Local attorney John Bernhardt has withdrawn his application to be appointed District 6 city-parish councilman. The council is scheduled to appoint an interim representative for District 6 at a special Oct. 1 meeting, following the resignation of Councilman Bruce Conque. Bernhardt, who is chairman of the Lafayette Parish Democratic Executive Committee and the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority, was one of six applicants. He says he has decided to withdraw from consideration in deference to another Democrat who is seeking the position, local sales rep Raymond Sam Dore. Dore ran for the District 6 council seat last year and finished second in a thre-way race with 35 percent fo the vote. "It's my interest to unite the Democratic Party, bring people in and encourage them in running for office," Bernhardt says. "I should not be competing against a viable Democrat who has run for this seat before." Bernhardt says at the time he submitted his application he was not aware Dore had also put his name in the hat. As an elected official with the Democratic Party, Bernhardt was also still awaiting an opinion from the state Atttorney General's office about whether dual office holding restrictions would prevent him from serving both as a councilman and as head of the local Democratic Party. He had already gotten clearance from the Ethics Commission on whether it would present a conflict of interest.
With Bernhardt out, the remaining applicants for the District 6 seat are Dore, KVOL program director and talk radio host Todd C. Elliott, attorney Judith Kennedy, retired oilfield executive Lewis Kellog, retired businessman Richard Prevost, and Tsunami restaurant owner Michele Ezell. The council is scheduled to interview all applicants this Thursday.
Update: Richard Prevost also has withdrawn his application