First time in 40 years, St. Mary Parish has a tie for one race in Nov. elections

First time in 40 years, St. Mary Parish has a tie for one race in Nov. elections

ST. MARY PARISH, LA (WAFB) - It's a draw for one race in St. Mary Parish. Both Nekesia Bowie and Virginia Sutton received exactly 205 votes in Tuesday's Justice of the Peace race, for Ward 7.

"It kept saying four out of four precincts, 100 percent - 205 to 205. I was like what? So I checked again this morning to make sure I saw correctly last night," said Bowie. She is the current Justice of the Peace of the Ward that encompasses Four-Corners and Ashton.

For the last six years, she's held the job. In the previous election, she ran unopposed. But this year, there was a challenger, Virginia Sutton.

"It was surprising. But I said okay, I got something to work with now. Now I know where I stand," Sutton said, about the tie.

They now head to a run-off in December.

The clerk says another tie happened 40 years ago, in a school board election, the two candidates tied again in the run-off. He says they ended up pulling cards to determine a winner.

"Whether I win or not, my goal is to get them out to vote," said Sutton. "That's all I want them to do."

Sutton, is the director of the community's civic center. She says she ran to see changes in the community. Sutton says unlike her opponent, she works in the town and will be more available should people need her.

Bowie, on the other hand, says she makes time for anyone who needs her assistance and feels a strong connection to the position. Her father was the Justice of the Peace for 16 years, until his passing. She then took over the remainder of his term, until she ran unopposed in 2008. The sign with his name on it is still in the yard, where her office is located. She says prior to her father's term, another man who lived down the street was the justice for 20 years.

"We'd like to keep it on this street," Bowie said, with laugh. "Everybody knows where we're located."

Over the next month, both women will be back out on the campaign trail knocking on doors, putting up more signs and hoping the small town shows back up to the polls.

"I want this position for the next six years," said Bowie.

"We're going to have to work a little harder," said Sutton.

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