Three enter race to fill vacant District 17 Louisiana Senate seat in November election

Staff Report

Three candidates have set their eyes on the vacant District 17 state Senate seat, which will be decided in a November election.

State Rep. Jeremy LaCombe, D-Fordoche, announced his candidacy Monday, while Grosse Tete Democrat Rob Marionneaux looks to regain the seat he once held.

Meanwhile, West Baton Rouge Parish Council member Caleb Kleinpeter has thrown his hat in the race.

They will vie for the seat Port Allen Republican Rick Ward vacated earlier this month. The term-limited lawmaker left office to accept a job in public relations.

State Rep. Jeremy LaCombe

LaCombe, in his campaign announcement, touted his efforts to secure $300 million for a new Mississippi River Bridge – including funding for an upgrade to La.1 and La. 30 to improve the region’s infrastructure and reduce traffic.

“I’d like to continue that service in the Senate so we can build on our successes and do even more to invest in our children, improve our infrastructure and build an economy that gives everyone the opportunity to succeed,” he said.

Rob Marionneaux

Marionneaux, who served as a state representative from 1995-99 and District 17 senator from 1999-2012.

“I have some unfinished business in terms of repealing state income tax and coastal restoration projects that were started and never completed,” he said. “Furthermore, I want to eliminate tax exemptions for foreign corporations.”

The race could draw more than three candidates, he said.

“It could get crowded,” he said. “But only two will make a runoff.”

Caleb Kleinpeter

Kleinpeter, a Grosse Tete native who now lives in Brusly, has served 2 ½ years on the West Baton Rouge Council.

He considers infrastructure his top priority.

“The roads and bridges have been neglected for a while, and it seems we have some of the worst roads in the nation,” Kleinpeter said. “I would advocate tirelessly for taxpayers by promoting responsible and transparent government.”

Senate District 17 covers portions of the following parishes: Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, East Feliciana, West

Feliciana, West Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Assumption and St. Martin.