State Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Sidell, speaks to reporters after she qualified Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, for the governor’s race Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, at the Louisiana State Archives building in Baton Rouge. (Matthew Perschall for Louisiana Illuminator)
Candidates for Louisiana’s statewide and local elections continue to qualify for the fall election. Contenders for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer and insurance commissioner have until 4:30 p.m. to officially file paperwork at the Louisiana State Archives building in Baton Rouge.
This article will be updated frequently throughout the day.
4:05 p.m.: Sen. “Big Mike” Fesi, R-Houma, will draw a challenge from Republican Dave Carskadon of Larose in Senate District 20. Back in 2020, Carskadon finished in the rear of the pack in a 2020 special election for House District 54. Rep. Joe Oregon, R-Golden Meadow, won the race to finish the rest of the term of Reggie Bagala, who died from complications related to COVID-19 in April 2020.
4 p.m.: Former Jefferson Parish councilman and clerk of court Skip Galan has qualified to challenge state Sen. Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge in Senate District 10. Galan entered the same race in 2019, only to have a judge disqualify him because he couldn’t produce required tax returns, the New Orleans Advocate reported at the time.
3:50 p.m.: State Rep. Bob Owen, R-Slidell, qualified Wednesday for the Senate District 1 race, which his House colleague, Ray Garofalo, R-Chalmette, entered Tuesday. They are vying to replace governor’s candidate Sharon Hewitt.
2:55 p.m.: A surprise candidacy — New Orleans attorney Lindsey Cheek, a Democrat, has qualified to run for attorney general. State Democratic Party chair Katie Bernhardt accompanied Cheek to the Louisiana State Archives to add her name to the Oct. 14 ballot.
Before opening her own law firm in 2015, Cheek was a prosecutor in Houston.
2:50 p.m.: Attorney General Jeff Landry has qualified for the Louisiana governor’s race. Unlike other qualifiers, he spoke briefly to reporters — taking just two questions — before signing his candidacy paperwork, rather than afterward. Landry said the media has posed “nauseating” questions to him during his eight years as attorney general.
2:30 p.m.: Republican state Reps. Barry Ivey and Rick Edmonds will square off in a race for state Senate District 6, the Central-area seat that Mack “Bodi” White held before hitting his term limit. Ivey’s twin brother, Brandon, is one of four candidates, so far, seeking to replace him in House District 65.
1:25 p.m. State Solicitor General Liz Murrill has qualified for the race to replace her boss, Jeff Landry, as Louisiana attorney general.
1:20 p.m.: Incumbent state Rep. Joe Stagni from Kenner will face at least two other fellow Republicans in his bid for reelection. Longtime Kenner Police Officer Mike Sigur qualified Thursday for the House District 92 race. He joins Amanda Eberts, who is affiliated with the far-right group Turning Point USA.
Stagni could well be targeted by more conservative GOP members because he has consistently voted against anti-LGBTQ+ proposals.
1 p.m.: Republican Marty Maley, a career prosecutor from Baton Rouge, has qualified for the attorney general’s race.
12:05 p.m.: Michael Melerine, the District 4 representative on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, has qualified to run for state House District 6, meaning his BESE seat is up for grabs. UPDATE: Melerine’s wife, Stacey, has qualified to run for the seat he is vacating.
The current holder of House District 6, Thomas Pressly, is running for the state Senate (see the Midday recap below).
Midday recap: State Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, has qualified for the governor’s race, as has independent Jeffery Istre of Kaplan. Republican real estate developer Thomas Kennedy III of New Orleans has qualified for secretary of state.
In the Louisiana Legislature, state Rep. Thomas Pressly, R-Shreveport, has qualified to run for state Senate District 38 against former state senator John Milkovich, a Republican from Keithville. The winner would replace Sen. Barry Milligan, who has declined to seek reelection, according to Greg Hilburn with USA Today.
9:55 a.m.: Democrat Lauren Jewett, a special education teacher from Metairie, has qualified to run for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s District 1 seat. State Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Mandeville, qualified for the race Tuesday. BESE President Jim Garvey currently holds the seat.
9:40 a.m.: Former state senator Elbert “Pawpaw” Guillory, a Republican from Opelousas, has qualified to run for lieutenant governor.
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