Unlike other recent political battles in St. Landry Parish, rivals Don Cravins Sr. and Elbert Lee Guillory have been watching the contest for District 40 state representative from the sidelines. The Opelousas mayor and District 24 state senator have repeatedly clashed in St. Landry Parish elections, most recently when Guillory defeated Cravins’ wife, Pat, earlier this year to take over the state Senate seat vacated by Don Cravins Jr.
In District 40, former Opelousas Mayor Anna Simmons and attorney Ledricka Johnson-Thierry face off in an Aug. 29 runoff. This is Johnson-Thierry’s third run for the District 40 seat. She was previously recruited by Don Cravins to run against Elbert Guillory in 2006. Cravins, however, has not been a force behind Thierry so far in this race. One St. Landry Parish official tells The INDsider that “Cravins won’t be a factor in this race.” For his part, Guillory is signaling a desire to sit this one out. He recently told John Maginnis’ LaPolitics Weekly, "I am not going to participate in this one. The community needs it. Politics have been so divisive. This will be the first time the two machines are not battling each other."