Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Joel Boe said he has no intention of running for re-election next year, citing his family and career as his main reasons for stepping aside.
The second-term councilman, who represents the southeast part of the parish, said he feels as though eight years as councilman is enough for him. He’s letting people know early, so potential candidates can start thinking about whether running for his open seat.
“I have no intention of running. It will have been eight years and I’ve done everything I can do,” said Boe, a Republican. “Work and family is the cliche answer, but it was part of the deciding factors. When I started this, I had one child — now I have four, along with a career that is continuing to move forward.”
So far, at least one resident said he intends to to seek Boe’s seat in the November 2016 election. Dwight Hudson, a 31-year-old Republican, said he’s already formed a committee and begun some fundraising.
Hudson is the leader of the local fiscal watchdog group Taxbusters. He was a key volunteer in the effort to create an independent city of St. George over the past two years, which failed earlier this year because the petition was short of the necessary signatures to call a vote. In 2012, he was also a volunteer in the campaign advocating for voters to reject the Capital Area Transit System’s dedicated property tax. The tax was approved by voters.
“I have an 8-month old girl, so I just want a great place for her to grow up, to get educated, to find a great job and to have a great life in,” Hudson said. “The things I’m seeing with the traffic, with the education in this parish, and with some of our tax dollars spent, it’s discouraging to me.”
Council District 9 was ground zero for the recent efforts to create an independent school system and the new city of St. George. Boe had publicly expressed his opposition to the creation of the new city, but he said he supported the residents’ right to use the legal process available to them to try to incorporate.
“We are better together as one,” Boé said at a meeting in May. “We need to make sure that our weakest link in our parish is not made weaker by unintended consequences.”
Hudson said that his support of St. George will play a role in his public service, but only in ensuring that local officials do not try to block the work of the grassroots efforts.
“St. George has got to remain a citizen-led movement,” he said. “When I go to the Metro Council, as far as St. George is concerned, I’m there to make sure they’re treated fairly.”
Another petition process to create the city of St. George can restart in summer 2017.
Boe’s term will finish at the end of December 2016. Council members are term-limited after three terms.
Boe ruled out a run for mayor-president, but said he could potentially run for another office in the future.
“I don’t think my days of public service are over,” he said. “My season in the Metro Council will come to an end, but I still have a desire to serve.”