State Rep. Joel Robideaux

If there was any doubt that state Rep. Joel Robideaux wants to replace the term-limited Joey Durel as the next city-parish president, put it to pasture.

Robideaux, term-limited himself in the House, will be the beneficiary — literally it’s The Joel Robideaux Campaign — of a fundraiser scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 25, at Grand Oaks Mansion in New Orleans. Host tickets are $1,000 a pop and guests will shell out $250 per couple to attend the event. One IND source with deep political connections in state politics says the fundraiser is likely to generate $100,000 for the independent-turned-Republican.

The host committee for the event reads like a who’s who of heavy, albeit behind-the-scenes hitters in Louisiana politics. Among them are uber lobbyist Randy Haynie, law firm Jones Walker, oil/gas booster Don Briggs, Bollinger Shipyards and numerous influential political action committees.

The election to replace Durel won’t be held until fall 2015, but as we reported more than a year ago, whoever gets in the race might need to spend up to half a million dollars (!) to prevail, and Robideaux’s early entry into some serious fundraising is of little surprise.

The only other candidate to say with near certainty that he plans to run is Dee Stanley, the current chief administrative officer for Lafayette Consolidated Government and Durel’s longtime right-hand man. Councilman Don Bertrand has also toyed with the idea, as have his council colleague Jay Castille and financial planner Don Bacque.

Robideaux, a certified public accountant by trade, characterized himself for this newspaper for a July 2012 cover story looking ahead at possible candidates as a “reluctant politician” but acknowledged that he has had a lot of people urging him to run and that he would “only do it if I thought I could move Lafayette forward.”


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