Dupont won in St. Mary Parish and the multi-parish region. In St. Mary, he garnered 42 percent or 8,530 votes to Theriot’s 32 percent (6,555 votes).
The remaining two contenders for the seat were J. Christopher Erny with 3,641 votes for 18 percent in St. Mary Parish and Mark D. Plaisance with 1,703 for the remaining 8 percent, according to complete, but unofficial election results from the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office.
Throughout the multi-parish region voting for the seat, the votes were Dupont, 71,767 votes; Theriot, 62,730 votes; Erny, 36,453 votes; and Plaisance, 15,394 votes.
The seat is on one of five circuit courts of appeal in Louisiana. The 1st Circuit consists of 12 judges and has jurisdiction over 16 parishes in Southeastern Louisiana. The seat is held by Circuit Judge Edward “Jimmy” Gaidry, who is retiring at year’s end.
Dupont, a conservative Democrat, currently serves on the 18th Judicial District Court.
“I’m tickled to death with the results and to carry 6 of the 8 parishes is positive,” especially when running against three other candidates, Dupont said.
“Of course St. Mary, I’m tickled that I carried St. Mary,” he added
As for the coming runoff, “Our boots were on the ground immediately this morning. It’s a defined race this morning between Mitch Theriot and myself,” Dupont said, but noted that the issues, experience and qualifications are still the same.
“For the appellate courts, you need a judge, not a legislator.”
“I’ll be down in St. Mary real soon again, working hard and thanking the people, and when the smoke clears we want to be thanking the people even more,” Dupont said.
Theriot, a Republican, serves as a judge in the municipal courts of Lockport and Golden Meadow.
“We were very excited with the final results for the primary. We hoped to reach 30 percent, and we reached 34 percent,” Theriot said, adding that with three Republicans and three candidates from the southern portion of the district, the race was hard fought.
“We worked St. Mary and Ascension parishes hard where there were no locals in the race. We viewed those as wide open, and we’re very happy with St. Mary’s turnout and support, he said.
Now that the field has been narrowed and the other two Republicans in the race eliminated, “I think the majority of the other two opponents, their votes are going to come my way,” Theriot said.
He said he foresees the runoff being totally different from the primary, particularly because the presidential race will not be on the ballot. The democratic advantage, he said, now goes away, and voter turnout across the board will be lower. St. Mary, however, may be an exception because of the congressional race between Jeff Landry and Charles Boustany.