Westlake Council Seat Up For Vote - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Westlake Council Seat Up For Vote

March 31, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck

With no choice left after the death of Westlake Mayor-Elect Gerald Washington, the city of Westlake is being forced to move forward.

"We have to get this city rolling, prior to all the events we've been having going on here. So we've got to get this city rolling," said Wilbert Isles.  

"I think it's regretful for what's happened, and I hope we don't ever have to go through this again," said Fred Fanta. 

Westlake residents are voting in a special election to fill a council seat left vacant by Dan Cupit. Cupit took over as Westlake's mayor last month after being unopposed to fill the vacancy after Washington's death. Now six candidates are vying for votes to be the city's next council member.

"We've had a good steady stream starting at 6 o'clock when we opened the polls," said Alice Jackson, poll commissioner in charge.  

Despite the rain, Westlake voters continued to line up throughout the day to cast their ballot to elect a new voice of representation.

"It's very important to have a city council because that way more than one person has a say so in decisions and it's not left up to one individual," said Sam Henson. 

Voters say the candidate who is elected should possess certain qualities and bring with them progressive ideas to keep the small city moving forward.

"First of all loyalty, respect and then just to keep the things that we're doing in Westlake, to keep it growing," said Barrett LaBrie.  

"We need somebody that we can sit and talk to face to face and they will understand what we are talking about and they can help do something about it," said Dorothy Staton.  

The six candidates running to fill the open council seat are Betty Bates, Ronald Bourque, Paula Johnson, Gregory Lewis, Sam Morrison and Lori Peterson. Should one of them not get at least 50% of the vote, a runoff election would be held on May 5th.

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