BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Voters went to the polls across the state and selected new representatives for the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Saturday, Oct. 14. The members help set rules and standards for public early and K-12 education.

BESE decides curriculum and classroom policy, sets program budgets and creates regulations for schools, administrators and teachers. The seats for districts 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 were in contest.

Paul Hollis won the BESE District 1 seat with 71% of the vote in complete but unofficial results over Lauren Jewett, who had 29% of the vote.

In District 5, Lance Harris won the BESE chair with 67% of the vote over “Toby” Brazzel, who had 33% of the vote.

“Ronnie” Morris won the District 6 BESE chair over Jodi Rollins. Morris had 69% of the vote, while Rollins had 31% of the vote in complete but unofficial results.

Preston Castille remains in the District 8 BESE seat. Castille had 70% of the votes, while his running mate, Dolores Cormier-Zenon, had 30% of the vote.

Races going to runoffs

The District 4 BESE seat is a runoff between Stacey Melerine, Republican, and Emma Shepard, Democrat.

The District 7 BESE seat is also a runoff between Kevin Berken, Republican, and Erick Knezek, Republican.

The general election will be Nov. 18. Early voting is set for 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 3-11 (excluding Sunday, Nov. 5 and Friday, Nov. 10 in honor of Veteran’s Day). Learn where you can cast early ballots here.

Which representatives were already selected?

Sharon Latten Clark, Democrat, won the District 2 seat unopposed after qualifying. Eric J. Jones, Democrat, had initially been qualified to run, but the Secretary of State website now has him listed as Other/Disqualified.

“Sandy” LeBlanc Holloway, Republican, won the District 3 seat unopposed.

Oct. 14 election results for BESE seats

Winners are in bold.

Candidates going to a runoff are in italics.

The following are complete but unofficial results from the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website as of 11 p.m. Oct. 14.

District 1

  • Paul Hollis, Republican: 91,633, 71%
  • Lauren Jewett, Democrat: 37,385, 29%

District 4

  • Paige Hoffpauir, Republican: 26,477, 23%
  • Stacey Melerine, Republican: 55,297, 47%
  • Emma Shepard, Democrat: 35,850, 30%

District 5

  • “Toby” Brazzel, Republican: 40,264, 33%
  • Lance Harris, Republican: 83,490, 67%

District 6

  • “Ronnie” Morris, Republican: 89,479, 69%
  • Jodi Rollins, Republican: 39,712, 31%

District 7

  • Cathy S. Banks, Republican: 37,654, 29%
  • Kevin M. Berken, Republican: 47,861, 37%
  • Erick Knezek, Republican: 44,534, 34%

District 8

  • Preston Castille, Democrat: 78,436, 70%
  • Dolores “DeeDee” Cormier-Zenon, Democrat: 33,230, 30%