Vereta Lee, who came in third in the Oct. 24 voting in the open House District 29 state legislative race, is throwing her support behind first place finisher Metro Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards in the upcoming Nov. 21 runoff.
In a statement endorsing her, Lee wrote that Edwards is clearly the better choice in the Nov. 21 runoff where she faces Brusly attorney Edmond Jordan. Edwards led the four person field with 36 percent of the vote, followed by Jordan at almost 29 percent, Lee with 25 perccent and Daniel Banguel at 10 percent.
Lee was just 373 votes shy of making the runoff herself.
“I got into this race because I wanted to ensure the people had a champion for quality public education for all children, access to affordable healthcare, and good paying jobs for hard working people,” said Lee, who is in her third term on the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board. “However, Saturday night’s election results have proven that Ronnie Edward’s vision of hope for our community is inspiring. How can I not get behind her?”
District 29 includes parts East and West Baton Rouge parishes, but the bulk of its voters are in the north Baton Rouge neighborhoods that Edwards and Lee represent in their current offices.
The race is unusual in that Edwards has spent most of the past two years fighting stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Lee said she had long been interested in running for the Legislature, but decied to qualify for the District 29 because of uncertainty about Edwards’ health.
Indeed, Edwards had an aide qualify on her behalf and was invisible early in the campaign. But she’s since left the hospital and says she’s currently in partial remission. She expresses confidence that she will be able to serve ably as state representative.
“I want (my supporters) to know that Councilwoman Edwards has my support,” Lee said. “We both got into this race, but my respect for her has never ceased.”
Edwards’ opponent, Jordan is trying for a second time to become the House District 29 representative. In 2011, he came in second in his bid to unseat incumbent Rep. Regina Barrow. Barrow. Barrow is term-limited. On Oct. 24, Barrow got a promotion from voters, winning the open Senate District 15 race.
Advocate staff writer Charles Lussier contributed to this article.