Julie Stokes Girl Scouts Louisiana East to honor four Women of Distinction _lowres

Photo provided by Girl Scouts Louisiana East—Julie Stokes

Republican state Rep. Julie Stokes announced Friday she is running for state treasurer in this fall’s election.

“Our state, citizens, and taxpayers deserve more than political rhetoric and theater,” Stokes said in her announcement. “I’m a nerd when it comes to studying fiscal policies and finding sound financial strategies. It’s my vocation, my hobby and passion and it makes me uniquely qualified for the office of Treasurer.”

She is the third officially announced candidate to replace John N. Kennedy, who left the office after 16 years when elected to the U.S. Senate. The election is Oct. 14 with a runoff, if necessary, on Nov. 18.

A certified public accountant from Kenner, Stokes is known for whipping out spreadsheets during debate to support her positions on how taxes, cuts and spending decisions impact the state budget. She also is known for bucking the leadership of both parties.

Stokes chaired the Sales Tax Streamlining & Modernization Commission, which is trying to repair the state’s sales tax system, and is vice chair of the Legislative Audit Advisory Committee, which oversees the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office.

Stokes travelled the state with the Committee of 100 as one of the lead speakers on revamping the state’s tax structure.

Before public life, Stokes was a commissioner of the Regional Transit Authority. She’s a graduate of the University of New Orleans and is married with two children.

Jason Redmond, a close aide to Kennedy since running his first successful campaign for treasurer in 1999, has signed on as Stokes’ chief strategist. Her media consultants are Jason Hebert and Scott Hobbs of The Political Firm. Brent Barksdale of GoMedia is the digital strategist. Nicole DesOrmeaux is handling finances and Greg Rigamer is the demographic consultant.

Other Kennedy aides have signed onto help Covington Republican Rep. John Schroder’s bid for the office. Mike Lawrence, a Mandeville Republican CPA, also has officially announced his intentions to run for treasurer.

State Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia, has said he would run and has begun organizing staff, but has not yet made an official announcement.

Follow Mark Ballard on Twitter, @MarkBallardCnb.