Two remaining Senate candidates ramp up campaigns
The race to fill the vacant District 2 state Senate seat has narrowed from 13 candidates to two who will compete in a May 27 runoff.
Warren Harang III of Donaldsonville and Ed Price of Gonzales were the top two finishers in Saturday's election. Harang received 3,985 votes (27 percent) and Price 3,282 votes (22 percent).
Both said on May 2 that they are focusing on getting their message out and proving to voters that they are the right choice for the job.
Senate District 2, created in 2011 as a majority-black voting district, had been represented by Troy Brown, D-Napoleonville, since 2012. Brown resigned in February, rather than face expulsion by the Senate, after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges related to two incidents involving violence against women.
The sprawling district runs as far north as the Port Allen area through several parishes, including Iberville, and south to Thibodaux.
Price said he wants to focus on his experience and the issues the state and the people of District 2 face. He said the budget -- which for years has been in crisis mode -- is the most important issue for the state.
Though mid-year cuts hurt everyone, but they hurt higher education and health-care most, he said.
"I have experience. I've been in the Legislature for six years and prior to that I was on the Ascension Parish School Board," Price said. "So I'm just going to bring forward the issues like bringing this budget in line and in shape so we don't have these mid-year budget cuts. Hopefully we can get everything solved."
Harang said the best way to help the state, the budget and the economy is to make sure education and job markets align.
"We want to be sure that we supply the people with a job market and the job market with the people to hire," Harang said. "We need to have trained workers for the jobs and jobs for our workers."
Harang also said he would have to study the budget problem but believes the state has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. He also said he believes there isn't one solution to fixing the state's budget problems, and everyone in the Legislature will have to work together to find the answers.
Price said one solution he believes might work is making sure dedicated funds and tax credits have an end date. When that happens, he said, those receiving the money would have to return to the Legislature and defend the money they are getting from the state's taxpayers.
"There's been some dedications on the books that have been on the books for 30 to 40 years, and they don't get looked at," he said. "They just get renewed and renewed and renewed. Are these things providing the quality jobs that they say?"
Both said the other 11 candidates and the campaigns overall were positive and professional.
Here is how the other candidates fared: Elton Aubert, D-Vacherie, 2,206 votes (15 percent); Wayne Brigalia, R-Sunshine, 1,051 votes (7 percent); Ali Burl III, 955 votes (6 percent); Patrick "Lawman" Lawless, D-Belle Rose. 698 votes (5 percent); Edmond Jordan, D-Brusly, 675 votes (5 percent); Jerry Jones, D-Thibodaux, 639 votes (4 percent); Jamie Roussel, D-Airy, 489 votes (3 percent); Shannon Comery Sr., D-Donaldsonville, 435 votes (3 percent); Tommy Lyons, no party, Thibodaux, 374 votes (3 percent); Chris Delpit, D-Gonzales, 84 votes (1 percent); Willie Massey-Farve, no party, Geismar, 54 votes, (less than 1 percent).
About 20.5 percent of the district's 72,872 voters cast ballots.