BATON ROUGE -- Interim officeholder Kyle Ardoin and Gwen Collins-Greenup are headed to the runoff Dec. 8 to determine who will fill the remainder of current term from Louisiana Secretary of State.
Ardoin and Greenup led a ballot of nine hopefuls for the race, which came into play after Tom Schedler resigned in February. Schedler vacated his position amid a sexual misconduct scandal, which ended with a $160,000 taxpayer-funded settlement to the former employee.
Ardoin was sworn in as acting secretary of state upon Schedler's exit.
The interim Secretary of State, a Republican, led with 296,104 votes (21 percent) in the statewide race, eclipsing his Democrat runner-up, who had 286,913 votes (20 percent). Renee Fontenot Free, also a Democrat, notched third with 237,358 votes (16 percent). State representatives Rick Edmonds and Julie Stokes, both of whom ran ad spots the final weeks of the campaign, each garnered only 11 percent -- 163,839 votes for Edmonds, 162,235 for Stokes. Thomas Kennedy had 135,395 votes (9 percent), while former state Sen. A.G. Crowe of Slidell and Turkey Creek mayor Heather Cloud each had five percent of the vote. Matthew Moreau was at the bottom of the heap with 1 percent.
In Livingston Parish, Ardoin led the pack with 13,038 votes (32 percent), while Edmonds -- who campaigned heavily in the area -- took second with 10,629 votes (26 percent). Stokes and Kennedy each drew 10 percent of the vote, Greenup and Free notched six percent, and Cloud had five percent. Crowe tallied four percent and Moreau had one percent.
A four-year term for the seat will go up for grabs in the fall 2019 primary election.