In Tuesday’s primary, Russell County voters left District Court Judge Buster Landreau upset while incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers cruised to victory for another chance at re-election in the 3rd Congressional District.
Landreau was out polled in Place No. 1 by challenger Zack Collins with 3,888 or 65 percent of the vote to 2,095 or 35 percent. Rogers soundly defeated former Phenix City School superintendent Larry DiChiara, taking 76 percent or 76,781 votes to 24 percent or 24,291.
A day after the contest, Landreau said Wednesday that Collins beat him decisively and had a lot of the boxes. "I’m not sure at this point how it was done but he got the votes out and I didn’t," the judge said.
About 32 percent of the county’s eligible voters went to the polls on Tuesday to cast 10,250 ballots.
Landreau said he was extremely disappointed in the results in the race that he ran. "I ran a good, clean hard race and the results did not reward that," he said.
With about 10 months left before his term ends in December, Landreau was asked about his future plans? "I haven’t got that far," he said. "I have about 10 months to look around and see what I might be interested in doing and might be available. At this point I have to say its in the planning stage."
DiChiara of Auburn said he was looking for the anti incumbent folks to come out and vote but that didn’t happen in any of the Congressional District races.
"That was about the only thing I knew could level the playing field," he said. "I know he would have an incredible advantage with the money he had and he could reach so many people with mass media."
DiChiara took about 30 percent of the vote in Russell County and 28 percent in Lee County, both areas where he served as an educator during his 34-year career.
"You have to run a perfect race and everything has to fall into place just right," he said. "And that anti-incumbent vote just did not pan out. They did for president but they didn’t for Congressional races. I knew at that point if that didn’t happen none of us challengers had a chance."
The former superintendent said he has no regrets about the race. DiChiara said he was able to win voters over after meeting them but time was limited in a five-month race. "Unless you can reach out to people in all corners you aren’t going to get in front of enough people in five months time. I have absolutely no regrets. I have met a lot of great people along the way."
DiChiara is not sure what’s ahead for the retired school superintendent. He’s still available if needed to help take over a school district that’s struggling. "I may just teach at the college level a little bit," he said. "I’m not really sure. I’m wide open."
He didn’t close the door on another possible run for office. "I don’t know where I will be two years from now," DiChiara said. "We will make that decision when the time comes."