Apr 5, 2014 11:00 PM by Ian Auzenne

Kaplan, Erath mayors elected

Erath has elected a new mayor, while Kaplan residents re-elected their current chief executive.

John Earl Leblanc claimed 65 percent of the vote to defeat fellow alderman Tony Richard in the Erath mayor's race. Leblanc will take over from interim mayor Billy Cormier, who has been in office since the 2013 death of former mayor George Dupuis.

This seat will be up for grabs again in November when candidates run for a full four-year term.

Erath residents also elected a new alderman. Chris Hebert took 58 percent of ballots cast to beat Alvin Benoit for the seat vacated by Cormier when he took the mayor's position.

Kaplan mayor Kirk Champagne will spend another four years in office after defeating challenger Gerard "Jerry" Touchet. Champagne, who was first elected in 2010, claimed 62 percent of the vote in today's election.

Kaplan's alderman at large position was decided by a much slimmer margin. Dirk Gary beat Ronald Schexnaider by 24 votes to claim the seat. Gary garnered 493 votes (51%) to Schexnaider's 469 (49%).

In Abbeville, District D councilman Wayne Landry won re-election by a landslide. Landry claimed 65 percent of votes cast to win his third term in office, defeating challengers Kamesha Scott (19%) and Marilyn Mitchell (16%).

Voters across the parish approved a 10-year, 4.36-mill tax renewal to fund the parish's public libraries, with 79 percent of voters giving their consent to the tax.

Voters across the parish also said "yes" to a 10-year, 3.26-mill tax to fund road repairs and construction in the parish. That tax is expected to generate more than $1 million annually.

Voters in four different roads--Road District No. 1, Road District No. 4-A, Road District No. 6, and Sub-Road District No.1 of Road District No. 2--approved various property taxes to fund road repairs and road construction projects in those districts.



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