Saturday, January 19, 2019

Panepinto re-elected; three of five council seats in run-offs

Panepinto re-elected; three of five council seats in run-offs
Posted: Nov 6, 2018
Categories: Front Page, Headlines
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HAMMOND---Hammond Mayor Pete Panepinto secured a second term against two challengers in Tuesday’s primary election.

Panepinto, a Republican, defeated both of his opponents, Democrats Oscar Dantzler and Jay Kelly to win his second four-year term in office. According to complete but unofficial returns from the Tangipahoa Parish Clerk of Court’s Office, Panepinto garnered 57 percent of the vote to Kelly’s 30 percent and Dantzler’s 12 percent.

Turnout for the contest was estimated at 46.9 percent.

Panepinto ran on his record of success in his first term as mayor. The only white candidate in the race, Panepinto focused his campaign on a unified Hammond and promised continued growth and success for Tangipahoa’s largest city.

Following Tuesday’s victory, Panepinto said, "I am very grateful for the support of my friends and family and I would like to say thank you for re-electing me as Mayor and giving me the opportunity to serve you for another four years. I’m looking forward to the future. Our future. One City. One Future."

Joining Panepinto to lead Hammond are two new council members. In District 4, Sam DiVittorio carried 63 percent of the vote against challenger Justin Thornhill in the race to replace outgoing two-term Councilman Lemar Marshall. In District 5, Steven Leon also won with 63 percent of the vote against challenger Louise Bostic to replace outgoing veteran councilman Mike Williams, who was term-limited.

Three additional City Council contests will move ahead to the Dec. 8 run-off ballot.

In District 1, voters will choose between front-runner Kip Andrews (38 percent) and challenger Carl Duplessis (33 percent) to succeed outgoing Councilman Johnny Blount, who is also term-limited. Chris McGee, Sr. finished third in that contest on Tuesday with 29 percent of the vote.

In District 2, candidates Carlee White Gonzales (45 percent) and Josh Taylor (38 percent) will vie in a Dec. 8 run-off to replace outgoing Councilman Jason Hood. Craig Inman finished the race with 18 percent of the vote.

In District 3, incumbent Janice Carter finds herself trailing challenger Devon Wells going into the December general election. Wells had 42 percent of the vote Tuesday to Carter’s 35 percent. Brad Wilson received 23 percent of the vote in that contest.