Substantial early voting numbers in unexpired District 4 BESE board term runoff

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LSU-Shreveport Assistant Professor Dr. Cassie Williams (D) of Bossier City and Shreveport attorney Michael Melerine (R) are going head-to-head in the April 24th runoff election to fill the unexpired Dist. 4 seat on the BESE Board, left vacant when Tony Davis resigned to take an out-of-state position.

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Early voting numbers for northwest Louisiana’s April 24 runoff election were substantial, considering that in six of the eight parishes eligible to vote, only one regional race is at stake, and in the other two parishes, only one police jury seat each is in play.

The regional race is a runoff in a special election called to fill the unexpired term of District 4 BESE Board member Tony Davis, of Natchitoches. Davis, who was elected to his second term in 2019, resigned in November 2020 to accept a position in another state.  

In the five-person March 20th election for the District 4 seat, Dr. Cassandra “Cassie” Williams, associate professor of Special Education at LSUS, garnered 10,768 votes, squeaking by second place contender Shreveport personal injury attorney Michael Melerine, who amassed 10, 361 votes.

The remaining 15,650 votes cast in the March 20th election went to candidates Shelly McFarland, John Milkovich and Cody Whittaker, respectively.

The only other races in contention in the April 24 election is a DeSoto Parish District 2 Police Jury seat runoff between Kyle Kennington, who received 236 votes or 47% to second place contender Ronald “Ronnie” Allen’s 152 votes or 30% in the March 20 election, which was thrown into a runoff due to the 116 votes or 23% garnered by third-place finisher Stephen Craig McCoy.

There were 1050 votes collected in DeSoto parish early voting last week – more than twice the number that voted for the District 2 Police Jury seat on March 20.

Sabine Parish has a District 3 Police Jury seat runoff after Stephen Steinke, who tallied 201 votes or 35% of the vote in the seven-man race, and will face second place finisher Joseph Hendon, who garnered 113 votes or 20%. The other five candidates in that race, Dewayne “Porkchop” Rains, Jeff Scaife, Christopher Sylivia and Michael “Mike” Smith, all finished with votes in the double digits, ranging from 14 to 69 votes, but still brought in 257 votes or 45% of the vote.

However, the total voters in that race did amount to more than Sabine Parish’s 435 early voters for the April 24 runoff.

Other early voting numbers from parishes only voting on what will amount to around a two-and-a-half year BESE Board seat are: Beinville Parish, 395; Natchitoches Parish, 1040; Red River Parish, 200; and Webster Parish, 880.

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