BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana attorney has been elected to fill a judicial vacancy after his challenger dropped out of the runoff race.

The Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office confirmed Friday that Steve Marionneaux officially withdrew from the race to fill a spot on the 18th Judicial District Court. That means Port Allen attorney Kevin Kimball gets an automatic win in the runoff election set for Nov. 18.

The Advocate reports Marionneaux and Kimball, a cousin of retired Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Catherine “Kitty” Kimball, were the top two vote-getters in last week’s primary election, edging ahead of a third opponent, Lonny Guidroz.

According to results from Saturday’s race, Kimball won 45 percent of the vote compared to 31 percent for Marionneaux.

Marionneaux could not be immediately reached Friday for comment.

Kimball said Friday that Marionneaux had reached out to him after posting the withdrawal message on social media and the two shared a gracious conversation.

“I’m very appreciative of him,” Kimball said after learning Marionneaux had officially conceded. “I’m happy that now I can start the transition and get to work.”

Kimball, 53, said he’ll have about 30 days to close out any pending cases at his law practice before he has to be sworn into office.

“I’ve already started the process of contacting active clients,” he said. “That’s going to take some time to make sure all those cases are handled properly.”

Kimball centered his campaign on promises to address the judicial district’s ongoing struggles with juvenile justice. Previously, he has said that holding parents accountable for their children and utilizing early intervention programs are the best ways to address the underlying issues driving juvenile crime in the district, which encompasses Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and Iberville parishes.


Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com