CLINTON — Pledging to continue fair and equitable property assessments in East Feliciana Parish, Jeff Gardner is a candidate for parish assessor in the Oct. 22 primary election.

Gardner, 46, has been employed by the Assessor’s Office since 1999 and has been chief deputy assessor since August 2004.

Assessor H.T. “Bubby” Jackson is not seeking re-election.

Gardner is a certified state deputy assessor with more than 500 hours of education through the International Association of Assessing Officers.

He is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, a state-certified residential appraiser, North American master appraiser and licensed real estate agent.

The candidate said he has been actively involved with many changes and improvements in the office since 1999, including additional computers for employees and the public, a geographical information system with the latest aerial photos and the addition of property to the tax rolls that has increased assessments from $69 million 15 years ago to $135 million today.

Gardner, a Democrat, said the assessor has expanded services to include reviewing survey maps for the Police Jury and working closely with other agencies and municipalities.

“We are good stewards of parish money. We operate within our budget; we utilize funds available to upgrade equipment and services; and, we have educated and certified employees,” Gardner said.

As chief deputy assessor, Gardner said he has worked closely with the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office and Louisiana Tax Commission on tax roll certification, legal issues and daily operations.

Gardner said the new John James Audubon Bridge, combined with the increased activity in the oil and gas exploration industry, would bring new residents and businesses to East Feliciana Parish.

As assessor, he said he is prepared, through education and 12 years of experience, to handle all new challenges and growth to the community.

Gardner and his wife, Traci, have two sons, Garrett and Greer. They are active members of Feliciana Baptist Church.