Six on ballot in N.O.area for judicial, justice of peace posts

Six judicial and justice of the peace races on New Orleans area ballots have drawn a crowded field of candidates.

The candidates will face off for the seats in a special election Oct. 19.

If necessary, the top two candidates in each race will go head-to-head in a runoff on Nov. 19.

New Orleans voters will elect a new magistrate judge to Orleans Parish Civil District Court and a new traffic court judge.

Three candidates, all Democrats, are seeking to fill the seat now held by Magistrate Judge Gerard Hansen, who is retiring later this year. They are: Harry Cantrell, a magistrate commissioner and father-in-law of City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell; Morris Reed; and Mark Vicknair.

A larger slate of Democrats has signed up to replace Traffic Court Judge Ronald Sholes, who retired earlier this year.

The nine candidates are: Marie A. Bookman, Demetrie Ford, Patrick A. Giraud, Steven Jupiter, Charmaine L. Marchand, Richard Perque, Nanak Rai, D. Nicole Sheppard and Clint Smith.

In Jefferson Parish, Gretna City Councilwoman Raylyn Beevers won a seat on the 2nd Parish Court when no other candidates filed to run against her. Beevers, a Democrat, replaces Judge Stephen Grefer, who was elected to the 24th Judicial District Court in February.

Four candidates are running in a parishwide race to replace Judge Nancy Amato Konrad on the parish’s Juvenile Court.

The candidates are: Barron C. Burmaster, a Democrat from Crown Point; Zoe Olivia Fleming, a Democrat from Lafitte; Connie Montgomery, a Republican from Kenner; and Stephen Petit, a Republican from Metairie.

Five candidates are vying for 4th Ward Justice of the Peace seat in the Mandeville area left vacant by the death of Marie Morgan Taylor.

The race drew four women and one man, Darryl M. Taylor, whose mother held the post for many years. Taylor, 53, is a school bus owner/operator for the St. Tammany Parish School Board. A Republican, he is married with three children.

The other four candidates are all women. Each of the five candidates lists a Mandeville address.

Mary DeVun has her own law practice. Prior to earning her law degree, she worked as a legal assistant for the law firm of Hilleren & Hilleren, was a court reporter in the civil and criminal divisions of Orleans Parish and owned ABC Title in Mandeville. A Republican, she is married with two children.

Laurie Pennison, 50, is a lawyer and assistant city attorney for Mandeville. She is married with two children and is a Republican.

Anne Thompson, 59, is a lawyer with Witt-O’Brien Associates and formerly worked as an assistant district attorney in St. Tammany, Jefferson and Orleans parishes and also for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. In 2008, the Louisiana Supreme Court appointed her justice of the peace pro tempore to fill an unexpired term. She is married and has a daughter.

M. Randall “Randi” Brown Mary, 44, is a lawyer with 17 years experience.

She and her husband are law partners, and have two children. She has no party affiliation.