

Thigpen faces off against fellow Democrat Gary Brooks in the Dec. 10 election.


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