Analyst: St. Tammany coroner's race is about integrity

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 3 at 6:41 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

ST. TAMMANY, La. -- A big decision is before voters this weekend -- who will right the ship at the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office?

The position is to fill the remainder of former Coroner Peter Galvan’s term, following his conviction on corruption charges.

The effort to grab votes is in high gear as the clock ticks down to when voters have to pick the replacement coroner.

There are four candidates asking to be elected: gynecologist Robert Muller, retired emergency room physician Charles Preston, coroner's office mental health director Leanne Truehart and family physician Adrian Talbot.

Eyewitness News political analyst Clancy DuBos said integrity will matter most.

"Someone who's just going to put his or her nose to the grindstone, do the job, be accountable, be transparent and frankly restore public confidence in the office," he said.

Muller touts his past experience in law enforcement and coroner's office positions, while Preston points out his years of work in emergency situations.

Truehart said she should get the job because of her involvement with the parish's mental health issues.

Talbot said his public service in the military and community makes him best to serve as coroner.

"The registrar's office says more than 3,300 early and absentee votes have been cast. That boils down to about 2 percent of the voting population. And while that's normal for general elections around the parish, for a special election, it's above average," DuBos said. "Anger is always a much bigger motivator than love, so when people are upset, they turn out."

DuBos said a higher turnout is also expected because of municipal elections in Slidell. He said the odds are that Saturday’s election for coroner will likely result in a runoff.

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