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Opelousas elects new mayor and police chief

Posted at 12:59 PM, Dec 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-09 14:08:21-05

The City of Opelousas will have a new mayor and a new police chief come January.

The voters decided the two offices last night in a run-off.

In the chief race,  Martin McClendon won easily for the office of Police Chief, pulling in 66 percent of the vote. McClendon is a retired police officer; he defeated Opelousas Police Officer Graig “Twin” LeBlanc.

“We worked very hard, we put people together who believed in the message that Martin McClendon had, and that’s why we’re here tonight,” McClendon told us last night.

In the mayoral race, two members of the Board of Aldermen faced off after incumbent mayor Reggie Tatum was defeated in the primary. Julius Alsandor won, pulling in 65 percent of the vote compared to fellow Alderman Tyrone Glover’s 35 percent.

We also caught up with Alsandor after the results came in last night.

“I’m pleased, but i’m also thankful. I’m thankful to the people of Opelousas,” Alsandor said. “We worked hard. I had a good team around me, not an entourage of 20-30 people, but a small group of people who came together with some ideas. We applied and implemented those ideas and strategies, and we came out on top tonight.”

Alsandor said he’s ready to get to work – but he’s going to need help.

“‘m happy but I’m also humbled that the people of this great city chose me to lead them the next four years,” he said. “But I’m only one part of it. I can’t do this by myself. it’s going to take the council, it’s going to take the people of Opelousas also to be part of this. If we do this, as my motto has always been, together we can do better and together we will do better.”

Alsandor said his first plan is to take stock and analyze the city’s current status.

“For us to be able to move forward, we need to know where we are,” he said. “We will have to look at what we have, look internally, and then we move forward after that.”

The incumbent, Reggie Tatum, was indicted last year, accused of multiple felony charges in connection with his payment to himself of nearly $13,000 in overtime for work during and after the August 2016 floods. He was charged with one count malfeasance in office, felony theft, five counts forgery, four counts injury of public records and four counts filing false public records.

Some of those charges accuse Tatum of falsifying time sheets for four aldermen in the indictment; two of those aldermen were Alsandor and Glover. His trial, which will be held before a judge as he has waived his right to a jury trial, is set for March.

To see complete results from St. Landry Parish, click here.