Judge John Michael Guidry of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal holds the endorsement of the Louisiana Democratic Party in the eight-way race for the District 5 seat on the Louisiana Supreme Court.
The endorsement was announced Monday and followed a vote Saturday by the Democratic State Central Committee, which met at the state Capitol.
“To me, the choice was clear,” said Dawn Collins, chairwoman of the East Baton Rouge Democratic Party and a member of the state central committee, on Monday.
“We had a great Democrat in Judge Guidry, and (we had) Mary Olive Pierson, who has great experience as a lawyer,” Collins said.
Guidry and Pierson are the only Democrats vying for the remaining six years of Chief Justice Kitty Kimball’s current term. Kimball announced earlier this year that she will retire in January. Her immediate successor will be an associate justice, not the chief justice of the seven-member court.
Five Republicans and one no-party candidate also seek Kimball’s place on the high court in the Nov. 6 election. The justice from District 5 will be chosen by voters in the parishes of East and West Baton Rouge, East and West Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, Iberville, Ascension and Livingston.
“I’m honored that the Democratic party favored me with this endorsement,” Guidry said Monday.
Guidry has 15 years of experience on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge.
Collins said Guidry’s experience as a judge swayed the state central committee’s endorsement vote in his favor.
“It was that and his additional experience as a winning candidate for elective office,” Collins said.
Guidry said he has worked hard to “attract across-the-board support” in his campaign for the Supreme Court seat.
“I have business and labor, Democrats and Republicans,” Guidry said, adding that the Louisiana AFL-CIO has awarded him “a favorable recommendation,” which frees union locals to support his candidacy.
The circuit judge said the state AFL-CIO also has given favorable recommendations to three of his Republican opponents — fellow circuit judges Toni Higginbotham, Jeff Hughes and Jewel “Duke” Welch.
Guidry also said he has attracted support from the Louisiana Association of Manufacturers Political Action Committee, which is tied to the state’s chemical industry.
“It all reflects that I’ve been even-handed and fair as a judge,” Guidry said. “I continue to reach out for Democratic, Republican and independent support.”
Higginbotham and state District Judge Timothy E. “Tim” Kelley have been endorsed in the race by the East Baton Rouge Republican Party.
State District Judge William “Bill” Morvant, another Republican candidate, has the endorsement of the influential Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.
Baton Rouge lawyer Jeffry Lamonte Sanford is the only no-party candidate in the race.