The Jefferson Parish Republican Party surprised many by choosing to back former Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser over current Jefferson Parish President John Young in the contest for lieutenant governor.
The group, comprising 120 members, issued its endorsements Sept. 19. The party's endorsement committee members include Republican elected officials who reside in Jefferson, parish executive committee members, state central committee members who reside in Jefferson, and leaders of the parish's six Republican women's organizations.
In addition to choosing Nungesser over Young, the group voted to endorse U.S. Sen. David Vitter in the race for governor — but sources say it was by the closest of margins: one vote. And that, several sources say, came after a runoff ballot between Vitter and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne.
In other hotly contested local races, the party officials have endorsed state Sen. Conrad Appel for re-election in Senate District 9; state Reps. Nick Lorusso and Chris Leopold in House Districts 94 and 105, respectively; Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni for parish president; Chris Roberts for council at-large; Ricky Templet in Council District 1; Paul Johnston in Council District 2; and Jennifer Van Vrancken in Council District 5. — CLANCY DuBOS