Caroline Fayard, who lost a 2010 lieutenant governor’s race, along with her family, the state Democratic Party and others are challenging the constitutionality of Louisiana’s campaign finance law.

The challenge comes in conjunction with efforts by Fayard and others to block an ethics investigation into whether Fayard’s family violated state campaign contribution limits by giving money to the state Democratic Party, which allegedly spent the funds on her campaign.

The pleading, filed in 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, claims that state law is “unconstitutional on its face” and violates First Amendment rights to free speech.

Robideaux joins Republican ranks

The No. 2 ranking member of the Louisiana House of Representatives said last week that he is giving up his “independent” status to become a Republican.

State Rep. Joel Robideaux, of Lafayette, was elected in 2004 without a party affiliation.

The change comes as Robideaux is hoping to become House speaker in the next term that begins in January. The addition of Robideaux to Republican ranks will boost the GOP to 57 seats in the 105-member House.

Robideaux says he decided to become a Republican after discussing a possible switch with Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican.

Chaisson to run for district attorney

Senate President Joel Chaisson II, D-Destrehan, who was considered a possible contender for state attorney general this year, says he plans to run for district attorney of St. Charles Parish.

Chaisson made his intention known after longtime District Attorney Harry Morel Jr. announced his plan to retire.

A special election is set for March 24.

Chaisson is barred by term limits from seeking another stint in the Louisiana Senate.

State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, a Republican, is running for re-election.

Senate contender begins TV spots

Candidate signup — called qualifying — for the Oct. 22 legislative elections doesn’t start until Tuesday, but one area state Senate candidate is already up and running with a television campaign spot introducing himself to voters.

“I’m just trying to get out in front of anybody else that may think of running,” said Rick Ward, a Maringouin lawyer who is a candidate for the Senate District 17 seat.

Ward said he’s hoping to discourage potential opponents.

The newly drawn district with about 74,000 voters, 51 percent of whom are whites registered as Democrats, spreads across parts of St. Martin, Assumption, East Feliciana, northern East Baton Rouge, St. Helena, Iberville, West Baton Rouge and Pointe Coupee parishes.

District 17 incumbent state Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Gross Tete, is term-limited and cannot seek re-election.

Ward is the son of 18th Judicial District Attorney Richard “Ricky” Ward Jr. He is a Democrat.

Two office-holders endorse Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry received presidential endorsements last week from two Louisiana Republican elected officials.

Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, of Metairie, jumped on Perry’s campaign bandwagon.

Before becoming governor, Perry was Texas agriculture commissioner.

The announcements came as Perry met with supporters in New Orleans last week.

State official enters private sector

State Department of Natural Resources Assistant Secretary Louis Buatt is leaving state government for a job in the private sector, DNR Secretary Scott Angelle announced.

Buatt, head of the Office of Coastal Management, has been a state employee for nearly 17 years, including a stint as general counsel for the Department of Environmental Quality.

Buatt is going to work for the Jones Walker law firm in New Orleans starting in October. Stephen Chustz, the office’s deputy assistant secretary, will step in until a replacement is appointed.

Price to lead EBR Republican Party

Local lawyer John J. Price is the new chairman of the East Baton Rouge Parish Republican Party.

Price replaces insurance agency owner Harold Williams, who resigned to run for the newly created north Baton Rouge Louisiana House District 101 seat.

While there’s no requirement that he step aside, Williams said he thought it was the right thing to do and would allow more time for campaigning and addressing district needs and problems.

Livingston Parish candidates to speak

The Livingston Parish Republican Women’s monthly meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at the Hampton Inn, 201 Rushing Road, Denham Springs.

The meeting will be a forum with the Livingston Parish Republican candidates for Parish President and Sheriff.

The public is invited to the luncheon meetings, which are catered by Don’s Seafood Hut.

There is a charge for lunch. Reservations are required and may be made by contacting Terri Day at 931-9206 or email terriday@eatel.net.

Ascension group to hear first lady

First lady Supriya Jindal will be the speaker for a Region 6 Republican Women’s luncheon hosted by Ascension Republican Women on Thursday, Sept. 15.

The event begins at 11:30 a.m. at Elegant Affairs, 14190 Airline Highway, in Gonzales.

Region 6 includes seven clubs in the greater Baton Rouge area.

The cost is $25 paid in advance and $30 at the door. The luncheon is open to the public and guests are welcome.

Checks, made out to ARW, should be sent to Paula Fletcher at P.O. Box 1514, Prairieville, LA 70769 to be received by Sept. 12. For additional information, phone 225-644-5728 or email ARWrUS@aol.com.

Press Club won’t meet Labor Day

The Press Club of Baton Rouge will not meet Monday because of the Labor Day holiday.

The Press Club will meet again Sept. 12. at De La Ronde Hall, 320 Third St. in downtown Baton Rouge.

Compiled by the Capitol news bureau and The Associated Press. Contact email address is mballard@theadvocate.com.