It’s going to be quite a year for politics in Bossier Parish. We will have a race for State Senate to replace Robert Adley, who is term-limited. Dr. John Fleming will be seeking to retain his seat in congress, with the big question being whether Cedric Glover will offer some real Democratic opposition this year.
Bossier Judgeships will be up for grabs. Judge John Robinson is retiring and there is some interesting conjecture as to who will replace him. Word is that Jeff Thompson is interested, which would leave open his seat in the State Legislature.
|Vicky & Jim Whitman|
One of the most visible races, and the one I will concentrate on today, is the contest for Bossier City Marshal. Current Marshal Lynn Austin, who ran to fill the term of the late Johnny Wyatt, is not running for re-election. Two main contenders have stepped forward. They are Jim Whitman, a Captain in the Marshal’s office with eleven years experience, and Carl Wayne Richard. Richard, who has served as a Deputy Marshal in both Bossier City and Shreveport, where he is currently employed.
Richard ran for Marshal after the unfortunate death of Johnny Wyatt, in a three way race with Lynn Austin and Sammy Wyatt. Austin, a former police chief and Bossier City CAO, won the race with 53% of the vote. He had the support of the city establishment politicians and enjoyed heavy contributions from the local power brokers.
Richard, despite being outgunned in that race, carried 30% of the vote. He is the most well known and high profile candidate in the race, with all of the pros and cons that go with that.
|Carl Wayne Richard|
Whitman should enjoy the support of the establishment that supported Lynn Austin, although probably not at the same level. The powers that be pretty much view Richard as the fox who wants to get into the henhouse, and they will work to prevent that. He’s not ‘one of them’.
Marty Carlson had a good article in the Forum about this race in which she addressed the question of remuneration.
- “First, he (Austin) cut the City Marshal’s salary by nearly half. His predecessor’s salary had averaged about $140,000 per year of which the city paid $32,784 – the balance coming from the Marshal’s office contingency fund (pursuant to law). Austin had observed during the election campaign that he didn’t believe the City Marshal should make more than the Bossier City Chief of Police and therefore would reduce the salary if elected.He was and he did. His annual salary is $72,500."
It is a question that will be asked of each candidate and must be answered – ‘will you pay yourself at the current level of $72,500 or will you revert back to the higher amount?’.
Both of the candidates have websites up, and you can view them for more complete information on both.