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Louisiana voters head to polls Saturday

VIDALIA — Concordia Parish voters will head to the polls Saturday to consider renewing a 10-year, 13-mill school district tax and to choose a new Congressman.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

According to the parish registrar of voters’ office, less than three percent of Concordia Parish’s electorate cast ballots in early voting. Of 13,655 registered voters, 287 cast early ballots in person while 62 have voted by mail-in.

On the ballot is the 14-candidate race to fill the 5th Congressional District seat vacated in late September when Rep. Rodney Alexander, R—Ruston, resigned after Gov. Bobby Jindal appointed him the state Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

The Fifth Congressional district covers Concordia, Catahoula, Tensas, Avoyelles, Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Rapides, Richland, Washington, West Carroll, West Feliciana and Winn parishes, as well as parts of East Feliciana, St. Helena, St. Landry and Tangipahoa parishes.

If no single candidate takes a majority, the run-off election will be Nov. 16.

Candidates on the ballot for the congressional race include five Republicans:

• Clyde C. Holloway of Ruston

• Vance M. McAllister of Monroe

• “Jay” Morris of Monroe

• Neil Riser of Columbia

• Phillip “Blake” Weatherly of Calhoun

Four Democrats have qualified, including:

• Marcus Hunter of Monroe

• Robert Johnson of Marksville

• James “Jamie” Mayo of Monroe

• Weldon Russell of Amite

Five third party or independent candidates also qualified for the race:

• Eliot S. Barron (Green) of New Orleans

• “Tom” Gibbs (Other) of Fairbanks

• Henry Herford Jr. (Libertarian) of Delhi

• Peter Williams (Other) of Lettsworth

• S.B.A. Zaitoon (Libertarian) of Baton Rouge

The school district tax renewal, which was last renewed in 2004, is used for debt service and to supplement employee salaries. The debt the millage is used to pay includes what was a $4 million bond to finance upgrades to school science labs, libraries and two roofing projects.

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