Reported By: Lee Peck & Amanda Ward
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Lake Charles voters have spoken, overwhelmingly re-electing Mayor Randy Roach to a third consecutive term. With all precincts, Roach beat challenger Billy Pharr in nearly every precinct by a total of 10,676 votes (78% of votes) to 3,055 votes (22% of votes).
Surrounded by family and friends Roach thanked his supporters for their vote. "This entire process is important. Elections are what define us as a people. So, I appreciate everyone who supported my opponent, those who supported me, the process helps us focus on the issues of our community, of our people, and the issues of our children," said Roach.
One of the issues of this election was the pace of progress, Mayor Roach says his administration will focus on the priorities defined under the bond issue.
"We want to honor and expand what we've learned not just in downtown, but throughout the entire city. But what we must remember is -- it's not how fast we get it done -- it's that we get it right," said Roach. "What's important is that we lay a strong foundation for the growth and development of this community, because what we want to do is not just build landscaping; not just build parks or marinas; what we want to do is build and promote residential development along that lakefront and make it something not only the city can be proud of, but all of Southwest Louisiana can be proud of; because this truly is a regional program that if done right will have regional impact."
Political new comer William "Billy" Pharr centered his campaign on the pace of progress. Pharr took on the political veteran Mayor Randy Roach on the campaign platform that it's time for action.
Also, surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd of supporters, Pharr thanked everyone as he conceded to Mayor Roach.
"First of all, I'd like to thank the 2,856 people (the number of votes he had at the time) who voted for me. I appreciate all of my supporters, they have been great. We've learned a lot in six weeks. We've come a long way. I want to congratulate Mr. Roach, Mayor Randy Roach, on his third term. He's run a great campaign and his support shows in the amount of votes that he got tonight," said Pharr.
"We set out to win this thing, of course," he told his supporters. "But, the voters spoke and we did not. But, I think we got this city going in the right direction." The crowd cheered. "Our first initial meeting, we spoke with consultants who told us to get out of the race--there's no way we can beat him, which was proven tonight. Mr. Roach has done a lot. 80% of the voters think he's done a great job. But, there's always next time and we're prepared to do it next time."
But, when asked if he's considering another step in his very new political career, Billy Pharr said, "I'll get back to you on that."
Mayor Randy Roach was also asked what he plans to do next. "I'm going to Disney World!" he said with his family and grandkids.