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
Since Anthony Jennings and Brooks Haack were not expected to contribute until next year at the earliest, it seemed like a sneak peek at hidden Christmas gifts.
Louisiana National Guard personnel seeking benefits for same-sex spouses will have an easier time filing the requests, despite a state refusal to let its workers process the paperwork.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera sees one potential flaw with his team's stellar defensive play so far this season. "Apparently we like to bite on the double moves," Rivera said.
Computer hackers may have gained access to the personal information of thousands of Louisiana residents who use debit cards issued by JPMorgan Chase for three state agencies, authorities said Wednesday.
Jim Purcell, who has been in the job since February 2011, notified the Board of Regents about his decision at its monthly meeting.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, December 05, 2013.
Hushed plans for a commercial development along the Louisiana Avenue portion of the Holy Rosary campus put the future of longtime tenant EarthShare Gardens in jeopardy.
If a recent advertisement in The Daily Advertiser is any indication, speculation the local daily will be implementing the “Butterfly Project” could be more of a reality than the Gannett-owned paper’s top execs are willing to admit.
Mettenberger injured his left knee while unloading a 32-yard completion in the fourth quarter of No. 14 LSU's 31-27 victory over Arkansas last Friday, and LSU coach Les Miles confirmed the severity of the injury on Wednesday.
An ordinance to phase out a 2 percent rebate to Lafayette merchants for collecting and remitting on time sales taxes cleared the City-Parish Council by a 6-3 vote.
Louisianans are the fourth most likely to use profanity yet also the fourth most likely to be courteous. So, please, just kiss my a** ... if it’s not too much trouble.
The state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority voted Tuesday to authorize two lawsuits against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
A long night on the field in Seattle got even worse off of it, and now the Saints are operating on a compressed time-frame as they brace for surging Carolina with first place in the NFC South at stake.
Public school letter grades, teacher evaluations and student promotion won't be affected by Louisiana's shift to more rigorous educational standards for two years, the state's top school board decided Tuesday.
Vitter told The Associated Press that he is sending an email to supporters Wednesday and is in discussions with his family about the possibility.
The Ragin' Cajuns go for New Orleans Bowl three-peat, this time against the Tulane Green Wave, which is making its first postseason appearance since the Hawaii Bowl in 2002.
Louisiana has joined four other states in filing a so-called “friend of the court” brief in support of Mississippi’s lawsuit against the federal government over new flood insurance rates set to go into effect.
Kerry Wayne Bertrand was charged Monday for the alleged killing of his stepdaughter, Skylar Lee Credeur, a UL Lafayette chemistry major found dead in the bathtub of her family home in August.
Louisiana's state school board is considering a two-year delay for some consequences tied to the phase-in of more rigorous educational standards, called Common Core, at public schools.
The most anticipated game in the NFC this season was a laugher.
The attorneys for Busted in Acadiana administrator Chris Hebert got an extra 2.5 months Monday to prepare for their client’s felony trial, marking the third time the case has been delayed this year.
In an effort to ease tensions, Lafayette Parish Superintendent of Schools Dr. Pat Cooper is calling for board approval of two day-long workshops: one to address lingering questions caused by Act 1 of the 2012 Legislature, and a session focused on mending the tattered relationship between the board and administration.
Lafayette has so much going for it, and so much yet to do.
Has Louisiana found a way to hold the Corps of Engineers responsible for coastal erosion?
Children and grief