BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - There were 10 of the 12 East Baton Rouge Metro Council seats up for grabs on the November ballot. So people would think there would be a shake-up, but it appears that is not the case.
Political analyst Jim Engster did not see a whole lot of change on the Metro Council following Tuesday night's election as six seats are already filled. Trae Welch, Chandler Loupe, Scott Wilson, Donna Collins-Lewis, and Buddy Amoroso will return, while Republican Matt Watson won his election to replace Republican Ryan Heck in District 11.
The other six seats will be decided in runoffs, and four of those include incumbents who are heavy favorites, according to Engster. The incumbents are Chauna Banks in District 2, Erika Green in District 5, Lamont Cole in District 7, and Tara Wicker in District 10.
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"Ideologically there may not be that much of a difference because it looks like we could have seven Republicans and five Democrats, which is what we have now," Engster said.
The council will see two new faces no matter what. Republican Joel Boe is stepping down following the end of his second term, clearing the way for either Dwight Hudson or Kenneth Perret to take over. Both candidates are Republicans.
However, Engster said the key race to watch is District 12 as Councilman John Delgado gave up that seat to run for mayor.
"District 12 is interesting because we have a Republican and a Democrat. We have a black female and a white female. Rose Williams Carey and Barbara Freiberg are in a tough fight, and that's to fill John Delgado's seat," Engster said. "Now he's a Republican, but kind of an unconventional Republican who was liberal on social issues, and it should be a tough fight to see who survives."
Looking ahead, Engster does not believe the council's voting patterns on issues will change very much unless individual members change their habits.
"Things evolve over time and sometimes people that hold office change their minds on issues as time goes by so we'll see, but right now it appears that the council, from a philosophical standpoint, may be quite similar to the one that's currently in place," Engster said.
The runoff elections will be held on Saturday, December 10.