Parish races see an influx of endorsments for primary run-offsNov 14th, 2011 | By William Dilella | Category: News
As early voting for the November 19 election closed on Saturday November 12, some endorsements came for candidates involved in close races, including the races for Parish President, Sheriff and District A.
In the Parish President’s race, Dave Peralta has received the endorsement of former primary opponent Paul Molinary.
In a tight race that had incumbent Parish President Craig Taffaro earning 44-percent of the vote and runoff challenger Peralta getting 42-percent of the overall vote, a separation of 218 votes, Molinary’s 11-percent of the voting pool could push any candidate over the majority mark.
“I am throwing all of my support behind Peralta and will campaign more aggressively for Dave Peralta than I had campaigned for myself,” said Molinary.
“I am honored to have Paul Molinary’s endorsement,” said Peralta. “The great people of St. Bernard Parish who voted for me want a parish president promoting economic strength and fiscal accountability, prioritizing community development and leading with integrity and honesty.”
Dave Peralta was the Chief Administrative Officer for St. Bernard Parish from 2006-2008 and is a retired major with the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s office, and a retired New Orleans police department sergeant.
Taffaro has been Parish President since 2007, defeating Junior Rodriguez for the position. Peralta has criticized Taffaro’s administration for alleged abuses of power. Taffaro has fired back by criticizing Peralta’s history in the New Orleans Police Department and his departure from Taffaro’s own administration.
Barry Bernadas, an FBI veteran and former candidate for St. Bernard Parish Sheriff during the primary election, announced on November 2 that he was publicly endorsing Wayne Landry in the upcoming runoff election.
Bernadas attributed his decision for backing Landry over opponent Jimmy Pohlmann to the similar ideology both he and Landry had in their primary campaigns, with regards to education, fiscal responsibility in the office and the methodology needed for running the Sheriff’s office.
“My campaign was based on attacking the drug problem, focusing the resources of the department and targeting drug dealers in the parish,” Bernadas said. “Wayne Landry can and will do that as Sheriff.”
“The other candidate talks about being a second-generation law man,” Bernadas continued. “Landry is a second generation public servant…[St. Bernard] needs a sheriff to make quality business decisions.”
“I think it’s an honor to have Mr. Bernadas’ endorsement,” Landry said. “We were both beating the drum for change [in the primary].”
Bernadas and Landry both commented on the upcoming election, and confirmed Bernadas had offered to be part of Landry’s potential transition team, should he win the election.
The announcement followed Chad Clark’s endorsement for Pohlmann at a press conference last week.
Pohlmann had earned 45-percent of the primary vote, while Landry pulled in 30-percent. Clark and Bernadas’ camps had 18-percent and 7-percent in the primary, respectively.
Debby Rosenberger, the third place runner-up of the five candidates in the race for District A’s council seat, has publicly endorsed Peter Rupp in the runoff race.
“As you all know, I didn’t make the runoff for Council District A,” Rosenberger said. “But I am proud that I only missed it by 3-percent… Obviously for those of you that know me, I will continue to make my voice heard about matters that concern all of us hardworking residents of the parish.”
“I am proud to say that I support Peter Rupp for Council District A,” Rosenberger said in her statement. “Peter and I share the same concerns and I believe in his honesty and ability to represent the best interests of the people, not only in District A, but in the entire parish.”
Rupp earned 23-percent of the vote in the primary, to Rosenberg’s 20-percent. Incumbent Ray Lauga, who is in the runoff with Rupp, got 40-percent of the vote first time around. Challengers, Jason Danna and Dennis Melancon each had 9-percent and 7-percent of the vote in the primary as well. Melancon has also endorsed Rupp for the seat.
Early voting ended on Saturday, November 12, with final decisions cast by voters coming one week later on November 19.