Metro Councilman Buddy Amoroso has already drawn a challenger many months before the November 2016 Metro Council elections.
Antoine Pierce, a democrat, has announced that he will run for Amoroso’s council seat next fall. Pierce unsuccessfully ran to be a state representative for the Louisiana Legislature’s 66th district in the fall of 2015.
Amoroso, a Republican, said in December that he enjoyed his work as a public servant and that he would run again for his seat representing southeast Baton Rouge. He was elected to his seat without opposition in 2012.
Pierce describes himself as a registered agent who works a liaison between businesses and the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office. He said he is supporter of the arts and is a musician, writer and actor.
“I don’t view Baton Rouge in terms of your district or my district, your neighborhood or my neighborhood,” Pierce said in a news release. “I view Baton Rouge as our city, our community, our home.”
Amoroso and Pierce differ based on more than just party lines.
Pierce is campaigning on his support for a government ordinance that would prevent discrimination against people regardless of sexual orientation. The Metro Council voted against a similar ordinance in 2014 that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Amoroso was a vocal denouncer of the so-called “fairness ordinance.” He said he was worried after reading reports from around the country about Christian business owners running into legal trouble when they denied wedding cakes, photos and more to gay couples looking to wed.
“It’s a violation of religious liberties,” Amoroso said at the time.
Pierce listed his other priorities as reducing crime, fixing inequality throughout the city-parish, finding new ways to address traffic problems and adding environmentally friendly initiatives to Baton Rouge. He considers himself pro-Second Amendment, pro-limited government and pro-free market.
He said he backs the campaign to make Baton Rouge bars and casinos smoke free, which Amoroso has not taken a concrete position on yet.