ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - By now you've probably seen plenty of signs for the upcoming March 24 election. Here in Rapides Parish, the big race is for the position of Alexandria City Marshal.
On Thursday, we introduced you to three of the candidates, Ricky Rachal, John Ritchie, and Daryl Terry.
On Friday, we met with two more, Jerome Hopewell and Cornelius White, Jr.
The first question: Why do you think you’re the best person for the job?
"It's not a big office, but it provides a big service for the people of Central Louisiana,” said Hopewell. “Not only do they do the normal law enforcement duties, but they also deal with a lot of money. I personally have a four year degree in business and finance, and 20 years of law enforcement experience and I think that probably makes me uniquely qualified for the position."
"I have prior military police experience,” explained White, Jr. “I spent 15 years in the 239th MP Company at Camp Beauregard as a military police officer. I spent 15 years at the US Bureau of Prisons at Oakdale as a federal corrections officer. I spent six years at Louisiana Tech being part of their uniform, and security patrol. And various security jobs and stuff like that."
We also asked: In the wake of previous corruption in the office, how would you assure the public it doesn't happen again?
"I mean, it's no secret, the last couple of years have been pretty rocky,” said Hopewell. “One of the ways you address that is you have to be open and honest. You have to be transparent. I think the way you start, you hire qualified, POST-certified people who are fit for duty. And you just have to stay on top of it."
"There wouldn't be any corruption, because I'm against that,” said White, Jr. “But I'm going to tell everybody, I'm a convicted felon. I'm still working on my pardon, and stuff like that. So hopefully President Trump will grant me a pardon. I'm a big Trump supporter and everything. And I just think you need to be fair and honest with people and tell them the truth and stuff."
The sixth candidate running for the position is Edward Butler, who initially said he would go on camera for an interview, but then his attorney called us and declined an interview referencing an ongoing lawsuit against Butler filed by the Louisiana Board of Ethics.
The Board said he owes $800 worth of fines dating back to the last time he ran for the same position in 2014, therefore is not qualified to run again.
That election will be held on March 24. Any runoff elections will be held on April 28.
For the interviews with the other candidates, check out the attached link.