In a surprising turn of events, the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s primary on Saturday, October 14, failed to deliver a decisive outcome. Instead, it paved the way for a fierce runoff election scheduled for November 18, as John Nickelson (R) and Henry Whitehorn (D) emerged as the contenders in this nail-biting political battle.
Nickelson, with a commanding 45% of the vote, tallied up an impressive 20,554 votes, while Whitehorn secured 35%, amounting to 15,890 votes. Their strong performances in the primary have set the stage for a riveting showdown that has captured the attention of Caddo Parish residents and beyond.
The stakes couldn’t be higher, as the two candidates vying to succeed Sheriff Steve Prator, a veteran who has held the position for the past 24 years. Prator made the unexpected announcement on June 30 that he would not seek re-election due to health concerns, leaving an impending leadership void in the parish.
The runoff election may be an unusual twist for some, but it’s a familiar aspect of the American political landscape. It’s a mechanism designed to ensure that the ultimate winner garners the necessary majority of votes, providing a clear mandate to lead.
John Nickelson, a seasoned local attorney with 19 years of legal experience, entered the political arena in 2018 when he took up the mantle as City Councilman for District C in Shreveport. A Shreveport native, Nickelson and his wife, Emily, are deeply committed to the welfare of the parish, considering it their home for generations. He has underscored the vital role that the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office plays in the lives of all residents and workers, making his bid a personal mission.
Henry Whitehorn brings his own impressive track record to the table. After serving nearly a decade as the United States Marshal for the Western District of Louisiana, he retired on January 31, 2020. His appointment received unanimous confirmation from the United States Senate, a testament to his dedication and capabilities. Prior to this role, he also held positions as Police Chief and Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Shreveport, demonstrating a deep-rooted commitment to public service.
As the Caddo Parish awaits the runoff election in eager anticipation, the Nickelson-Whitehorn face-off promises to be a decisive moment in shaping the future of the parish. The heart of Louisiana beats in this election, and the outcome will echo across the community for years to come.