[Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect new information regarding state law and domicile requirements for political candidates.]
The speculation is partly true: Republican state Rep. Simone Champagne did purchase a home in Youngsville and won’t seek re-election for her District 49 seat in 2015, but whether she’ll be throwing her name in the hat for next year’s Lafayette Parish School Board election remains to be seen.
“We did buy a second home in the Youngsville area, but we still have our home in Jeanerette,” Champagne tells The IND. “My husband is approaching retirement in the next two years, and we always said we’d move to where we are centrally located for our five children. We had an opportunity to buy in the Youngsville area, and we went for it.”
With her House term expiring in 2015, Champagne says she will not seek re-election, but that doesn’t mean her career in politics is over.
After hearing rumors she was eyeing a run next year for Lafayette Parish School Board member Rae Trahan’s District 9 seat, we asked Champagne to clear the air. “I don’t know what opportunities are out there for me just yet," Champagne says. "But I will tell you I’ve been listening and paying attention to what’s going on with [the school board], and like I tell people, never say never. We’ll see what happens.”
In the meantime, Champagne says she plans to keep focused on supporting the coastal efforts affecting her District 49, which stretches from the southern portion of Iberia Parish to the eastern half of Vermilion Parish.
Champagne's window of opportunity may be slim, however, as Louisiana RS 17:52 requires one year of residency within the parish by the qualification deadline for school board candidates. That means Champagne would have to vacate her House seat and declare Lafayette her primary domicile by August 22 in order to be eligible for next year's school board election.
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APR 18 So Gov. Jindal's new press secretary already has blocked blogger CB Forgotston from her Twitter account, CB tells us in this post. Sure, CB hasn't exactly been sugar sweet to the lady, but if his blogs are all it takes for her to get in a huff she better find some intestinal fortitude somewhere, because that's just the tip of the iceberg.
APR 18 Pooyie! Robert Kennedy Jr. isn't pulling any punches in this column on Huffington Post about the flood board's lawsuit against Big Oil and Bobby Jindal's involvement in efforts to kill it. Kennedy, who is president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, describes Jindal as 'genuflecting to Big Oil's pressure' and 'the industry's chief indentured servant.' Dang!
APR 18 Here's a video of UL Coach Mark Hudspeth showing he can pump some serious iron. It sure impressed the Dr. Saturday blog, which calls his press of 370 pounds a "ridiculous" number for a coach -- and opines that no other college coach could beat ours.
APR 18 Columnist John Maginnis offers some advice to Vance McAllister on this post: Don't quit. Republicans have demanded he resign, but offer no "sensible answer" to the question of why David Vitter shouldn't leave, too, he says. McAllister needs to do his duty and serve out his (abbreviated) term, Maginnis says.
APR 18 Blogger Lamar White Jr. comments upon the plan to make a Bible Louisiana's "official book" in this post. He argues his point by telling us the story of an immigrant couple who moved to Louisiana: Amar and Raj, whose oldest child is now our Governor. This action would have a much larger impact, he opines.
APR 18 There's only one major bill left defending public education, blogger Mike Deshotels writes in this post. He's also got a few choice words for state Superintendent John White, who implies that Louisiana teachers would be thrown into chaos and disarray if they didn't have a test to teach. (Maybe kids would actually get an education then? Nah!)
APR 18 An effort to set up speed cameras on the Interstate has been shut down before it even got started, columnist Stephanie Grace tells us in this post. A bill to block the practice is sailing through the legislature -- where apparently no one wants visitors to our fair state to arrive home to a ticket. (These guys must never drive on I-10 with people from Texas).
APR 18 Blogger Tom Aswell reassures everyone worried about the staffers for Rodney Alexander -- the ones who didn't go to work for McAllister or Candid Camera, anyway -- with this post. Apparently one staffer for the retired Congressman (who also worked for a preacher accused of sexual assault) already has been hired by Alexander in the state department he now runs, Aswell says.
APR 17 At the start of the Tuesday board meeting that ended with his removal from the President's post, Joe Aguillard told the governing board of Louisiana College that SACS, the accreditation agency, requires the board to adopt a confidentiality agreement regarding board actions. Later that day, SACS told the Town Talk that confidentiality agreements would never be required. Calvinist or not, isn't lying wrong?
APR 17 Here we are, looking like backwater dummies again in the national media. This story on Huffington Post tells the nation that our legislators are so scared of the Louisiana Family Forum that they won't vote to repeal a law that was ruled illegal years ago. (Guess these particular Christians don't cotton to that "love one another" thing.)
APR 17 Here's an interesting column from Paul Stanley, political opinion editor of the Christian Post. He breaks down the differences between David Vitter and Vance McAllister, in terms of political realities. What he found surprising was the fact that many GOP leaders are swinging a self-righteous sword at McAllister which had remained sheathed when Vitter's "sin" was revealed. He does have an interesting theory -- that Jindal's people want the Vitter issue to be revived.
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