State Rep. Joel Robideaux ended 2014 with a big fundraising lead over Lafayette Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley in the campaign for city-parish president, according to recent state campaign finance filings.
Robideaux closed out the year with $335,076, more than four times the $72,252 held by Stanley, the only other announced candidate for the fall election to replace City-Parish President Joey Durel.
Durel has served three terms and is barred from seeking re-election in the Oct. 24 primary. Qualifying begins Sept. 8.
Robideaux’s campaign highlighted the disparity in a news release issued Thursday, stating he had a “4.6 to 1 advantage.”
“I am humbled by the strong support we are receiving from all over Lafayette Parish,” he said in a written statement. “I want to personally thank everyone who contributed to make this strong statement of support possible.”
Stanley, who is running his first political campaign, countered that he expected the longtime legislator would have no trouble raising money.
“His political funding advantage comes as no surprise,” Stanley said. “He has been raising money for three terms.”
Robideaux began 2014 with $179,636 on hand and raised another $209,777 during the year. Stanley started 2014 with $54,228 and brought in $48,750 during the year, according to state campaign finance filings.
Stanley said the 2014 filings don’t account for the “well over six figures” raised at his inaugural fundraiser last month at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.
Both candidates have launched their campaigns in earnest.
Robideaux ran a 30-second television spot in the Lafayette market during the Super Bowl.
Stanley has advertised on radio, and his image has been popping up on billboards around town.
The candidates hit the streets over Mardi Gras, each sponsoring floats in several parades in the parish.
They’re also investing in political expertise.
Robideaux paid $17,000 last year to Joe Castille — the consultant who worked with Keith Stutes in his successful campaign last year to oust longtime 15th Judicial District Attorney Mike Harson — and has spent $12,000 for surveys and polling.
Stanley paid $10,000 in 2013 to veteran political consultant Roy Fletcher.
Robideaux, who chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, was first elected to the Louisiana House in a 2004 special election, replacing Jerry Luke LeBlanc, who had stepped down to become commissioner of administration under then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco.
Robideaux represents District 45, which covers much of Lafayette Parish, and has worked as a certified public accountant in Lafayette for the past 24 years.
Stanley has served as city-parish chief administrative officer since 2004.
He served as news director for KLFY-TV from 1994 to 2004 and as clerk of the Lafayette City Council from 1990 to 1994.
Robideaux and Stanley both are Republicans.
Follow Richard Burgess on Twitter, @rbb100.