With no one running against him, state Rep. Eddie Lambert has time to focus on his hobbies.

Lambert, R-Prairieville, caught a 293-pound alligator on the first day of qualifying for the Oct. 22 election.

He said the alligator measured 10 feet 5 inches in length, making it smaller than the 12-foot alligator he caught in the same Ascension Parish canal in 1997.

“Do you think I ought to apply to ‘Swamp People’? ” he joked, referring to the reality television show about south Louisiana alligator hunters.

Forum on issues may replace debate

Televised debates typically are held for the well-financed candidates in the governor’s race.

This year, Gov. Bobby Jindal is facing nine other candidates, but none with significant financial backing.

Beth Courtney, president of Louisiana Public Broadcasting, said she is thinking about holding a forum on the big issues facing the state, instead of the traditional candidate debate her network usually hosts.

Jindal’s campaign aide, Timmy Teepell, said he plans to encourage WWL-TV in New Orleans to invite all 10 gubernatorial candidates to participate in an Oct. 20 statewide debate two days before the primary.

Governor’s Office provides delivery

After encouraging a veteran member of the state’s top school board to seek re-election, Gov. Bobby Jindal ensured that Glenny Lee Buquet followed through with his request.

Jindal’s acting executive counsel, Elizabeth Murrill, drove to the Secretary of State’s Office in Baton Rouge on Tuesday to deliver Buquet’s qualifying papers for the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education primary election.

“Glenny was out of town,” said the governor’s press secretary, Kyle Plotkin.

Plotkin said Buquet asked the Governor’s Office to act as her agent.

He said the Governor’s Office did not perform the same delivery service for any other candidate, because no one else asked.

Bathroom break forces 2nd visit

A trip to the restroom forced Reform Party candidate Belinda “B” Alexandrenko, of Pineville, to make a second visit to sign up for the state agriculture commissioner’s race.

Alexandrenko arrived at the Secretary of State’s Office on Wednesday just before the end-of-the-day cutoff for putting her name on the Oct. 22 ballot.

Before submitting her qualifying papers, she visited the restroom. In the meantime, the clock struck 4:30 p.m. and the office’s employees went home for the day.

Alexandrenko returned to the lobby to find the doors to Secretary of State Tom Schedler’s offices locked.

She came back the next day and put her name on the ballot.

Candidates lament funding difficulty

Candidates running for office in the Oct. 22 election lamented the difficulty of raising money during a struggling economy.

“This economy is sick,” said state Treasurer John Kennedy. “We don’t have a cold. We have the flu.”

Kennedy won his bid for re-election outright when no one qualified against him.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler said raising money is even tougher for races such as his that pit Republicans against Republicans.

House Speaker Jim Tucker, R-Terrytown, is vying to oust the Republican Schedler.

Jindal: No plans to leave if elected

The normally talkative Gov. Bobby Jindal had a succinct answer Tuesday when asked whether he plans to finish an entire second term should he be re-elected.

“Yes,” Jindal said.

Speculation is rampant that the governor is eying a Washington, D.C., cabinet post or the 2014 U.S. Senate race.

Jindal’s decision — assuming he sticks to it — is bad news for whoever wins the lieutenant governor’s race.

In Louisiana, the lieutenant governor would automatically become governor if Jindal were to leave office without finishing his four-year term.

Rev.: Edwards a tough act to follow

During the funeral of labor leader Victor Bussie last week, the Rev. Susie Thomas said the order of speakers on the program was purposely set so that none of the First United Methodist Church ministers followed former Gov. Edwin W. Edwards.

Thomas said Bussie’s widow, Fran, told the three ministers at a church renowned for the public speaking skills of its preachers that Edwards is the toughest of acts to follow. The four-time governor has his own reputation as a pretty fair public speaker.

“Amen,” Thomas said to laughter.

Edwards wagged his finger at Thomas in mock scolding as he approached the podium.

Medical society hires 2 for team

The Louisiana State Medical Society, the state’s largest physician organization, hired Greg Waddell and Jennifer Marusak to serve on its legislative team, according to a news release.

Waddell, a lawyer with the Louisiana Senate, will serve as the director of legal affairs and Marusak, who has worked for several elected officials and lobbied for various interests, will immediately assume the duties of director of governmental affairs.

Sharon Knight, who has served as the society’s director of governmental affairs for the last 35 years, will continue to serve in an advisory role through the end of the year.

Former LSU coach to address group

Former LSU basketball coach Dale Brown will speak to the Baton Rouge Press Club at noon Monday.

Brown, who coached LSU for 25 years and led his teams to four SEC titles and two Final Four appearances, will discuss the responsibilities of college athletes, administrators and the NCAA. His statements come in response to disclosures of major NCAA violations and sanctions at several leading universities as well as controversy at LSU related to the suspension of quarterback Jordan Jefferson.

The Press Club meets on Mondays at De La Ronde Hall, 320 Third St., in downtown Baton Rouge.

Lunch, which is served at 11:30 a.m., is $12 for members and $15 for non-members.

Secretary of State candidates featured

The League of Women Voters of Baton Rouge and WBRZ are sponsoring a forum Thursday at noon for the two candidates for the office of secretary of state: incumbent Tom Schedler and challenger Jim Tucker, the speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives.

Both candidates are Republican.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. at Drusilla Seafood, 3482 Drusilla Lane in Baton Rouge.

Tickets are $25 and include lunch. Make reservations by calling (225) 334-9999 or (225) 927-2255 or by visiting the League’s website at www.lwvbr.org.

Gautreaux to speak at GOP roundtable

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid J. Gautreaux III is speaking to the East Baton Rouge Parish Republican Roundtable on Thursday at noon.

The event is being held at Drusilla Seafood, 3482 Drusilla Lane in Baton Rouge.

Cost of the luncheon is $20.

Reservations are available by emailing EBRPGOP@aol.com.

Compiled by the Capitol news bureau. Contact email address is mballard@theadvocate.com.