Judge rules Chapa will appear on election ballot

No firm evidence that candidate does not meet residency requirements

A Beauregard Parish judge ruled Friday that 18 year-old Jose “Lil’ Joe” Chapa, Jr. will be allowed to keep his name on the upcoming sheriff’s election ballot. 

Judge C. Kerry Anderson said in his ruling that the petitioners of a lawsuit claiming Chapa did not meet the residency requirements to run for Beauregard Parish Sheriff did not meet the burden of proof placed upon them, and lacked any firm evidence to bring about a different ruling.

“There has been a lot of conjecture and speculation about what is and what isn’t in this case, but I can only make a ruling on what has been proven as facts. Quite honestly, the burden is on the plaintiffs and it is a pretty heavy burden. The bottom line is, that burden has not been met to disprove that Mr. Chapa has resided in the state of Louisiana for two years prior to Aug. 6, 2019, or that he has actually been domiciled in Beauregard Parish since Aug. 6 of 2018,” Anderson stated as he delivered his decision.

Anderson added that he had “a lot of questions” regarding Chapa’s parents’ filing of homestead exemptions on two homes at the same time, and perhaps, he said, even registering to vote and getting a driver’s license in a different state.

“But I don’t have any absolute proof of that,” Anderson stated.

“Without any evidence to contradict that, I don’t have any evidence to make a decision on,”

The suit was filed Aug. 9 by five petitioners who alleged that Chapa resided in Texas and not Beauregard Parish for the preceding two years before qualifying this month. According to the state election code, anyone seeking the position of clerk of court, tax assessor or sheriff must reside in the parish for two years prior to qualifying, with the most recent preceding year being of a domiciliary residence.

Chapa graduated from the Dr. Kirk Lewis Career & Technical High School in Texas in May 2018, but has publicly stated that he lived in the Dry Creek area of Beauregard Parish and commuted to the Houston-area school each day.

Chapa will appear on the Oct. 12 ballot with candidates John Gott, Mark Herford, Jim Jacobsen, and Rob Moreland, Sr.””Candidacy Qualification graphicAmerican Press

SportsPlus

McNeese Sports

Southland welcomes two new members

Local News

Supreme Court rules ex-presidents have broad immunity, dimming chance of a pre-election Trump trial

Business

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

life

On Campus: SW La. students recognized for achievements

Local News

How will Louisiana’s new Ten Commandments classroom requirement be funded and enforced?

Local News

Biden meets with his family amid pressures to step down after debate

Local News

Donation celebrated by Second Harvest, but volunteers are still needed

Local News

Grand Avenue Gym: DeQuincy landmark fading fast, group fighting to save it says

Local News

Beryl becomes major hurricane forecast to bring life-threatening conditions to Caribbean

life

Fourth of July festivities in Jennings will kick off with Stars and Stripes Festival

Local News

Ceremony held at Fort Johnson for deploying troops

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Don’t expect new candidates

life

SW La. nightlife calendar: There’s always something to do

life

USAF Band of the West making Lake Charles stop

high-school Sports

Upgrades planned for Jerry Simmons football stadium in Jennings

Crime

Lafayette teen charged in Ernest Street fatal shooting

Crime

6/28: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Longhorns make quite a statement to the SEC

Local News

Bicyclist fatally struck after allegedly running stop sign

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Stitch Guillory sworn in as sheriff

Local News

Sheriff Guillory: ‘I am living MLK’s dream’

Local News

Supreme Court allows cities to enforce bans on homeless people sleeping outside

Local News

Work begins on new artificial reef off Cameron coast to provide habitat

Local News

Trump, Biden square off for the first time in the 2024 election season