As qualifying heads into its final hours, six candidates for Baton Rouge area offices have yet to draw competition and may cruise into office, avoiding a fall election campaign.
In addition to the race for governor, there are six other statewide jobs and all state legislative seats on the fall ballot. There are seven hopefuls for the governor’s office, though the top three contenders remain U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, Baton Rouge area businessman Eddie Rispone and Gov. John Bel Edwards.
For the Baton Rouge area, there are six state senators and 12 state representatives up for election as well as the jobs of sheriff, clerk of court, assessor and coroner.
East Baton Rouge Parish Assessor Brian Wilson apparently will be unopposed and keep his job with the city-parish. He is among six Baton Rouge area candidates with no opposition, including Rick Ward, Edmond Jordan, Valerie Hope Hodges, Barry Ivey and Ted James.
Wilson said last year his office’s biggest concerns are regulating homestead exemptions to prevent fraud, such as dual exemptions or those falsely claiming the exemption of a deceased person. Wilson said in February he planned to hire a third-party company this year to weed out exemption abuse. He was also featured in June 2018 Business Report cover story about how some of the most expensive commercial properties in the parish are assessed significantly below their most recently recorded sale price.
Baton Rouge Metro Councilwoman Donna Collins Lewis qualified today to run for the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court and will face off against incumbent clerk Doug Welborn, who also previously served on the council.
Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin again will face off with Gwen Collins-Greenup, a Democrat who has worked in the tax, notary and real estate businesses and lost to Ardoin in a special election for secretary of state last year. Two more Republican candidates entered the Secretary of State race today—Thomas J. Kennedy III., who ran last year, and Amanda Jennings Smith, whose platform includes “support for Confederate heritage.”
Candidate registration continues through the end of the day, See the full rundown of local candidates here.