Will Leon Roche Turn Out To Vote for Himself?

Source: Facebook / Levine, Roche, Kelly

Elected officials and candidates running for office are often the most frequent of voters. After all, if they do not vote in every election, how – in good conscience – can they expect others to vote for them?

Judicial candidate Leon Timothy Roche II is a prime example of a candidate who may never be called a chronic voter – that is, someone who votes in just about every election. A native of Jefferson Parish, Roche began voting in that parish in 2002 and did not change his registration to Orleans until he moved to Algiers in September, 2013. A recent analysis of Roche’s voting record from 2008 to present shows that he failed to cast a ballot in half of all the elections in the last 14 years including the last four Presidential Primaries in Louisiana. On those days Roche could have voted for Democrats Hillary Clinton (2016), Joe Biden (2020) and twice for Barack Obama (2008 and 2012). Congressman Troy Carter would have been grateful for Roche’s support against Karen Carter Peterson in the April, 2021 2nd Congressional District runoff election. 

Roche didn’t vote for any mayoral or council candidates, sheriff, assessor or even DA in November 2017 and November 2021. Former Congressman Cedric Richmond would like to have seen Roche at the polls for his 2018 primary and runoff elections. Governor John Bel Edwards might have greeted Roche with a big hug on Election Day in 2015. Former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu would surely have appreciated his vote in her failed race against Bill Cassidy in 2014. Cynthia Willard-Lewis could have prayed over him in her April, 2012 city council at-large race defeat against Stacy Head. 

Most recently, research shows that Roche failed to vote in six of the last 10 elections. Many voters know that Roche often burned the midnight oil in his job as a Public Defender, which would have limited his free time. Yet, if voting was a priority for Roche, he could have always found a few minutes to swing by a polling location during early voting or on Election Day.  

Interested voters might also want to review the records of the other two candidates in that same race – Diedre Pierce Kelly and Simone Levine. Kelly, a native of New Orleans, is considered a super-chronic voter. She has headed to the polls almost every time the doors opened and has voted 19 times in the last 20 elections, according to records from Louisiana’s Secretary of State. Born in New York, Levine first voted in Orleans Parish in 2011. During the 43 elections that have been held since then, Levine has voted a respectable 36 times.  

Every vote counts in this race to replace Judge Laurie White in Criminal District Court Division A. With spring in the air many citizens are really not focused on the elections. This competition could be a cliff-hanger. Get out and vote. 

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