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 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)