A candidate for the state House of Representatives District 47 seat vacated by Sen.-elect Jonathan Perry found herself in an awkward position Wednesday morning when she had to borrow $200 from her competitor in the race in order to qualify.

Kaplan Mayor Linda Hardee showed up at the Vermilion Parish Clerk of Court’s office at 8 a.m. to qualify — the same time her sole opponent in the race, Gueydan Mayor Bob Hensgens, also arrived. Hardee arrived with what she thought was the qualifying fee — $250 — which must be paid in cash. But the actual fee is $450. Fortunately for Hardee, her competitor and fellow Republican had some extra cash on hand. Hensgens ponied up the extra $200 and Hardee wrote him a check to cover it.

“I had looked on the Internet that morning for how much it was and I just happened to have some walking-around money with me,” says Hensgens, who laughs off the episode.

“I haven’t cashed it yet but she did indeed write me a check for it,” he says. “I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do with it; I’ll need to talk to my CPA first. I don’t know if I’m supposed to put it on the wall or cash the thing.”

Of the $450 it costs to qualify to run for state representative, $112.50 goes to both the state central committee and parish executive committee of the candidate’s political party. The state keeps the remaining $225. Hensgens jokes that he may have gotten a $200 campaign contribution from his competitor in the race.

“It’s a strange situation,” he says. “I had other contributions at that point, but I guess it was the first official one — I’ll have to fill out the paperwork.”

The special election for the House 47 seat, which covers all of Cameron Parish and part of Vermilion, will be held April 30. Hardee was at a funeral home midday Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

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