Nathan Stubbs

St. Landry Parish gains senator, loses rep

by Nathan Stubbs

Opelousas attorney and District 40 State Rep. Elbert Guillory is moving up to the state senate. Guillory defeated Patricia Cravins in Saturday’s runoff for the District 24 state senate seat, which covers most of St. Landry Parish and North Lafayette (The seat was vacated earlier this year by Don Cravins Jr., who took a job in Washington, D.C. as chief of staff for the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship). With the Legislature already in session, Guillory is expected to be sworn into his new post this week. In the process, St. Landry Parish will be without a District 40 rep in the state House through the remainder of the session. State law requires a special election to determine Guillory’s successor in District 40. Even if the speaker of the house would call for an immediate election, there still likely would not be time to seat a new rep before the end of session.

Therefore, the District 40 seat won’t be on the ballot until Oct. 17, the next scheduled election. A runoff, if necessary, will be held Nov. 14. A legion of candidates is already forming for the race. St. Landry Parish Clerk of Court Charles Jagneaux says, “The question right now in St. Landry Parish is not who’s running [for District 40] but who’s not running.” Likely contenders include former police juror Allen Guillory, Opelousas city councilman Reggie Tatum, former District 40 candidates Ledrika Johnson and Bradford Jackson, and former Opelousas Mayor Anna Simmons. Another potential candidate, fresh off the state senate race, is longtime educator Patricia Cravins, wife of Opelousas Mayor Don Cravins.

Update: Analytical chemist and former District 24 candidate Kelly Scott tells The Independent he intends to run for the District 40 seat.