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Governor's office not ready to make St. George appointments yet

4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 October 13, 2019 10:30 AM October 13, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE – The governor’s office said Sunday morning it would not make a comment or provide insight in the state executive office’s plan to appoint officials to guide the newly-formed City of St. George in East Baton Rouge.

Voters approved the controversial measure Saturday, creating a new municipality in an unappropriated area of southern EBR. Fifty-four percent of voters – 17,422 – approved the incorporation effort. Forty-Six percent, 14,871 voters, made an attempt to kill it.

The governor’s office must appoint a mayor and five council members.

When asked Sunday morning if Governor John Bel Edwards was prepared to release information about the timeline for appointments, a spokesperson simply responded “No.”

Monday, the governor's office released an additional statement:

"As he does with all of his appointments, the Governor will give thoughtful consideration to potential appointments for key positions in St. George as well as work with stakeholders. Our office will sit down and meet with the St. George organizers as soon as possible to discuss the next steps."

Edwards entered a runoff for governor Saturday night against Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone. State-wide, Edwards garnered 47% of the vote compared to Rispone’s 27%. Congressman Ralph Abraham, a republican like Rispone, took 24%.

Once the first St. George city leaders are appointed - a mayor and five council members - they will serve until the next election cycle when residents will vote for mayor and all council positions.  The council may reapportion itself to add more seats before this election, St. George organizers have said.

Arguably, Sunday may be too early for state officials to consider appointments.  While votes were cast and counted Saturday, the election still needs to be "certified," which is not done in the immediate hours after an election.  Though, it's unlikely the votes would change dramatically. 

The registrar of voters in EBR told WBRZ Saturday, there were no unusual voting complaints. 

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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