Former longtime state Rep. Clara Baudoin, who held the District 39 seat for 12 years, is making a first-time endorsement and throwing her support behind state rep. candidate Stephen Ortego.

According to a news release, Baudoin, who served in the Legislature from 1996 to 2008 and couldn’t seek reelection because of term limits, has never endorsed a candidate before now:

Baudoin met Stephen Ortego in 2002 when he applied for a Tulane Legislative Scholarship. Ortego’s application was very impressive and he was selected to receive the scholarship ... His missionary work provided him the experience to help the poor ... while his determination to learn French provided him the ability to work to preserve our French heritage.

It is my opinion that Ortego’s votes will not be committed to any party or group. Therefore he will be free and not obligated to anyone on voting for or against what is best for the people he will represent. I firmly believe that you will receive professional representation from him. I would expect that Ortego will represent the people of District 39 with dignity and honesty.

Ortego faces outgoing St. Landry Parish President Don Menard, R-Sunset, in the runoff election Nov. 19.

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