Former state senator and current Opelousas Mayor Don Cravins Sr.
has thrown his hat in the ring for the state Democratic party’s top leadership
position. Cravins is among six candidates seeking the chairmanship of the Democratic state Central committee, along with current chairman and Baton Rouge attorney Chris Whittington, Vacherie attorney
Paul Aucoin, former state Rep. William Sumlin of Simsboro, and Shreveport party officials Dr. Steve Kirkland
and Larry Ferdinand. The committee,
which currently has 165 members from across the state, will be voting to elect
its new chairman on March 15. The state chairman directs the party's agenda and helps oversee its staff. Of the candidates, Lafayette Parish party Chair John
Bernhardt says the three frontrunners would have to be the incumbent
Whittington; Aucoin, who has close ties to U.S. Sen. Mary Landreiu; and
Cravins, who emerged last week as a popular alternative. “All three have the
ability to run a very viable and successful campaign,” Bernhardt says.
Cravins says he recently decided to seek the position after
being encouraged to do so by several members of the state Democratic Party.
Cravins had also flirted with the idea of running for chairman in 2004. He says
he has heard from people throughout the state who are dispirited by a general
lack of leadership from the state party. “The common complaint is basically
that the party has lost touch,” Cravins says, adding that Democrats need to be
out on the forefront of issues like health care, education and affordable
housing. “People are not going to be afraid to say that they’re a Democrat if
we work diligently for issues that impact the lives of working people in our
"The problem that the party is having right now,” he
continues, “regardless of who becomes the chairperson, is that they have a void
and people seem to be looking for an alternative to the old establishment
leadership. I’m feeling right now kind of like the compromise candidate and
getting a pretty good response from throughout the state."
Is it a crime for citizens to photograph, video, or take notes of a police officer in the line of duty, or a right protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Locally, such activity, as witnessed recently, will at the very least result in a night spent behind bars.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies.