Saturday, March 2, 2013

Stokes Takes District 79 Seat

CPA Julie Stokes has won the seat to fill the remainder of former District 79 State Rep. Tony Ligi's term. Stokes, who was supported by Ligi and several business groups, beat businessman Jack Rizzuto, and first-time candidates Allison Bent Bowler and Paul Villalobos.

Ligi resigned to take a position with the Jefferson Business Council.

Stokes captured 2,693 votes (55.97%) to Rizzuto's 1,599 votes (33.23%). Bowler garnered 447 votes (9.29%) while Villalobos ended with 72 votes (1.49%). Turnout was just under 17%.

Rizzuto, who loaned his campaign $250,000 and held several additional fundraisers, was supported by Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni, Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway, Jefferson Parish Councilman Ben Zahn, Jefferson Parish Councilman-At-Large Chris Roberts, and Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand. He previously ran for the seat against Ligi in 2007 and was defeated in the primary.

District 79 encompasses Kenner, North of West Esplanade to the Lake, and Metairie, North of West Esplanade and West of the Suburban Canal.