All six candidates vying for Louisiana’s newly drawn Senate District 2 agree that training the state’s workforce to fill existing jobs will be a start to spurring growth.

Democrats Troy E. Brown, George Grace Jr., state Rep. Elton Aubert, who is leaving the District 58 seat, and Mike Bell face Republicans Zaine “The Queen” Kasem and Al Carter in the Oct. 22 election.

The youngest candidate at 22, Kasem said she favors national and global marketing campaigns to improve the state’s image, and innovative partnerships to create local, national and worldwide business incentives.

She said she would create a “Special Business Resource Fund” for business incentives and needs assessments, and would remove state taxes that make Louisiana less competitive.

“Education and a well-trained workforce is the foundation of any and all successful economic development, which would assist in eradicating poverty,” she said.

All candidates see jobs as the biggest need of the district, and Carter sees oil and gas as the way back to work.

“The moratorium (on certain offshore drilling) must be lifted, not just in theory, but in practice,” he said. Carter said he favors cutting “the chains off” the oil-and-gas industry.

Carter said he would try to find ways to cut waste in government, and said state and federal assistance programs should be tied to ongoing efforts to seek work, complete job training or pursue an education.

He also favors low- or no-interest loans and grants to small businesses, and wants to develop a 10-15 year economic plan with the input of educational, business, industry and government leaders.

Both Bell and Grace said they would like to see the so-called Stelly Plan reconsidered in light of the state’s budget crisis.

“Or at least a modification of Stelly,” Grace said. “We should establish a timeline to keep that in place until the deficit is diminished.”

Named after its chief sponsor, then-state Rep. Vic Stelly, R-Lake Charles, the voter-approved plan reduced sales taxes for lower-income Louisiana residents, and replaced that loss of state revenues by widening brackets to capture more state income taxes.

Economists and some financial leaders have pointed to the changes in the original Stelly Plan as a major contributor to the billion-dollar shortfalls in state government revenues over the past few years.

Grace said he is against cuts to education, adding that an investment in education would increase earning potential, and eventually, state revenue from those earnings. He said he favors programs that would create partnerships between high schools and area industrial plants for job-training efforts.

“I believe in funding education, and in funding programs that will help people get jobs,” he said. “We’re fortunate in the River parishes. Jobs are there; we just need to get local people to work there.”

Bell said he favors alternative sentencing to reduce spending at the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

He also said spending cuts should be equal across all branches of government.

Bell said he also sees job training and education as keys to economic recovery, yet the cost of getting an education, whether that be at the state’s colleges and universities, or community and technical colleges, is becoming more unaffordable for those students who qualify academically.

He said he favors creating a Rural River Development Commission that would fund economic development projects and job training for adults.

Bell said he also favors creation of a “Children’s Zone” that would provide a supportive, college-oriented environment as “a counterweight to ‘the street’ and anti-social behavior.”

Troy Brown said he agrees that linking people with jobs is important, and said the state should invest in recruiting new businesses, supporting small business start-ups, and making affordable job training available.

The sugar industry, he added, should be maintained and expanded. “This industry is a staple of Louisiana since it is a strong revenue-producer here,” he said.

Brown said he sees so-called “sin” taxes as discriminatory. “Smokers or gamblers as well as any other sub-group population should not have to bear the responsibilities of our state’s shortcomings,” he said. He said he also favors spending cuts, adding that the state’s payroll is “grossly out of line with other states of similar size.”

Elton M. Aubert also said the state must keep down the cost of doing business in Louisiana, and fully fund economic development and job training.

Aubert said jobs are the single greatest need in the district, “but infrastructure improvement and increased capacity would run a close second.”

He said he doesn’t think taxes are the answer to addressing the state’s declining revenue, but he would consider a small increase in cigarette and alcohol taxes, “only if dedicated to health care and educating our teens on the effects of alcohol and tobacco on their health.”

Aubert said he favors recruiting businesses that require both skilled and unskilled workers, increasing school performance scores and providing training opportunities for low-income students.


Democrat, Vacherie.

58, operator.

EDUCATION: Attended Nicholls State University.

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: State representative; St. James Parish Council; Police Jury Association of Louisiana’s Executive



Democrat, Prairieville.

40, lawyer.

EDUCATION: B.A., LSU; J.D., Southern University Law Center.

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Staff Attorney for Louisiana Senate; Congressional aide to former Congressman Don Cazayoux; legislative assistant.


Democrat, Paincourtville.

39, businessman.

EDUCATION: A.S., B.S., Southern University.

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Ran campaign for state Representative District 58 in 2007, making it into the runoff election.


Republican, Thibodaux.

49, teacher.

EDUCATION: A.S., Delgado Community College; B.A., Southeastern Louisiana University; M.A., Nicholls State University.



Democrat, St. Gabriel.

30, lawyer.

EDUCATION: B.A., University of Southern Mississippi; J.D., Southern University.



Republican, St. Gabriel.

22, judicial administrative assistant, paralegal, licensed real-estate agent.

EDUCATION: Attended Baton Rouge Community College; attending LSU (graduating December 2011).

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Ran for St. Gabriel City Council at 18 years old.


Ward/Precinct and location

Ascension Parish

30 American Legion Hall Post 81

36 Gonzales Middle

37 Gonzales Middle

39 Darrow Community Center

44 Marchand School

45 Modeste Fire Station

47 Ascension Parish Health Unit

48 Old Donaldsonville Elementary

49 Old Donaldsonville Elementary

50 New Donaldsonville Elementary

51 National Guard Armory

52 Donaldsonville High

53 Lowery Intermediate

54 Donaldsonville Housing Authority

55 Donaldsonville High

56 National Guard Armory

57 Donaldsonville Housing Authority

60 Dutchtown High

74 New Donaldsonville Elementary

75 American Legion Hall Post 81

Assumption Parish

1-1 Belle Rose Primary

1-2 Assumption Catholic Hall

2-1 Agricultural Complex Office/ Warehouse

2-2 Labadieville Middle

2-5 Labadieville Primary

4-1 Labadieville Primary

4-2 Labadieville Volunteer Fire Dept.

4-3 Labadieville Middle

5-1 Napoleonville Volunteer Fire Dept.

5-2 Napoleonville Middle

5-5 St. Elizabeth School Gym

6-1 St. Elizabeth School Gym

6-1 A St. Elizabeth School Gym

6-2 St. Benedict de Moore Church Hall

6-3 Belle Rose Middle

7-1 Belle Rose Middle

7-1 A Belle Rose Middle

7-4 Belle Rose Primary

Iberville Parish

1 White Castle Community Center

7 Bayou Goula Volunteer Fire Dept.

8 Point Pleasant Recreational Building

10 St. Gabriel Library

11 Recreation Building

12 Gillis Long Hansen Disease Center

13 E.J. Gay School

13B E.J. Gay School

13C E.J. Gay School

14A Plaquemine Junior High Concession Stand

22 Plaquemine Lions Club

Lafourche Parish

1-2 Louisiana Technical College

1-2A Thibodaux High

1-3 Louisiana Technical College

1-3A Thibodaux High

1-3B Thibodaux High

1-3C Thibodaux High

1-4 W.S. LaFargue School

2-1 North Thibodaux Fire Station

2-1A North Thibodaux Fire Station

2-3 West Thibodaux Fire Station

2-3A West Thibodaux Fire Station

2-3B Thibodaux High

2-3C Thibodaux High

2-3D Thibodaux High

2-4 West Thibodaux Fire Station

2-4A West Thibodaux Fire Station

2-5 First Baptist Church

2-7 St. Joseph Life Center

2-9 Louisiana Technical College

2-10 South Thibodaux Fire Station

5-1 The Opportunity Place - North Campus

5-1A The Opportunity Place - North Campus

5-1B The Opportunity Place - North Campus

5-1C Thibodaux High

St. Charles Parish

1-1 Killona Fire House

St. James Parish

1 Gramercy Town Hall

1A Gramercy Town Hall

2 Gramercy Town Hall

3 Gramercy Elementary

3A Gramercy Elementary

4 St. James Parish - Lutcher Senior Center

5 St. James Parish - Lutcher Senior Center

5A Lutcher Elementary School Band Building

5B Lutcher Elementary School Band Building

6 St. James Parish - Lutcher Senior Center

7 Lutcher Elementary School Band Building

7A Lutcher Elementary School Band Building

12 Union-Convent Volunteer Fire Station

13 Fifth Ward Elementary

14 St. James High School Cafeteria

15 St. James Courthouse Annex

15A St. James Courthouse Annex

15B St. James Courthouse Annex

15C St. James Courthouse Annex

16 St. James Courthouse Annex

16A West Bank Operations Building

16B Vacherie Elementary School Auditorium

17 Vacherie Elementary School Auditorium

17A Vacherie Elementary School Auditorium

17B Vacherie Elementary School Auditorium

18 Vacherie Elementary School Auditorium

St. John the Baptist Parish

1-2 Edgard Courthouse

1-3 Wallace Fire Station

1-4 John L. Ory Elementary

1-5 Milesville Special School

1-6 Milesville Special School

1-7 Milesville Special School

2-1 Garyville Magnet School

2-2 Garyville Magnet School

2-3 St. Peter’s School

2-4 St. Peter’s School

2-5 St. Peter’s School

2-6 Parish Health Unit

3-1 Parish Health Unit

3-2 Fifth Ward Elementary

3-3 Fifth Ward Elementary

3-4 East St. John High

3-6 East St. John High

4-1 St. Joan of Arc Family Life Center

4-3 St. Joan of Arc Family Life Center

4-9 St. Joan of Arc Family Life Center

West Baton Rouge Parish

1B Addis Fire Station

2A Brusly Elementary

2B Brusly Elementary

6 Brusly Fire Station No. 3

7A Brusly Fire Station No. 3

7B Brusly Fire Station No. 3

8 Lukeville Upper Elementary

10A Port Allen City Court

10B Port Allen City Court

11A K.C. Hall

11B K.C. Hall

12 K.C. Hall

13A Cohn Elementary School Gym

13B Cohn Elementary School Gym

14 Port Allen Fire Station No. 2

15 Cohn Elementary School Gym