Dispelling rumors that he may be planning a run for St. Landry Parish District Attorney, freshman state Rep. Don Cravins Jr. says he hopes to follow in the footsteps of Don Cravins Sr. "I'm definitely running for the state Senate," Cravins Jr. says. District 24's reach into north Lafayette is a major factor for him, since he has several ties to the area. Cravins Jr. graduated from Teurlings Catholic High school and now works for the downtown Lafayette law firm Domengeaux, Wright, Roy & Edwards.
"It's an opportunity for me to represent more of the people I'm connected to," he says.
Cravins Jr. adds his father has "encouraged me somewhat, but he understands it's got to be me and my family's decision."
"He'd like to see someone succeed him who will carry on some of the issues important to him, like juvenile justice and helping small business people," continues Cravins Jr. "I think that's his biggest concern. Particularly if he's elected mayor [of Opelousas], he'd like it to be someone he can work with and someone who's going to continue to help build an economy in St. Landry Parish."
Cravins Jr. will face off against north Lafayette state Rep. Wilfred Pierre, who has already begun fundraising and announced his intentions to run for the District 24 seat. Pierre, who was first elected to the state Legislature in 1992, is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election to his District 44 seat in the state House of Representatives. Prior to being elected to the state Legislature, Pierre served as a longtime Lafayette city councilman.
Another potential candidate eyeing the race, Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Chris Williams, says he remains undecided about running for the Senate or making a bid to replace Wilfred Pierre in the state House. (Williams also is prevented by term-limits from seeking re-election to the city-parish council.) Williams is awaiting the results of a poll on his potential candidacy, which should be complete by mid-May. He may not announce any campaign until after this summer.
"I don't want to jump the gun," Williams says. "I'm still contemplating."
One potential issue for Williams may be his job as vice chancellor/provost with the Louisiana Technical College, a position he has held since 2001. The job is being eliminated June 30 as part of a Louisiana Community and Technical College System reorganization plan. Williams says he plans to apply for a new regional director's job.
Brett Mellington, first vice chair of the LCTCS board, says the college system discourages employees from running for state office because of the amount of time legislators must spend in Baton Rouge.
"[The board] has talked about that," Mellington says. "It's an issue for us. We probably cannot prevent someone from running, but the key is going to be that they [maintain] a full time job [with LCTCS.]"
LCTCS' policy for "engagement in political activity" states that an employee who runs for or holds political office must maintain his or her normal hours and workload. If this proves to be an issue, the policy notes that "annual leave or leave without pay may be requested for the appropriate period of time." There are no state regulations preventing public university employees, who are not classified under civil service, from running for office.
Both Williams and LCTCS President Walter Bumphus say they are unaware that the board has an issue with employees running for state legislative office. Williams has served as a city-parish councilman since 1992, almost a decade before starting his job at the local technical college.
The District 24 state Senate election is scheduled for October 2007. However, state Sen. Cravins is widely considered the frontrunner in the race for mayor of Opelousas. If Cravins wins Opelousas' Sept. 30 mayoral election, he would have to step down from his post in the state Senate by the end of 2006. This would prompt a special election for the District 24 Senate seat, probably for early next year, prior to the April legislative session.
Pierre's term as state representative also expires at the end of 2007. Potential candidates said to be eyeing Pierre's seat include former state police superintendent Terry Landry, Lafayette Housing Authority Director and former USL baseball standout Walter Guillory, school board member Rickey Hardy and Lafayette attorney Wilfred Christian.
- additional reporting by Leslie Turk
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 16, 2014:
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
Chris Williams knows how to pilfer from the public coffers, this time with a back-pay lawsuit filed three years ago against the Lafayette Housing Authority, which netted the former city-parish councilman a cool five figures.
McAllister's office vowed that he intended to stay in office — for now. As for questions about whether he would stand for re-election in November, those were dodged.
The Green Army's Lafayette brigade has announced it will pay a visit Friday morning to Sen. Page Cortez to urge him to vote against Sen. Robert Adley's SB 553, which the group is calling the "Big Oil Bailout Bill of 2014."