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
It wouldn’t be a first, however, as the Chamber has thrown money behind Landrieu before.
The Democratic incumbent, seeking her fourth term in office, is a strong supporter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of U.S. companies.
The world is a politically tense place these days with hot spots ranging from the Middle East to Ukraine. In Louisiana and Mississippi, where the political chessboard tends to be a lot less threatening and at times entertaining, this election season is living up to expectations.
American companies export smog; UN calls for cease-fire in Gaza; fist bump keeps germ transfer down and more national and international news for Monday, July 28, 2014.
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
The Saints are being cautious in an effort to minimize risk of re-injury.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.
The latest meeting of a south Louisiana flood board that stirred political turmoil with a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry is taking place amid uncertainty over the future of the lawsuit — and the board's own membership.
The photos taken nearly a mile under the Gulf of Mexico are so clear that small holes are visible in a lifeboat that may have gone down or been scuttled when a passenger ship was sunk by a Nazi submarine in 1942.
Advocate columnist and Jindal shill Quin Hillyer has been against the New Orleans levee board lawsuit from day one, but a recent piece targeting author/activist John Barry prompted the perfect rebuttal from the board’s former vice-president, who takes Hillyer to task on just about every distorted claim he’s made on the issue.
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Louisiana fell one spot in an annual national ranking of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.
A federal judge has decided he doesn't need to hear more arguments in the case of a gay couple who want a Louisiana marriage license.
Saints again bring playoff aspirations into 2014 campaign.
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards sued Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday over his actions against the multi-state standards, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
An arrest was announced this morning in connection with last week’s bomb scare at UL Lafayette.
Attorneys, judges and others interviewed by LaPolitics expect 15 to 20 district judge races this year.
"I feel like I'm under siege," an attorney said recently over drinks at Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. "We all do. Every time I turn around somebody wants a check. District attorney races. The judges. They're killing us."
As a requirement for running for Congress in the 6th District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has filed his financial disclosure statement with the U.S. House showing his income in 2013 totaling $242,787.