An informal group calling itself Acadiana Progressive will host a “Kickoff for Candidates” beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Clifton Chenier Center. Confirmed candidates who will attend are Tara Hollis, a north Louisiana school teacher and candidate for governor; Kelly Scott, a chemist who is seeking the state Senate District 24 seat currently held by Sen. Elbert Guillory (Scott unsuccessfully sought the same seat four years ago); and former Louisiana State Police Superintendent Terry Landry, who is running for the newly created state House District 96 seat.

Acadiana Progressive co-founder Rich Miller, a retired clinical social worker, says the group is newly formed and supports Democrats seeking office in a state that has been none too kind to the party in recent election cycles. “We’re a grass roots group of activists,” Miller says. “We’ve come together to support one another and Democratic ideals, and to basically educate and advocate.”

Miller says the group is considering applying for non-profit status, but currently the group, which was co-founded by retired federal government administrator Tom DeVilbiss, is paying for its activities “out of pocket.”

“We’re all about candidates who will protect education and the social aspects of the state such as Medicaid and that sort of thing,” Miller adds.

Thursday’s political event at the Chenier Center is Acadiana Progressive’s first major function. It’s free to the public and refreshments will be served. The group can also be found on Facebook.

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