LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Southwest Louisiana can expect 10 different runoff elections after the midterm election; one of those being the race for Lake Charles City Marshal.
From a field of seven down to two candidates: Nathan Keller and Vic Salvador will meet in the runoff election Dec. 8.
Their race was a close one. According to the state’s unofficial results, Keller and Salvador both had 24 percent of the vote. Both have law enforcement backgrounds and both say it will benefit them if elected.
“I’ve managed a budget of over 30 million dollars when I ran the jails," Salvador said. "I was a chief civil deputy for Sheriff Tony Mancuso, which means, parish-wide, I did everything daily that the marshal does for Ward 3. So, I will be able to move seamlessly into that position.”
“I’m well diversed, I’ve been throughout the ranks, I’ve worked most of the divisions, and I understand. I understand the marshal’s office’s primary duties are: courtroom security, the issuance of subpoenas, garnishments—I understand that," Keller said. "The Marshal’s office could be doing so much more when it comes to the community.”
Keller and Salvador each have their main priorities in focus.
“I’ve managed a budget of over 30 million dollars when I ran the jails," Salvador said. "I was a chief civil deputy for Sheriff Tony Mancuso, which means parish-wide I did everything daily that the Marshal does for ward 3. So, I will be able to move seamlessly into that position.”
“I think mental illness is a serious problem. And in law enforcement, we can play our part with crisis intervention training. We can actually educate the officers how to deescalate situations dealing with the mentally ill. That’s a win for everyone,” Keller said.
Before the midterm election, we asked the candidates to talk about why they ran, and why they make the best candidate. Here’s what Keller and Salvador said:
- Keller (D): I have been a lifelong resident of Lake Charles, La. I was reared in the Greinwich Terrace subdivision. I attended Fairview Elementary, Oak Park Junior High, and LaGrange High School, where I graduated with the class of 1982. I have three brothers, Joseph, Luther, Reginald, and one sister Cassandra. I have been married to Jannie Broussard Keller for the past thirty years. We have three children, Ashley, Brittany, and Nathan Jr., and five grandchildren. I have been a member Of Union Zion Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Joseph J Bernard Sr. for the past 28 years where I serve on the Deacon board and hold several other offices in my church. My mother, Joyce, and father, Phelo Keller, divorced when I was approximately two years old. I personally understand the struggles of single parents because my mother was a single parent at one time. I can relate to public housing because we lived in them for a period of time. I started working at the age of 13 because my mother taught me the value of hard work ethics. My disadvantages made me work harder, think smarter, and failure was not an option. After school I would help clean office buildings and churches. At 19, I gained employment working with mentally disabled students in local community homes. It was there I found my compassion for helping others. I was privileged to coach Special Olympic teams on the local and state level. In 1988, I joined the Lake Charles Police Department. Through promotional exams and hard work, I advanced up through the ranks; Police Officer, Police Officer First Class, Corporal, Sergeant, Patrol Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, Lieutenant, Commander of Community Policing, and Captain, Commander of Operations. During my career I have received numerous awards including: Supervisor of the Year, Officer of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, NAACP Law Enforcement Award, Kiwanis North Lake Charles Law Enforcement Award, and several Merit Awards. I have also been apart of several programs including: “Cops and Cribs,” “ Read With Me Program” in which officers go into schools and engage with students, “Project Build a Future,” “Habitat for Humanity,” and the “American Red Cross.” This is my first time running for a public office.
- Salvador (R): I have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from McNeese and have been in law enforcement for 30 years. I have worked in and supervised most areas of law enforcement including previously working at the Ward 3 Marshal’s Office under then-Marshal Tony Mancuso. When Sheriff Mancuso took office in 2004, he appointed me Commander of the Corrections Division. I recently retired from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office as a Commander and Chief Civil Deputy over the Civil Division, which does parish-wide what the Marshal does for Ward 3. I have been married to Cinnamon Salvador for the last 21 years. My daughter, Lauren, is employed at the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality after graduating from LA Tech with a B.S. Degree in Biology with a minor in Environmental Science. We attend St. Luke Simpson United Methodist Church.
The runoff election is Dec. 8.