While there were no surprises in the roster of candidates vying for election as Ascension’s Sheriff, the race may have tightened up due to events unfolding (sort of) in the Parish President’s election. When Sheriff Bobby Webre was elevated to the top law enforcement spot by former sheriff, Jeff Wiley’s resignation in January, he was viewed as the odds-on favorite to have the “interim” tab removed on October 12. Still the chalk, Webre was none too pleased that his brother, Rick Webre pulled a stunner by qualifying for the parish presidency yesterday, the last day of qualifying.
Webre (Rick) has been the Director of Ascension’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness since 2007.
October 12 will see two elections, one to finish Wiley’s term which expires in June 2020 and the regular election to determine the next four years. Sheriff Webre issued the following statement yesterday.
I learned for the first time this morning after he qualified that my brother Rick Webre is running for Parish President. I immediately met with him and let him know that I do not support his decision to run. I want to reiterate my statement from earlier this year: I am running in my own race on my own merits. I will not support or endorse any other candidate in any other race, including my brother.
Rick Webre’s stunner breathed life into the campaigns of Byron Hill and Moses Black, Jr. Hill has the support of multiple former APSO deputies including Bobby Webre’s step-brother, the former warden at Ascension Parish Jail, and the facility’s ex-security chief.
Hill’s campaign has pushed the narrative captured in his post-qualifying message:
“If you are ready to immediately end years of favors, secrets and nepotism at the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, and install an ethical, proactive leader who will bring about the change this parish needs, it is critical that you get to the polls and VOTE for change on OCTOBER 12, 2019.”
Rick Webre’s entry into the other high-profile, parish-wide elective office does nothing to detract from that message.
Less certain is Moses Black’s campaign strategy. We are unaware of any public pronouncements, and have not seen anything like a platform or position statement.