Henry Whitehorn, Caddo Parish, Black Sheriff

Henry Whitehorn Becomes Caddo Parish’s First Black Sheriff After White Tears Of Election Fraud

Move over...there's a new sheriff in town!

The town of Caddo Parish, Louisiana, is presumed to have a Black sheriff for the first time in over 20 years.

Henry Whitehorn declared victory on March 23 after his opponent, John Nickelson, conceded following early and absentee vote counts. Results showed an additional 13,605 votes to Whitehorn’s tally and 11,687 to Nickelsons’s- with a final result of 34,752 votes for Whitehorn to Nickelson’s 487.

With 42% of Caddo’s registered voters turning out, there was a difference of 4,265 votes between the two candidates.

Voters finally have an answer after drama prompted a lawsuit surrounding voter fraud. After a runoff election in November 2023, the results showed a one-vote margin, with Whitehorn receiving 21,621 votes to Nickelson’s 620. According to the Shreveport Times, a recount resulted in an added three votes given to both candidates – leaving no changes and ultimately showing Whitehorn ahead by one vote.

Nickelson then filed a lawsuit, citing several allegations of irregularities in votes during the runoff election, so retired Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Joseph Bleich ordered a new runoff election between them. 

Following that ruling, Whitehorn filed an appeal, heard by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 11. The next day, the court ruled to uphold the ruling made by Bleich.

During his acceptance speech, Whitehorn spoke out about how difficult the road to the sheriff’s office has been. “You,” know, when I think about this election, it’s been a hard road,” he said to his supporters. It’s been ten months of fighting. Three victories.” 

Whitehorn, a self-proclaimed stickler on crime, told supporters he will continue to be tough as crime rates grow. In 2023, the city council unanimously voted for a state of emergency after residents said they were disturbed and concerned for their safety. After a reported 190 shootings and close to 80 homicides, Council members said this would potentially provide federal dollars and resources to fight crime. 

Seemingly referencing his opponent’s aim to release 500 inmates, the new sheriff said there’s a need for it. “I’ve always been tough on crime,” Whitehorn said. I “have no reason to change now.”

Whitehorn will replace interim Sheriff Jay Long starting July 1 after the previous sheriff, Steve Prator, entered early retirement.