BATON ROUGE, La. — Early voting starts Saturday for Louisiana’s Oct. 14 election, with the race to fill the vacant state treasurer’s job at the top of the ballot, three proposals to change the state constitution awaiting decisions and New Orleans ballot-casters picking a new mayor.
The week-long early voting period continues through Oct. 7. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in a race, runoffs are scheduled for Nov. 18.
Six candidates are competing in the special election for state treasurer, a job without an incumbent for the first time in 17 years. Republican John Kennedy left the position after his election to the U.S. Senate.
The top three GOP contenders are: Angele Davis, a Baton Rouge business consultant who was a state budget administrator for Govs. Mike Foster and Bobby Jindal; Sen. Neil Riser, a funeral home owner and bank board member from Caldwell Parish; former Rep. John Schroder, a businessman and former law enforcement official from St. Tammany Parish.
The lone Democrat is New Orleans area lawyer Derrick Edwards, who has done little fundraising for the race. Also running are Terry Hughes, a Lafayette Republican, and Joseph Little, a Libertarian from Ponchatoula.
Three constitutional amendments are up for consideration.
The first would create a property tax break for all property delivered to a construction site for use in building industrial plants, companies and houses.
The next amendment would expand a property tax exemption given to the surviving spouses of police officers and certain others who die in the line of duty so that the tax break covers the surviving spouses of more first responders, such as paramedics.
The final amendment would direct money from any new tax levied on gasoline or other motor fuels into a protected fund, to be spent on direct costs associated with transportation projects and prohibited from paying for state employee salaries.
Also up for election is a seat on the Louisiana Public Service Commission, several judgeships, two vacant state House seats and an array of municipal positions.
Three Republicans are competing for the District 2 seat on the Public Service Commission, the state’s utility regulatory agency, representing all or part of 13 parishes across the Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Houma areas. The position was vacated by Scott Angelle, who took a job leading the federal agency that regulates offshore oil and gas drilling. The election will fill the remaining portion of the term that runs through 2018.
The most high-profile local competitions are in New Orleans, where 18 candidates are vying to be the city’s next mayor since Democratic incumbent Mitch Landrieu is term-limited. The city also has contested city council seats.
WHERE TO VOTE
Early voting runs daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., except on Sunday, at local parish registrar of voters’ offices and other designated locations. Secretary of State Tom Schedler’s office has a complete list of early voting sites online or through its GeauxVote mobile app.
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