Qualifying Begins December 13 for Judicial, Parish and State Offices

Photo Credit: Danae Columbus

Attorney LaKeisha Jefferson is pulling out all the stops. An announced candidacy for Civil District Court Division H Section 2, Jefferson hosted a holiday mixer Tuesday December 12, on the eve of qualifying which begins Wednesday, September 13 and runs through Friday, December 15.

Jefferson said she chose to host the event before the official start of the campaign season as a “thank you” for all those who have already stepped up to support her. “People have lots of events on their schedules right now. They could stop through here on the way to their next event,” said Jefferson.

Some politicos say Jefferson’s move was intended to show her early strength in an effort to ward off potential competitors.  Jefferson’s team was using a QR code for sign in.

The other judicial race for which candidates will be qualifying this week is for First City Court, Section C. Attorney Dianne Alexander has already announced for that slot and is the early favorite in the race.  Though fundraising is tight these days, it is possible that both candidates could draw opponents.

Several hundred other people are also expected to qualify this week for seats on the parish and state Democratic and Republican committees. Seventy people- 14 from each city council district- will be elected to the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee and to the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee.

In addition, qualifying will also be held for those interested in serving on the state central committees of both major political parties. The Democrats elect one male and one female for each state senate district.  Republicans only elect one person – male or female – from each senate district.

In an exclusive interview Democratic organizer and strategist Lynda Woolard discussed a grassroots move statewide by several organizations to elect new leadership for the party. Woolard specifically referenced a video the current chair circulated last January that appeared the chair was personally consider joining the race for governor.  “That video was a bad signal that the chair was not focusing on her job. The results of the fall elections bore that out,” said Woolard.

Woolard, who ran unsuccessfully for Democratic state party chair four years ago, says she is not a candidate for any position at this time.  Instead she is focused on trying to help people “understand how to organize and make change at the state party.” Woolard explained that the state central committee is the governing body of the party and that the parish committees also play an important role.

“Citizens need to know these positions are open and that they have an opportunity to make change by running for office or voting for good candidates,” Woolard concluded.

Qualifying fees for the parish and state committees are $112.50. Judicial qualifying fees are $600 for First City Court and $750 for Civil District Court. Fees can be paid in cash, by money order or certified check.

Qualifying takes place from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. December 13-15. For more information call 658-9000.

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