A tough act to follow: Matassa out, four candidates in (including a stunner)

Setting the bar as low as possible for his ultimate successor, President Kenny Matassa did not qualify for reelection as the three-day period came to a close Thursday at 4:30.  Four candidates have entered the race.

Former Ascension OHSEP Director Rick Webre pulled the stunner yesterday, joining the contest scheduled for October 12.  Clint Cointment, who came up 117 votes from winning the position in 2015; and Murphy Painter, who lost two bids to be Ascension’s sheriff in 1991 and 1995, had already added their names to the ballot.  Ricky Diggs, who garnered 8% of the vote in the 2015, would add his name at the 11th hour.

Matassa has thrown his weight, less than considerable, behind Painter.  Matassa’s endorsement, while unofficial, will cost the erstwhile sheriff’s candidate votes.  It already has.

Rick Webre posted a video yesterday, explaining his decision, that included…

“I can no longer support the current parish president; nor can I support anyone he endorses for that position…”

a none too subtle shot at Painter.  Without his brother’s (and, presumably, former sheriff Jeff Wiley’s) blessing, it remains to be seen where Rick Webre’s financial backing, campaign support staff, etc. will emanate.  Nobody we talked to yesterday, and the phone lines were busy, believes Webre jumped in the race without some sort of backing.

This one is going to be interesting.