EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - We’re now getting a better look at who is running for mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish in the fall.
Two people have officially said they’re vying to be the parish’s chief executive officer, so to speak. Those people are current mayor-president, Sharon Weston Broome, and Councilman Matt Watson. Councilwoman Tara Wicker may also throw her name in the hat.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen with the election because of coronavirus. We’re only 20 weeks away, but in politics, 140 days is an eternity, and the coronavirus is going to be that way as well,” said Jim Engster, political analyst.
The field for the top spot in the city-parish seems to be getting larger, with Mayor Broome seeking a second term, District 11 Councilman Matt Watson saying he’s all in, and Councilwoman Tara Wicker saying she will make an announcement within days.
“I think the plan is to get Tara Wicker to siphon some votes from Sharon Weston Broome on the Democratic side, which would force the runoff. She’s going to play the role very similar that Michael Jackson played in 2008 when he siphoned votes off Don Cazayoux, allowing Bill Cassidy to become a congressman,” said Engster.
Engster says regardless of everything else going on, the overwhelming favorite to win the race right now is Broome since she’s the incumbent.
“I think the mayor would have to make some unforced errors, and she is not the type of do that, but every crisis creates controversy, and controversy often creates some unsettled voters,” said Engster.
With President Donald Trump being on the November ballot as well, and all that went on with the St. George saga, WAFB asked Engster if that could sway the vote.
“Well, the St. George vote is 86,000 residents, a big part of the parish, and a more conservative part, but it really doesn’t change anything that was already there. And this is a blue parish in a red state. And Sharon Weston Broome will have the advantage that Kip Holden had three times and she’s had once in that this is a Democratic stronghold, and she [Broome] is a Democrat, and there are a few places in Louisiana where that helps, and East Baton Rouge Parish is one of them,” said Engster.
WAFB has heard rumors that Jordan Piazza, C. Denise Marcelle, and Byron Sharper are considering a run. We reached out to them, but have not heard back yet.
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 11/3/20 QUALIFYING DATES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
- Recognized political party candidates are certified to SOS by state central committee prior to 4:30 p.m. on 8/18/2020. If not timely certified by state central committee, then national chairman of Democratic/Republican Party certifies presidential candidates to SOS prior to 4:30 p.m. on 8/21/2020.
- Other presidential candidates - Qualifying period begins 7/21/2020, ends 4:30 p.m. 8/21/2020.
* Early voting advanced one day due to the state observed holiday for Thanksgiving and Acadian Day. (Act 83, 2016 R.S.)
+ Early voting extended one week due to the Secretary of State Emergency Election Plan.
DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE BY THE LEGISLATURE
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