Smith defeated; Shirley, Dunbar, Ferrington, Parker win

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 17, 2003

When the dust cleared after Saturday’s elections, voters had added two new jurors and returned two incumbents to the Concordia Parish Police Jury.

Police jury President Rodney Smith was defeated by Jimmy Jernigan, who earned 57.12 percent of the vote to Smith’s 42.79 percent.

&uot;I didn’t promise nobody nothing because if I couldn’t do it, I didn’t want to lie,&uot; said Jernigan, who waited for results at the courthouse late Saturday night. &uot;The only promise I made was I would go around and see people in the next four years.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

At his home, just a few block from the courthouse itself, Whest Shirley was celebrating his win with family and friends.

Whest Shirley won with 62.57 percent of the vote over Ronnie Cox’s 37.43 percent in the runoff for the police jury seat in District 3B, which was vacated by longtime Juror Charlie Blaney.

Shirley said he wants to study the jury’s budget and the issues that are coming up on its agenda in order to hit the ground running once he’s sworn in as police juror.

&uot;I want to see what’s coming up on the docket, Š and where we’re spending our money,&uot; Shirley said, noting he wants to do everything possible address District 3B’s road and drainage concerns.

&uot;And another thing,&uot; Shirley said. &uot;Thank everyone in District 3 for me.&uot;

In District 2, incumbent Willie Dunbar won a second term against former police juror Fred Marsalis with 57.89 percent of the vote versus Marsalis’ 42.11 percent.

&uot;My heart is just overwhelmed,&uot; Dunbar said from his celebration at Vidalia’s Masonic Hall. &uot;I want to thank God and put him first, but I also want to thank the community for having faith in me.&uot;

But he said he’s also looking to the future, redoubling his efforts to address road and drainage programs, attract more jobs to the parish and seeking more grants, including funds for tutoring programs.

In police jury District 4, Place B, incumbent Juror Melvin Ferrington, with 51.88 percent of the vote, won over former Ridgecrest Alderman Ronald Barnhill, who received 48.12 percent.

&uot;It’s been a long campaign, and we’ve worked hard, but I’m gotten a lot of support from my friends &045; and I’d like to credit this to them,&uot; Ferrington said.

Ferrington said he won’t rest on his laurels, though, for there’s still plenty of work to do to improve roads and drainage and to improve the local economy. &uot;I’m going to work with Rural Development and the mayors to get more jobs into the parish,&uot; he said. &uot;Right now, our young people have to move out of the parish to find jobs.&uot;

In District 1B &045; a district in which longtime juror Gene Allen chose not to run again &045; Joe Parker won with 54.24 percent of the vote over Lynwood Wiley’s 45.76 percent.

Parker could not be reached for comment Saturday night.