Jeff Davis elects new sheriff

Published 10:16 pm Saturday, November 18, 2023

Jeff Davis Parish will have a new sheriff following Saturday’s runoff election after Kyle Miers unseated incumbent Sheriff Ivy Woods.

Miers unseated Woods with 3,980 votes, or 55 percent to Woods’ 3,196 votes, or 45 percent, according to complete but unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s Office. Thirty-five percent of the parish’s 20,523 registered voters turned out for the runoff election.

Miers has 23 years experience in law enforcement with the Ward 3 Marshal’s Office in Calcasieu Parish and is currently employed by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office where he has served on the dive team, SWAT team and first-line supervisor in felony crime investigations. He is a native of Jeff Davis Parish and a graduate of Welsh High School.

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Woods has served as sheriff for the past 11 years. He began his law enforcement career as a Louisiana StateTrooper where he served for 21 years.

In Police Jury District 2, Chad Woods defeated Susette Mouton by a vote of  348 – 290 or 55 percent to 45 percent. He will replace Police Juror John Marceaux, who did not seek re-election.

A runoff for Ward 1 justice of the peace was pulled from the ballot after Pam Leblanc dropped out of the race. Andrew Benoit will fill the vacant seat.

In the runoff for the District 7 Board of Elementary and Secondary (BESE) seat, Jeff Davis Parish voters favored Kevin M. Berken with 4,478 votes, or 61 percent over challenger Erick Knezek who got 2,876 votes, or 39 percent. The seat was previously held by Holly Boffy, who is term-limited and could not seek re-election.

The District 7 covers eight parishes including Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis parishes.

Parishwide voters renewed a 10-year half-cent for the parish jail. It passed 3,608 – 3,337, or 52 percent of voters in favor.

The tax, which is expected to generate $3.3 annually, will cover maintenance and operation of jail facilities, including both movable and immovable property, owned or used by the Police Jury.

Voters in Jeff Davis Parish Fire District 5 overwhelmingly approved a 10-year renewal of a 10-mill property tax for maintenance, construction, improvement and operating fire protection facilities and equipment.

The measure passed 191- 114, or 63 percent of voters in favor.

It is expected to generate $302,200 annually for the district which includes Fenton, Buller and the Pine Island area.

In state runoff elections, local voters favored Nancy Landry with 6,138 votes or 83 percent. Gwen Collins-Grennup who had 1,242 votes, or 17 percent for Secretary of State.

For attorney general, voters favored Liz Baker Murrill over Lindsey Cheek.

Murrill had 6,193 votes, or 83 percent. Cheek drew 1,258 votes, or 17 percent.

In the treasurer’s race, voters favored John Fleming who got 6,023 votes or 81 percent over challenger Dustin Granger who had 1,401 votes, or 19 percent.

Voters accepted proposed constitutional amendments 1, 2 and 3 but voted down amendment 4.