Former state Sen. Sharon Weston Broome said at a campaign announcement Friday that she would lend specific leadership to the north Baton Rouge community she hails from if elected the next East Baton Rouge Parish mayor-president, but she also emphasized her commitment to all of the city-parish “from Zion City to Southdowns.”
Broome, a Democrat, made her intentions to run for mayor clear a year ago, but she formally kicked off her campaign Friday at the Hilton Garden Inn in north Baton Rouge.
During her announcement, she discussed improving access to health care in north Baton Rouge, protecting families, boosting education, minimizing Baton Rouge’s persistent traffic snarls, moving toward a smoke-free city and cutting down on crime.
“Losing a hospital and emergency room dilutes access to health care for our community,” Broome said of the north Baton Rouge health care woes, a growing concern in that community. “As your mayor, I will work with the new governor, John Bel Edwards, to help them and other health care providers to solve this problem.”
She said after her speech that north Baton Rouge needs an emergency room at minimum. In Broome’s introduction, her former legislative assistant, Tiffany Temple, said the mayoral candidate would make it so “friends and loved ones won’t have to travel across town for emergency medical care.”
Speaking with her family standing next to her, Broome also referenced a “cradle to K” program she wants to develop with Southern University and LSU experts on childhood development. She said young children are sometimes put on the wrong path that may be too late to successfully address once they reach kindergarten. The program would aim to improve health and education for infants, toddlers and young children.
In attendance Friday were many members of the community and political leaders, including East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Councilwomen Tara Wicker and Donna Collins-Lewis and state Sen. Regina Barrow, who replaced Broome in the Legislature when she did not seek re-election because of term limits.
Broome, a Democrat, is expected to face Republican Metro Councilman John Delgado and former Metro Councilman Rodney “Smokie” Bourgeois, also a Republican, in the November mayoral primary. A handful of other Baton Rouge leaders have said they are still making up their mind about whether to enter the race, including state Sen. Bodi White, R-Central; state Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; and Marty Maley, a Republican lawyer.
Former Planning Commissioner Sarah Holliday-James and former Metro Councilwoman and state Rep. C. Denise Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge, also have exploratory committees to determine whether they should run.
The qualifying period for candidates in the Nov. 8 primary is Aug. 17-19.