LAKE CHARLES, La. — Candyce Perret and Susan Theall are set to
face off in the April 29 runoff for Louisiana's 3rd
Circuit Court of Appeal, Division B.
The two are vying to replace Jimmy Genovese, who last fall won
election to state Supreme Court. The winner will earn the right to
serve out the remaining eight years of his 10-year term on the
state's biggest circuit court, The Vermillion reported.
With all but one of 530 precincts reporting, Perret topped all
voters in voting on March 25, registering 16,597 votes to Theall’s
to the Daily Advertiser. Vanessa Waguespack Anseman garnered 9,058
Perret and Theall start the final phase of their campaigns facing
questions about past indiscretions.
Back in 2004, Perret was arrested
in Florida on a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure on a beach.
The Indianapolis Star reported
that she ultimately took a pre-trial diversion route and paid court
costs, leading to the case being dismissed. Throughout her campaign,
Perret has insisted she was wrongly fingered as the culprit and only
took the deal because she lived far away from where court proceedings
were being held.
Meanwhile, Theall still faces questions
about a loan she took out during a 2011 campaign run for judge. She
has dismissed any accusation of wrongdoing.
As for the race to replace Genovese, Perret contends her
experience as a private litigator, city prosecutor and as counsel for
her family businesses make her the most well-rounded and qualified of
the two candidates still on the ballot. She added that she plans to
quell earlier criticisms about not appearing at forums where other
candidates were featured y doing so throughout the runoff phase of
“I am only candidate with actual experience at the appellate
level, and my legal background separates me from my opponent,”
Perret told the Louisiana Record. “I’ve handled all sorts
of cases, matters that actually come before court.”
The fact that so many supporters have rallied around her during
her first time on the ballot also serves as a source of pride for
“This is my opponent’s fourth time running,” she said. “The
fact that I’ve gained the name recognition I have so quickly is
humbling. I’m proud to have the support of so many other attorneys,
business leaders and law-enforcement officials. It’s a testament to
what I’ve made my campaign about.”
Even with that, Theall insists she likes her chances. She pointed
to the fact that Perret spent nearly a half-million dollars in early
campaigning against her roughly $100,000.
Theall also seems convinced that she is poised to capture most of
the votes that went to Anseman, though Perret counters she doesn’t
see that vision coming to fruition.
“I bring a balance and level of diversity no one else does,”
Throughout her campaign, Anseman was also dogged
by controversy that centered around criticisms she did not have the
requisite and state-mandated experience to even be considered for a
spot on the appellate court. At one point, she was removed from the
ballot following a judge’s ruling, only to be restored after a 3rd
Circuit Court of Appeal ruling.