jerry_luke_leblanc2[Editor's Note: After this story went to press, The INDsider was able to confirm, through a source close to LeBlanc, that LeBlanc is registered as an independent. The story now reflects this new information.]

Former state Rep. Jerry Luke LeBlanc is ready to get back into politics. Sources tell the INDsider LeBlanc, an independent, plans to run for term-limited state Sen. Mike Michot’s District 23 seat this fall, setting up what could be a tough race against state Rep. Page Cortez.

LeBlanc currently serves as vice president for administration and finance at UL Lafayette. He resigned from the Legislature in 2004 to serve as former Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s commissioner of administration. LeBlanc was a five-term state rep from Lafayette and is the son of a former state representative. He also worked as a real estate appraiser during his time in the Legislature.

Michot’s seat is also being sought by Cortez, a Lafayette Republican in his first term representing House District 43. Although Cortez has not formally announced for the seat, he has already held fundraisers in anticipation of a run and his intention to seek the seat is well established in Lafayette political circles. Reached via text message Thursday morning and asked if LeBlanc’s pending candidacy would have any effect on his plans, Cortez replied, “Not at all.”

It’s unclear if LeBlanc, widely regarded as a seasoned and savvy campaigner, would have to resign his post at UL if his bid for Michot’s seat is successful. He makes $215,000 a year at the university.

Read more about LeBlanc in this November, 2005, Independent Weekly cover story.

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