Close race for District G Lake Charles City Council seat

By Adam Hooper - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - If you do not believe every vote counts, two Lake Charles City Council candidates would say, you are wrong. This race is a close as it gets. Mark Eckard was one vote away from winning the District G Lake Charles City Council seat.

"Obviously, it is a lesson in civics 101. Every vote counts. That really rings home today," said Mark Eckard.

John Fontenot says, he believes the election is in God's hands.

"I feel like God called me to run the first time. Because that one vote was not there, I feel like he must want me to continue. He must want me to do this," said John Fontenot.

The total number of votes cast for this race was 3,102. Of those, 1,551 went to Mark Eckard. 1,198 votes went to John Fontenot, and 353 votes went to Khalil Taha. Taha and Fontenot's votes, combined, equal 1,551, or 50 percent. That is the same as Eckard. But, state law requires the winner receive 50 percent of the votes, plus one. This is proof that every vote counts.

These numbers are unofficial. Tuesday, the parish board of elections supervisors will meet and begin reviewing election totals. And, if nothing changes there will be a run off for the District G Lake Charles city council seat.

"We will open all of the machines, print out all of the ballots, and re-do the parish board of election supervisors recounts. He does need one vote to make him the winner," said Director of elections, Paulette Dartez.

But, despite that one vote, both candidates say they are happy with the campaign they ran.

"I feel like we ran a good race. There was a good turn out. Anytime you come that close to winning right out, in a three man race, you have to feel good about it,"said Eckard.

I felt like we ran a good race. We were honest and hardworking. I was a little disappointed by the turnout but, I am very proud of everyone who helped us,"said Fontenot.

And soon, they will be at it again, asking the residents of District G in Lake Charles for their support. And remember, you could be the deciding vote.