By Lou Gehrig Burnett
Another Supreme no-go
There is a Louisiana Supreme Court robe hanging on the rack, but finding anyone who wants to challenge Caddo District Court Judge Scott Crichton for it is proving to be an elusive proposition.
The latest potential candidate, District Court Judge Stephen Beasley of Sabine Parish tells the Fax-Net that he is not going to run. He challenged then-incumbent Justice Jeff Victory for the seat in 2004 and received 39% of the vote.
Beasley, who is familiar with District 2 of the state’s high court where the race is being held said, “I certainly understand the demographics and know that the majority of the vote is in Caddo and Bossier parishes. It would be hard for someone from a rural parish to be competitive.”
His decision not to run follows in the footsteps of Judge Jay Caraway of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal. The Fax-Net revealed last week that Caraway will not seek the seat.
Currently, no other names are being mentioned as potential candidates, leaving Crichton the lone declared candidate so far. The election is scheduled for the fall of 2014.
Beasley, who ran as a Democrat in 2004 against Victory, said that he is now an independent, which, in Louisiana, means he is “No Party.” He said he will run for re-election to his district court seat.
“I am the only district court judge in all of Sabine Parish, and I am happy with being that,” Beasley noted. If he chose to run for the Louisiana Supreme Court, he would have to give up his district court position.
That’s a dilemma for district court judges who might have an interest in the state’s high court because all of them are up for re-election at the same time as the Supreme Court race.
The stars seem to have aligned for Crichton, who has been a district court judge for 23 years. He announced early he would seek the coveted seat and oppose Victory, who is concluding his second 10-year term on the Supreme Court.
That move was cause for pause for most judges who may have been casting an eye at the seat if Victory had announced he would not run for re-election to a third term.
At the time of Crichton’s declaration, Victory said he would seek re-election, but subsequently decided to retire, leaving Crichton with a huge head-start over anyone else who was thinking about running.
Crichton has secured the support of most who are major players in judicial elections, and he has been raising money throughout the district.
One can expect the Crichton bandwagon to get even more crowded now that the two judges most mentioned as possible opponents have both opted out of the race.
Crichton is not taking anything for granted, however. He says he will continue to campaign as if he has an opponent, realizing how uncertain politics can be in Louisiana.
Judge Crichton has a fundraiser scheduled for Monday, August 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at 2Johns Restaurant, 2151 Airline Drive, Bossier City.
Tickets are $500 per person or per couple.
For more information, call Crichton’s campaign headquarters at 318-841-8000.