The Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee has announced its endorsement of Lafayette Parish School Board District 7 candidate Mark Cockerham.

“Through all the adversity and infighting of this School Board, Mark has been a persistent voice for cooperation and common sense,” Empower PAC chairman Frank Neuner said in a news release.

He described Cockerham as a fierce advocate for his district who kept his focus on increasing student achievement and ensuring that the district’s facilities were adequate to meet the needs of students.

Cockerham, a Republican candidate, recently stepped down from his seat on the board after an assistant district attorney informed him he must vacate the seat since he moved out of the district.

Cockerham’s challenger in the upcoming Nov. 4 election is Dawn Morris, who had joined a lawsuit challenging Cockerham’s residency status to serve out his current term. Based on new maps that take effect in January, Cockerham lives in District 7 and is qualified for the Nov. 4 election.

“I’m honored to have the endorsement of our business leaders,” Cockerham said in the release. “This pattern of personal attacks and finger-pointing on our School Board needs to end. That’s why I’m running.”

Cockerham said he’s ready to build on the gains the system’s schools have made and is focused on meeting the needs of his district.

“South Lafayette continues to grow rapidly and we need a permanent solution to the temporary buildings that have been up for years,” Cockerham said. “I will continue to work with anyone and everyone to meet the needs of our students and teachers.”