Shortly before qualifying closed last Thursday, District 3 City-Parish Councilman Brandon Shelvin was blindsided by a formidable opponent.
(Truth be told, the embattled councilman knew someone would challenge him, because we’d told him so. Our sources say he just didn’t know who.)
Carencro City Manager Lloyd Rochon, who vied for the District 3 City-Parish Council seat four years ago, qualified for the post Thursday afternoon. And while he insists he will run on his credentials and his desire to serve, Rochon says he has long vowed not to let Shelvin walk back into office. When it appeared that the controversial first-term councilman may have no opposition, Rochon says his wife, Eva Dell, also stepped up to the challenge and encouraged him to seek the seat once again.
Largely an unknown candidate — but backed by a faction of the black community that included then-influential KJCB radio — Shelvin ran first among a field of five in the 2007 primary, and Rochon received 15 percent of the vote, losing a runoff spot to Shawn Wilson’s 18 percent.
In the general election, Wilson was defeated by Shelvin, who garnered 57 percent of the vote. It’s been all downhill since for Shelvin, who — elected at 30 years old — became the youngest person to serve on Lafayette’s consolidated council.
Saying he wants the opportunity to help move District 3 forward, Rochon does believe Shelvin’s character will be an issue this time around. “People know [Shelvin] now, and they also know me. So they have a clear choice,” Rochon says.
“When people elect a person as a council member, they put their sacred trust in that individual,” Rochon continues. “And when a person betrays that trust, they should be replaced. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Rochon, who retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1977 after 22 years, has a long history of government involvement. “My résumé speaks for itself,” he says. Rochon worked as a communications consultant for South Central Bell for a short time and was director of federal programs for the Lafayette Parish Police Jury from 1979 until 1984, when parish government was formed and he became the first and only person to serve as clerk of the Lafayette Parish Council. After consolidation of city and parish governments in 1996, he took over as clerk of the Lafayette City-Parish Council, retiring in 2001. Within six months Rochon says he was antsy and wanted to be back at work. He immediately accepted a newly created position with the city of Carencro administration, a post he plans to keep if elected. In 2007 Rochon sought an opinion from the Louisiana Attorney General that cleared him to keep his job if he were elected to the council.
Rochon is a charter member of the St. Anthony’s Knights of Peter Claver and a past state president of the local organization of black Catholic men. He also received the Martin Luther King Jr. award from the Diocese of Lafayette in 1992.
Whether having an opponent in the campaign will force Shelvin to answer troubling questions about his judgment, ethics and truthfulness remains to be seen. Read the long, sordid history of the first-term District 3 councilman’s manipulation of the residency requirement for seeking the District 3 seat in 2007, abuse of his council seat, theft of extended warranty money from local residents who purchased used vehicles from him, and his ongoing legal woes at www.theind.com. Just type Brandon Shelvin in the search engine.
According to Gov. Bobby Jindal, President Barack Obama needs to stop talking about “justice” and start murdering people, even if we have to go alone.
A nationwide search is under way to fill the vacancy of Lafayette Regional Airport Director Greg Roberts following his resignation over an incident in which he allegedly pointed a fake gun at an engineer during a meeting in June, and a replacement is expected by January.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.