Incumbent Assessor Webster Guillory, who is under investigation for how he collected nomination signatures, failed to win his seat outright in yesterday’s primary and will have to battle challenger Claude Parrish in November.

With nearly all precincts reporting, Guillory received 47.2 percent, while Parrish garnered 43.3 percent. Third place finisher Jorge Lopez received 9.5 percent of the total.

Guillory made headlines last month when it was revealed that nearly all of the people who formally nominated him for the Assessor also happen to work for him. Records also show they signed his nomination papers during work hours.

Laws at both the state and federal levels, as well as case law, have established the general principle that the resources provided by taxpayers should not be used to support political candidates.

The questions in Guillory’s case — which are in the hands of district attorney investigators — include whether signing nomination papers constitutes a violation of those laws, and whether the county workers were on county property when they signed the papers.

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