Thursday, April 18, 2024

Whitehorn wins court-ordered revote for Caddo Parish sheriff

by BIZ Magazine

GREG LAROSELouisiana Illuminator

Henry Whitehorn won a court-ordered election for Caddo Parish sheriff Saturday, March 23, 2024, with 53% of the vote. A new election had to be held after a judge ruled there was no way to determine a winner in the Nov. 18, 2023, race because 11 illegal ballots had been case. The results from that election put Whitehorn ahead of opponent John Nickelson by one vote out of more than 43,000 ballots cast. (Whitehorn campaign photo)

The candidate for Caddo Parish sheriff who won a November election by one vote held a far more comfortable margin Saturday in a court-ordered redo.

Democrat Henry Whitehorn received 53% of more than 65,000 votes cast, putting him ahead of Republican John Nickelson. According to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office, 42.3% of Caddo’s registered voters took part in the election.

Whitehorn becomes the parish’s first Black sheriff and will take office July 1.

“I will be sheriff for all of Caddo Parish,” Whitehorn told supporters at his Election Night celebration, according to The Times. “I’ve always been tough on crime. I have no reason to change now.”

A single vote made Whitehorn the victor in the Nov. 18 contest, when more than 43,000 people voted. The margin was upheld in a subsequent recount that turned up three additional votes for each man, leaving the winning difference unchanged.

But in a Dec. 5 ruling on a challenge from Nickelson, retired Louisiana Supreme Court Justice E. Joseph Bleich noted there were at least 11 illegal votes cast and counted.

“It is legally impossible to know what the true vote should have been,” Bleich wrote in his opinion.

According to the judge’s ruling, two people voted twice — one by mail and in person, and the other in the early voting period and on the day of the election. An official with the Louisiana Secretary of State verified the double voting, the opinion said.

Also, at least five absentee/mail-in ballots “should not have been counted for failure to comply with the law,” and four votes cast by interdicted persons who were unqualified voters.

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