Election Results: Santorum wins, some races head to runoff - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Election Results: Santorum wins, some races head to runoff

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

It was Rick Santorum's night in Louisiana, as he landed a huge win in the Bayou State's Republican presidential primary Saturday. The Associated Press called the winner as soon as polls closed at 8 p.m.

Santorum received nearly 50 percent of the vote. He was followed by Mitt Romney and then Newt Gingrich. The win will give Santorum at least eight of Louisiana's 20 delegates that were up for grabs. Those delegates are awarded in proportion to the statewide vote.

Speaking in Wisconsin, the next battle ground, Santorum thanked the voters of Louisiana and compared his current momentum to that of Ronald Reagan when Reagan ran for president.

"He won 11 states," Santorum said. "Well, tonight, thanks to the great people of Louisiana, we have won our eleventh state in this primary fight and I want to thank you for doing that."

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer only got about one percent of the Republican vote in Louisiana, despite the fact he announced last month he no longer considers himself a Republican. That's since he was excluded from the GOP presidential debates due to low poll numbers. While his name appeared on Saturday's Republican ballot, Roemer is now running as a third-party candidate.

On the Democratic ticket, President Barack Obama got an easy win in Louisiana with nearly 75 percent of the vote. He faced three other candidates.

There were also area races on the ballot in several parishes, including the race for district judge for the 23rd Judicial District. The district covers Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes.

The judge in that seat was appointed to a federal judgeship. Three people qualified to run, but Charles Long dropped out of the race, leaving Jessie LeBlanc and Matthew Pryor. LeBlanc was elected with 72 percent of the vote. She had the lead from the start and kept it throughout the night.

Voter turnout appeared relatively low across Metro Baton Rouge. One polling place near LSU had less than 50 voters cast ballots by 3 p.m. Turnout was a bit heavier in Baker, where voters had several added races on their ballots, including electing a mayor, police chief and four city council members.

There will be a runoff in the mayoral race. Incumbent Mayor Harold Rideau was hoping to win his third term in office outright, but he'll be in runoff with Don Kyer on April 21. Rideau finished with 46 percent of the vote, while Kyer received 23 percent.

Current Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps faced two challengers, but he picked up enough votes to win re-election and avoid a runoff. Knaps took 65 percent of the vote.

There will be a runoff in the race for police chief of Port Allen. Four men ran for the position, but only the top two remain in the hunt. Interim Police Chief Ken Bates got nearly 46 percent of the vote. He'll face Eric Frank in a runoff next month. Frank, who's currently a lieutenant on the force, walked away with 33 percent of the vote. Only 152 votes separated the two candidates. See all election results

Bates was appointed to the job after Police Chief Fred Smith was convicted in "Operation Blighted Officials." The fraud investigation was headed up by the FBI. Smith will report to prison next month to start serving a 7-year sentence for racketeering, wire fraud and mail fraud.

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