State Rep. Ted James said he's open to running for East Baton Rouge mayor-president _lowres

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Rep. Ted James addresses a crowd of hundreds during a rally for Southern University Chancellor James Llorens in February 2014 at the Southern University Student Union in Baton Rouge. Students,, faculty, and local politicians gathered because they were upset that Southern's Board of Supervisors voted not to extend Llorens' contract for an additional year.

Baton Rouge State Rep. Ted James, a Democrat, said he is considering running for East Baton Rouge Mayor President in 2016.

James said he has been approached by interested parties who would like to see him enter the race.

“The talks have intensified in the last month or so,” he said.

James, a Baton Rouge native, said his primary focus right now is on his re-election to the Legislature this fall. But he said he won’t rule out a subsequent campaign to be the parish’s top public official.

“I’m Baton Rouge, born and raise, so to be considered is an honor,” he said.

James is a lawyer by trade. He served in Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s administration as the Governor’s Policy Adviser on Housing, Social Services and Community Development. He also served as an attorney for Louisiana House of Representatives and as special counsel for to the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

So far the only officially declared candidate for East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor is State Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, D-Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge Councilman John Delgado has not officially announced a run, but he is widely expected to jump into the race. Former Metro Councilman Byron Sharper also said he’s considering a run.

The mayoral election will be in fall 2016. Term-limited Mayor-President Kip Holden is running for Lt. Governor this fall. If Holden wins that race, the mayor’s race would be moved up to earlier in the year.