by Malcolm Butler
The final three seats on the Lincoln Parish Police Jury for the next four years will be decided this Saturday during the Gubernatorial General Elections.
Four of the seven races were decided during the October 14 elections when Karen Ludley (District 2), Dan Lord (District 3), Glenn Scriber (District 6), and Joe Henderson (District 9) all won their respective seats. Five of the 12 seats went uncontested this year as TJ Cranford (District 4), Logan Hunt (District 5), Matt Pullin (District 7), Chris “Moose” Garriga (District 8) and Annette Straughter (District 12) went unopposed.
Saturday the final three seats on the 12-seat police jury will be determined in the run-off.
District 1 will pit incumbent Theresa Wyatt against challenger Greg Williams) while District 10 sees incumbent Milton Melton against challenger Gary “Wayne” Baldwin. District 11’s race is between a pair of challengers in Diane Richards and Patsy Candler as incumbent Sharyon Mayfield didn’t advance to the run-off.
Although plenty of topics were discussed in pre-election forums, two subjects from 2022 seemed to headline the police jury races. Last year saw plenty of publicity and at times controversy in the vote of the contract renewal for the parish’s ambulance-rescue services as well as the soap opera behind the vote to not renew then-parish administrator Doug Postel.
Both subjects drew large crowds from the parish at LPPJ meetings in late 2022 and early 2023, and ultimately plenty of public feedback over the votes.
In the preliminaries, District 1 saw Wyatt receive 49 percent (256) of the vote while Williams earned 45 percent (234). Will Edwards — the third candidate in that district that didn’t advance to the run-offs — picked up 6 percent (31 votes). Just 23.5 percent of the registered voters cast a vote.
In District 10, Melton received 48 percent (227) of the vote while Baldwin received 35 percent (165). Morris Winters picked up 17 percent (82). Twenty-one percent of the voters turned out for the election.
And finally in District 11, Richards earned 43 percent (152) while Candler had 31 percent (111). Mayfield totaled 26 percent (93). Only 18.6 percent of the registered voters cast a ballot in the district.