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Daily Comet: Most judges locally and statewide win election unopposed

Nearly two-thirds of Louisiana’s district judge candidates have won their seats unopposed, and critics say that shortchanges voters.

“More often than not, they are not being given a real choice,” said Melissa Landry, executive director of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch, a nonpartisan legal watchdog organization that analyzed candidate qualifying data from the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.

“It is also detrimental to the overall health of our legal climate because this system of self selection does not lead to the most experienced or most qualified judge taking a seat on the bench. Moreover, history has shown that in many instances, non-competitive races have not always produced the most desirable outcomes for our citizens.”

In Terrebonne Parish, all five district judges were elected after candidates signed up without opposition Aug. 20-22. They are incumbents George Larke Jr., John Walker, David Arceneaux and Randy Bethancourt, as well as Juan Pickett, an assistant district attorney who will serve his first term on the bench. Read more...

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