The election for Secretary of State is a twofer for the candidates and voters.

When voters choose between two Republicans — Tom Schedler and Jim Tucker — they will be electing someone to fill what’s left of the previous termsas well as the Secretary of State for the next four years, a term that begins in January. The winner Oct. 22 could be sworn in as the state’s chief elections officer as soon as Nov. 1.

The elected office became vacant when Jay Dardenne won the race for lieutenant governor last year.

By law, Schedler — Dardenne’s then-first assistant — took over until an election could be held.

Schedler is trying to win election to the seat. Tucker, a term-limited legislator who is currently speaker of the Louisiana House, is challenging.

Edwards pokes fun at noisy group

Former Gov. Edwin Edwards evoked laughter during a recent Press Club of Baton Rouge appearance as he talked about names given for groupings of various birds, sea creatures and animals.

People are familiar with a gaggle of geese, a rook of ravens, school of fish, a herd of cows, and a pride of lions, Edwards said.

“Now consider a group of baboons … the loudest, most obnoxious, most vicious, most dangerous and least intelligent of all primates,” Edwards said.

“Believe it or not, it’s a congress of baboons,” Edwards said.

Edwards suggested that’s probably the reason the U.S. Congress enjoys only a 12 percent favorability rating.

Songy says Roemer poll misleading

Former Ascension Parish Superintendent Donald Songy, who is trying to replace Chas Roemer on the state’s top school board, accused Roemer’s campaign of conducting a misleading telephone poll during the weekend of Sept. 17-18.

Songy said that, while the poll purported to be independent, callers who said they planned to back Songy were told his election would allow teacher unions to “take over” and stop education progress.

Replied Roemer, “We did phone calls and I wouldn’t call it a push poll but we had information that was facts.”

He said the calls were aimed at learning “where people stood currently” on education issues.

Roemer occupies District 6 on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, which sets policies for an estimated 668,000 public school students statewide.

The primary is Oct. 22. Also running in the district is Elizabeth “Beth” Meyers, of Denham Springs.

Votes for Cao won’t count Oct. 22

Although he withdrew from the race last week, former U.S. Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao’s name will still appear on the Oct. 22 election ballot for attorney general.

Cao dropped a challenge to incumbent and fellow Republican Buddy Caldwell’s re-election bid. But the move came after the deadline when ballots went to the printers.

So, Caldwell and Cao’s names will both be on the ballot even though Caldwell is the official victor since Cao was his lone opponent.

Under state law, any votes cast for Cao will not be counted.

Jindal to attend political summit

Gov. Bobby Jindal will mingle with a crowd of political heavyweights at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., next month.

The governor’s spokeswoman, Melissa Sellers, confirmed Tuesday that Jindal is among the speakers at the summit, which will be held Oct. 7-9 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Other speakers include U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Bachmann, Perry and Romney are vying for the Republican presidential nomination. Jindal is backing Perry.

The summit is aimed at conservatives. A presidential straw poll is conducted each year.

Diversity Council recognizes Broome

State Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, D-Baton Rouge, was recognized Friday by the Louisiana Diversity Council as one of “Louisiana’s Most Powerful and Influential Women.”

Broome is the Senate President Pro Tempore — second in command — of the upper chamber.

The Louisiana Diversity Council is a member of the National Diversity Council, a nonprofit organization that champions businesses to include people of different races, nationalities, religions and sexes.

Triche drops bid for House seat

Former state Rep. Warren Triche, of Thibodaux, dropped a bid for re-election to his old House District 51 seat last week.

The withdrawal of Triche, a Democrat, still leaves incumbent state Rep. Joe Harrison, R-Napoleonville, with one challenger: Howard John Castay Jr., No Party-Morgan City.

Triche could not seek re-election in 2007 because of term limits.

Press Club to hear Dardenne speak

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne will be the guest speaker for Monday’s noon meeting of the Press Club of Baton Rouge.

Dardenne will take the microphone alone after his re-election challenger Billy Nungesser, the president of Plaquemines Parish, bowed out of what had been planned as a candidate forum.

Nungesser originally agreed to participate, then said he had a New Orleans fundraiser that conflicted.

Dardenne and Nungesser, both Republicans, face each other in the Oct. 22 election.

The Press Club meets at noon 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.

The public is invited, but only members of the Press Club and the news media are allowed to ask questions.

Forum centers on senior issues

Baton Rouge General Medical Center — Mid City and the East Baton Rouge Parish Council on Aging will hold a forum for legislative candidates Thursday.

Candidates for state Senate District 14, Louisiana House Districts 29, 61, 63 and 101 and state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education District 8 are invited.

The forum will begin at 11 a.m. in the Baton Rouge General — Mid City Atrium, 3600 Florida Blvd.

This forum is designed to allow senior citizens to meet the candidates and hear their positions. Candidates will be given a chance to answer a slate of questions created and submitted by senior citizens.

World Peace Day set for Oct. 1

The Louisiana World Peace Day Committee in partnership with the Legislative Youth Advisory Council begins World Peace Day at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, with prayer on the State Capitol steps.

On 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, an exhibition of artwork by students around the state opens in the chambers of the State Senate. The art is being displayed in Memorial Hall of the State Capitol through October.

World Peace Day is observed by a resolution of the Louisiana Legislature.

Compiled by the Capitol news bureau. Contact email address is