State Rep. Rickey Hardy, D-Lafayette, employed a bit of showmanship when he qualified for re-election Tuesday morning, donning boxing gloves bearing catchy slogans.
State Reps. Page Cortez and Rickey Hardy, Assessor Conrad Comeaux, House District 44 contender Vince Pierre — each popped into the Lafayette Clerk of Court’s office Tuesday morning to file their papers and pay their fee to run in the upcoming election on Oct. 22.
Qualifying ends at the close of business Thursday; we’ll know for sure by then what the ballot will look like. And although it’s mere speculation at this early juncture, it appears there will be at least five, maybe six, of the nine City-Parish Council seats in play. Craig Spikes has announced his intention to seek the District 8 seat for which District 8 Councilman Keith Patin is seeking re-election, while two other would-be councilmen — Walter Campbell and Britt Latiolais — are reportedly (and we’ve reported it) going up against William Theriot in District 9 and Jared Bellard in District 5, respectively. Additionally, among the conservative candidates benefitting from a Thursday fundraiser in Broussard is Andy Naquin, who will challenge District 6 incumbent Sam Doré. (Spikes, Theriot and Bellard are also beneficiaries of that Thursday fundraiser.) The Daily Advertiser reported last month that another TEA-leaning candidate, Joan Beduze, announced her intention to take on District 7’s Don Bertrand. And in District 1, Cajun musician Kevin Naquin is running for the seat currently held by Councilwoman Mary Morrison, who is fulfilling the remainder of the term of her husband, Scott Mayor Purvis Morrison, and who cannot seek election to the seat. It’s unclear at this point whether Naquin will have a challenger in District 1.
The race to watch for the CPC will be in District 3 where incumbent Councilman Brandon Shelvin is seeking a second four-year term. His financial and legal problems widely chronicled in this newspaper and other media outlets over the last couple of years, Shelvin will have a challenger. One politically connected District 3 resident who asked not to be identified, told The Ind last week that he will wait until Thursday and if no other qualified candidate has registered to challenge Shelvin, he’ll step up and qualify.
It’s in the state House and Senate that there appears to be little in the way of election-season excitement for the Lafayette area. Rep. Cortez, currently the state representative for District 43, hopes to take over the District 23 Senate seat being vacated by term-limited Sen. Mike Michot; Cortez has no known challenger at this point for the seat. UL VP Jerry Luke LeBlanc, a former state rep and commissioner of administration under Gov. Kathleen Blanco, expressed an interest early on in seeking Michot’s seat but later withdrew. Meanwhile, businessman Stuart Bishop is the only candidate who has indicated he will seek Cortez’s seat in the House. Rep. Joel Robideaux, the current House speaker pro tem who last week registered as a Republican and will seek the House speaker post next spring — previously Robideaux had no party affiliation — has no known challenger in his re-election bid in District 45. So far, only incumbent Rep. Rickey Hardy in District 44 and state Sen. Elbert Guillory in District 24 have announced challengers: the aforementioned Vince Pierre versus Hardy and Opelousas Mayor and former state Sen. Don Cravins against Guillory. The latter of those two races promises to get chippy.
House District 96 — a new black-majority district created in the spring redistricting session — has several announced candidates including former St. Martinville Mayor Eric Martin and retired Louisiana State Police Commissioner Terry Landry. And in the Carencro area, the House District 39 seat held by Rep. Bobby Badon, who announced last month he will not seek re-election, is also up for grabs.
JUNE 16 This story in the Advocate tells us that the state Department of Education is taking a look at the Course Choice program. They're doing that because the legislature (probably responding to reporting by Tom Aswell, who does not work for the Advocate) ordered them to make sure that these private companies aren't signing six-year-olds up for high school Latin classes without their parents' knowledge or consent.
JUNE 17 Columnist James Gill writes about the recent complaint of death row inmates at Angola: it's hot as you-know-what in their cells, with the heat index topping 120 for months. Since we're not executing people anymore (Gill opines) then we should probably officially end the practice of putting people on death row. The prisoners, by the way, are not asking for cool breezes: they only ask for clean water and a temp that doesn't top 88.
JUNE 17 Here's blogger Ian McGibboney's take on the Baton Rouge plan to give bus tickets to homeless people who have a home with family who live far away. Taken from one point of view, it could be a good solution for some people. But McGibboney raises some good points here, including this one: Why not improve opportunities for everybody in Baton Rouge so these people can find the jobs they came to BR for?
JUNE 17 Picayune columnist Jarvis DeBerry talks here about the Zimmerman trial, but the real topic is the concept of a black man being more dangerous, somehow, than a white man in a fight. It is an interesting discussion, and one that may enlighten people who think that racism doesn't exist because nobody's keeping black folks from eating at the Woolworth lunch counter.
JUNE 17 Here's an interesting column from Baton Rouge Business Report's publisher, Rolfe McCollister, about anger against the government. It's brewing because of recent revelations about the IRS and the GSA, he says. It's readable, not just for the subject, but because of McCollister's collection of sources: Huffington Post, National Review and Wikipedia. That's a combo you don't see every day.
JUNE 17 In this American Press post, Jim Beam talks about the high school diploma track that lets kids who aren't interested in university get what they want and need out of high school. The diplomas get kids ready for technical school, Beam explains, and then he goes on to give some of the numbers. Some of these numbers might really surprise people who think technical school is second best. And, Beam adds, a college diploma does not guarantee anybody a job.
JUNE 17 The Washington Post reports here that OSHA is going to investigate the explosion that occurred last week in Donaldsonville, shortly after the other fatal accident in Geismar. As soon as the site is safe, State Police will be pulling out of the Donaldsonville plant to make way for OSHA investigators, the story reports. (Hey, here's an idea: why don't they go a couple miles down the road and figure out what happened when that massive sinkhole started sucking up land.)
JUNE 17 Robert Mann writes about the LSU Board of Supervisors in this post, taking a look at the many ways board members have served Gov. Jindal and not their university or their students. The board members are esteemed members of their fields, but can't seem to do anything but say "yes" to Jindal, regardless of the cost to LSU, Mann opines.
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.