By Malcolm Butler
The races are set.
Qualifying closed Thursday afternoon for the political races that will be voted on Oct. 14.
The biggest local elections are in the Lincoln Parish Police Jury where seven of the 12 district seats have multiple candidates on the ballot, including three candidates running in each of Districts 1, District 10 and District 11.
However, one of the most interesting stories is in District 1 where incumbent Theresa Wyatt has flip-flopped back and forth on her decision whether to run for re-election. Wyatt announced her intentions to run for re-election in a July 13 announcement in the Lincoln Parish Journal.
However, she then told the Ruston Daily Leader in its August 2 publication that she had decided not to run.
The Lincoln Parish Journal heard of Wyatt’s decision to withdraw on August 1 and Scott Boatright called her that night prior to the RDL’s story running the following day. In the phone interview, Wyatt was asked if she had decided to drop out of the race.
“I did, but look, I have rescinded that also,” she said. “I have received so many calls today. I’ve rethought it and like a woman, I’ve changed my mind. I am in the race.”
Wyatt then went off the record with all follow up questions and declined to go on the record the following day as well when Scott Boatright called to follow up. If Wyatt remains in the race, she will face off against challengers in Will Edwards and Greg “Big Coach” Williams.
The District 2 race includes a pair of challengers in Tommie Woods and Karen Ludley in District 2 as incumbent Hazel Hunter opted not to run for re-election. District 3 will be incumbent Richard Durrett against challenger Dan Lord while District 6 is incumbent Glenn Scriber against challenger John Cole.
District 9 pits incumbent Joe Henderson against challenger Nakisha Evans while District 10 is a three-person race with incumbent Milton Melton against challengers Gary Wayne Baldwin and Morris Winters. The District 11 race includes incumbent Sharyon Mayfield against challengers Patsy Candler and Diane Richards.
Five police jury district races are basically decided as only one candidate qualified, including: District 4 (TJ Cranford), District 5 (Logan Hunt), District 7 (Matt Pullin), District 8 (Chris “Moose” Garriga), and District 12 (Annette Straughter).
Lincoln Parish Sheriff Stephen Williams will see another term in office as he was the lone qualifier for that position. Linda Cook (Clerk of Court) and Billy Mac McBride, Jr. (Assessor) were the only qualifiers in those two races. James Michael Belue and Holly Kidd will be in a two-person race for the coroner position.
Incumbent Chris Turner was the lone qualifier for the State Representative in District 12 while incumbent Jay Morris is the lone qualifier for the State Senator 35th District.
Lincoln Parish Police Jury Races
Incumbent Theresa Wyatt (D)
Challenger Will Edwards (I)
Challenger Greg Williams (D)
Challenger Tommie Woods (R)
Challenger Karen Ludley (D)
(Note: Incumbent Hazel Hunter elected to not run)
Incumbent Richard Durrett (NP)
Challenger Dan Lord (R)
Incumbent TJ Cranford (R)
Incumbent Logan Hunt (R)
Incumbent Glenn Scriber (R)
Challenger John Cole (R)
Incumbent Matt Pullin (R)
Challenger Chris “Moose” Garriga (R)
(Note: Incumbent Skip Russell elected not to run)
Incumbent Joe Henderson (NP)
Challenger Nakisha Evans (D)
Incumbent Milton Melton (D)
Challenger Gary Wayne Baldwin (D)
Challenger Morris Winters (NP)
Incumbent Sharyon Mayfield (D)
Challenger Patsy Candler (D)
Challenger Diane Richards (D)
Incumbent Annette Straughter (D)
Lincoln Parish Sheriff
Stephen Williams (NP)
Clerk of Court
Linda Cook (NP)
Billy Mac McBride, Jr. (R)
James Michael Belue (I)
Holly Kidd (D)