11 Ascension Parish Council seats are scheduled to be contested on October 14, with some districts having seen major changes to accommodate wildly shifting demographic patterns reflected in the most recent decennial census. Our analysis of those district-by-district shifts, with an assessment of potential changes to the electoral dynamic, focuses on District 11 today. (See above for map going into effect for Election Day, adopted during a Special Meeting of the Council on December 29).
With only four voting precincts, all large in number, any precinct change to the District 11 map would have significantly impacted the electoral math. Two of the former precincts were lost, No. 18 to District 6 and No. 21 to District 10. In return the the district picked up the southern half of a newly-divided Precinct No. 10 (formerly in District 7 (to the north), and Precinct No. 12 from District 5 (to the east).
soon to be Councilman Michael Mason dominated three-term incumbent Benny Johnson in every voting precinct, rolling up a 736-vote margin with 62% of the total. It was the worst beating sustained by any of the five incumbents on the ballot. Six council seats would be claimed by newcomers with one holdover deciding not to qualify.
With an actual voting record to run on, or away from as the case might be, Mason would be hard pressed to repeat his 2019 performance. 3,000 residents of the newly-configured District 11 will have the opportunity to vote for Michael Mason for the for time on October 14. Just under two-thirds of them reside in what will have been District 5 where Dempsey Lambert has been elected on five separate occasions..
They are found in Precinct 12 which Lambert won by a healthy 55%-45% margin in 2019 when the overall margin was a single percentage point. Mason and Lambert have found themselves on the opposite sides of several important votes since being sworn in on January 6, 2020. If Councilman Mason retains electoral support in holdover precincts at 2019 levels, such minutiae will matter little.
As yet no one has publicly declared an intention to challenge the one-termer though a curious name is being bandied about.