Port Allen Mayoral candidates gear up for contentious race
PORT ALLEN - In two days, registered voters in Port Allen will head to the polls for a historic special election to elect a new mayor.
Parish election officials spent Thursday sealing voting machines for the election.
Four candidates are vying for the top spot: Kirby Anderson, Larry Bell, Richard Lee and Deedy Slaughter. Bell was the only candidate who respectfully declined to do an on camera interview.
The race has been contentious, but took a racial turn yesterday when recalled mayor Deedy Slaughter's attorney filed a complaint with the Justice Department alleging the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office was trying to suppress and intimidate black voters.
All of the candidates in the race are black. The complaint was filed on the heels of a voter fraud investigation that was launched into the race, after discrepancies were reported on faxed-in early voting ballots. WBRZ broke the allegations of voter fraud on Friday.
To be fair to all candidates, they were asked the same three questions. The questions focused on addressing the turmoil the city has seen over the past year, talking about the allegations of voter fraud and what they wanted to say to supporters.
On the turmoil in Port Allen, here's how the candidates responded.
"The turmoil speaks for itself," Deedy Slaughter said. "We trying to move the city in a positive direction to move the city forward."
"I have a need to serve the people more and being the mayor I could serve them in a greater capacity," Kirby Anderson said.
"It's an unfortunate situation that has taken place," Richard Lee III said. "It is now part of our history. What we need to do is move forward. We want to move in a positive direction so the city can strive."
On the alleged voter fraud investigation currently underway, here's what the candidates said.
"I'm not really concerned because it's the beginning of the investigation," Richard Lee III said. "Like anything else, like when I was in law enforcement until you get all the facts you don't make comments on pending investigations."
"I think it will be a negative outcome on the election because you don't know where the votes will go," Kirby Anderson said.
"Anything involving voter fraud, I would have to get you to talk to my attorney about that," Slaughter said.
As the election draws near, all of the candidates believe they have what it takes to lead the city. They pleaded for each vote.
"Get out and vote for number one. Kirby Anderson Sr. I'm running an honest fair and clean campaign," Anderson said.
"I just want everyone to vote number five," Slaughter said. "Complete the job that once was started to complete it."
"Everybody come out and vote," Lee said. "That's the key."
The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto will be live in Port Allen on election night with the latest results.