Citing several sources familiar with Jerry Luke LeBlanc’s plans to go after term-limited state Sen. Mike Michot’s District 23 seat, on Thursday the INDsider reported on the likelihood of a LeBlanc-Page Cortez matchup. Our efforts to reach LeBlanc for that story were unsuccessful. But this morning via email, LeBlanc, who makes $215,000 a year as vice president for administration and finance at UL Lafayette, says he’s decided against making a run.
“I want to thank all of the individuals who encouraged me to consider running for the District 23 Senate seat in the fall elections,” LeBlanc writes. “I have decided that the current timing would not be right for me to seek elective office. Therefore, I will not be a candidate. The university has numerous large projects and initiatives under way with more on the horizon, which will demand my full attention. Again, I thank all of those in the community for expressing confidence in me.”
LeBlanc, an independent, would certainly have had some ground to make up, as District 43 state Rep. Cortez, though he has not made it official, plans to seek the seat this fall. The INDsider first reported Cortez's ambitions for the Senate in February. A Republican in his first term in the House, Cortez has for months been holding fundraisers, like the upcoming April 19 event at Schilling Distributing on Moss Street. An influential group of business leaders and politicians is already on board the "Cortez for Senate" effort. Herb Schilling and Kenny Hix of Shilling Distributing, Dwight Prudhomme of Republic National Distributing, Julie Calzone of Calzone and Associates and Tyron Picard of The Picard Group are hosting the fundraiser, along with co-hosts state Sens. Elbert Guillory, Mike Michot, Fred Mills and Jonathan Perry; state Reps. Joel Robideaux, Bobby Badon, Rickey Hardy, Nancy Landry and Jack Montoucet; and City-Parish President Joey Durel, Carencro Mayor Glenn Brasseaux, Broussard Mayor Charlie Langlinais, Scott Mayor Purvis Morrison and Youngsville Mayor Wilson Viator.
LeBlanc resigned from the Legislature in 2004 to serve as former Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s commissioner of administration. He 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.
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JUL 22 The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is "a lock" to win the Sun Belt Conference in football, Fox Sports opines in this post. There's a rundown of the other teams in the conference, but ULL is predicted to win the conference, thanks in large part to an "explosive" offense. Is it football season yet?
JUL 22 Columnist Stephanie Grace says Gov. Bobby Jindal may be meeting with state education officials (hey - you mean HIS education officials, don't you, Steph?) but it is clear he's not looking for a solution in the Common Core fracas. Bobby wants an issue he can take on the road, and this one seems to be it, she says.
JUL 22 Columnist Jim Beam finds recent news out of Baton Rouge depressing. It seems every time you turn around there's another mess being uncovered or announced in state government, he says. Say what you want about Congress; in Louisiana we have nothing to brag about, either, he says.
JUL 22 Blogger Tom Aswell reports here that several legislators plan to ask for an investigation of the last-minute action that bumped State Police Commander Mike Edmonson's annual retirement income by $30K. One is gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards, who says he did vote for the amendment, but didn't read it - as he rarely does during the last hours of session.
JUL 22 This is a fascinating piece in the Picayune about the murder of a doctor in her St. Charles Avenue home 50 years ago. It's fascinating because of the mysteries and myths that have swirled around the incident for those decades, and because of the possible connection to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. There are a lot of interesting names in here, including Ochsner and Marcello, and as usual the comments below the story are nearly as entertaining as the story itself.
JUL 22 LaPolitics examines the news that a bipartisan group of legislators filed court papers Monday asking a judge to decide if BESE followed proper procedure in installing Common Core as the curriculum to be followed by state teachers. The allegation is that BESE didn't do that, by failing to open a comment period and shirking legislative oversight. Great, but where were these guys back when the decision was actually made?
JUL 22 Here's a love letter from New York Daily News' Alex Palmer to Louisiana. In some ways it is the typical tourism article (with pronunciation guides and food definitions) but in another way it goes beyond that to list lesser-known spots to visit for food or tours.
JUL 22 This post on Gambit is an interesting look at an age-old discussion among people who live and work in urban areas - is graffiti property damage or public art? There are a lot of voices in this story, covering a lot of the bases of this conflict.
JUL 21 Education Week's EdWatch blog takes a look at our current snafu over Common Core in this post. To anyone outside the state, we certainly look like a bunch of dummies who can't agree on something as critical as what to teach our kids. That's good - right?
JUL 21 Rob Marciano, a former meteorologist at KPLC in Lake Charles, has been named senior weather guy at ABC, this post on TVNewser reports. In between those gigs he worked for CNN and Entertainment Tonight.
JUL 21 This story on The ABC out of Australia gives Louisiana some international notoriety that we really don't want. According to this story, Louisiana is one of the fastest-disappearing land masses on the planet. The planet. So, obviously we need to hold off on that levee board suit, because making Big Oil mad is much more serious than this.
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