LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A retired district court judge says he plans to replace former Lafayette City Judge Michelle Odinet.

Odinet recently resigned from the bench after a video was released of her using racial slurs.

With Odinet’s seat now vacant, the next step is for Governor John Bel Edwards to order a special election to fill her position.

A retired judge who Odinet beat in the election for the seat is now trying to replace her.

“There’s a good number of people out there who are absolutely perplexed and confused why in the world would a retired district court judge, who is accustomed to regularly handling civil cases where there’s hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake and criminal cases where there’s decades of incarceration and even the death penalty at stake… Why would such a guy want to step down to go to city court?” retired 15th Judicial District Judge Jules D. Edwards III questioned.

Edwards is now running for Odinet’s seat. He lost to Odinet in the race for Lafayette City Judge in the 2020 election.

Some say the wrong person was elected into office.

Edwards says he wants the seat to start making positive impacts in the criminal justice system.

“I have been a district court judge for 28 years, and I have been a Marine and a National Guardsman for 30 years. That means that I have leadership experience. I have judicial experience. I have been able to turn people’s lives around. I have been able to get people on the right track,” he told News Ten.

He says he’s been able to turn around the lives of hardened criminals in district criminal cases and wants to do that in the city.

“In that work with the district court, it was unfortunately after people get convicted of felonies. So I want to go upstream to city court where they are only dealing with misdemeanors. So we can turn those lives around before they cause serious harm. That’s really my motivation,” Edwards added.

Governor John Bel Edwards has not yet made the proclamation for the special election but is expected to in the coming weeks.