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Republican Michael Melerine wins Louisiana school board seat

April 25, 2021 GMT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s top school board has a new member after Republican Michael Melerine won Saturday’s runoff election to fill a vacant seat.

Melerine, a lawyer from Shreveport, defeated Democrat Cassie Williams, a college professor from Bossier City, to win a seat on the 11-member Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Melerine will represent District 4, covering 10 parishes across northwestern Louisiana.

Melerine and Williams were the top two vote-getters among five contenders for the position in March’s primary. The seat was open because Tony Davis, a Republican from Natchitoches, resigned in January to devote more time to his job with the National Association of Manufacturers.

The state’s education board has eight elected members and three members appointed by the governor.

The seat settled Saturday represents Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Vernon, Webster and Winn parishes.

Melerine works at a law firm with Republican state Rep. Alan Seabaugh of Shreveport. Williams is an assistant professor of special education at Louisiana State University-Shreveport.