GONZALES — Political season is heating up in Ascension Parish.
Candidates qualified last week for mayor races in Gonzales and Donaldsonville, police chief in Gonzales and city council races in both cities and one council seat in the town of Sorrento.
Incumbent Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux received an 11th-hour opponent in the race when fellow Democrat Jeff Little qualified on Friday, the last day of the three-day qualifying period. Arceneaux first was elected to the office in 2008.
Kirk Boudreaux was re-elected to the Gonzales City Council without opposition, but his four colleagues on the council face opponents.
Willie Robinson, who has no party affiliation, challenged Kenny Matassa for Division A seat. Democrat Timothy Vessel Sr. challenged Republican incumbent Joe Waguespack for the Division C seat. Democrat incumbent Terance Irvin faces fellow Democrat Claston Bernard in the Division D race. In the Division E race Republican incumbent John Cagnolatti was challenged by Democrat Gary Lacombe.
Gonzales Police Chief Sherman Jackson, who is in his first term as the city’s police chief, is being challenged by former Gonzales Police Department Sgt. Duane Carpenter and former Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective Glynn LeBlanc.
In Donaldsonville, Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. faces opposition from Eric Robinson, who finished third in a three-man race for mayor in 2008, while three of the city’s five council members were re-elected without opposition.
Lauthaught Delaney Sr., Raymond Aucoin and Reginald Francis Sr. each will return to the council, while Charles Brown and Emile Spano face competition. Brown was challenged by Ricky Larvadain Jr. in the District 4 race, while Spano faces Michael Sullivan Sr. in District 5. All of the candidates are Democrats.
Jason Adams, a former member of the Sorrento Town Council who served as interim mayor for two months last year, was elected to the council without opposition. He will serve the remainder of Lionel Melancon’s term. Melancon resigned from the board in January, and Charles Day was appointed to serve an interim term. Day did not qualify for the full-time seat on the council. All five seats on the council will be on the ballot in April.
Parish Judge Marilyn Lambert was re-elected after she didn’t receive any opposition.
In the only election to the Ascension Parish School Board, two candidates qualified for the District 3 seat. Edgar Irvin, the Gonzales businessman who was appointed to the School Board in January, will face Richard “Coach” Brown of Gonzales.
Irvin was appointed to the board in January after former board member Ed Price was elected to the state House of Representatives.
Brown is a longtime coach and educator in Ascension Parish who worked at both East Ascension and St. Amant high schools, serving as principal of the latter school before finishing his education career at the school district’s central office.
The winner of November’s election will serve the remaining two years of Price’s original term.
Early voting begins on Oct. 23.