The newly created House District 96 seat has drawn a former mayor, two school board members, a retired State Police superintendent, a veteran law-enforcement officer and an insurance agent into the field.

The race pits Democrats Terry Landry, Raymond “Shoe-Do” Lewis, Richard Potier and Nary Smith Sr. against independents Vincent Alexander and Eric Martin.

All six candidates indicated job training and better education as ways to spur economic growth.

Landry said he believes all progressive communities have a workforce that is trained and educated.

Additionally, candidates suggested the following:

Alexander said he would contact the Department of Labor and solicit help from corporate sponsors to bring to the district a Job Corps, which “has the highest success rate for training young people for jobs.”

Martin said the state may need to examine how best to remove some of the taxes that make the state “not the friendliest” place for outside companies seeking to move here and for existing companies looking to grow.

Smith suggested using vacant buildings, such as the ones in St. Martinville, as a way to entice industry to the area.

Potier said the state should provide small businesses with tax credits while financial institutions need to be more proactive in providing loans to small businesses.

As for balancing the state budget, Alexander said he is not in favor of spending cuts, but he said he would be in favor of increasing taxes on alcohol and tobacco, both of which are “not helpful to the community.

“I think we have enough cuts in spending right now,” Alexander said.

Potier said that if a tax increase is necessary, then “it should be restricted to those earning $250,000 or more.”

Landry and Lewis both suggested trimming some of the “fat” by targeting high salaries for state officials.

Lewis said his record on the New Iberia City Council reflects that he made those tough decisions, “and it worked out fine.”

Landry said he has been responsible for a state budget, having spent 27 years in state government.

“I think there’s a lot of areas we can look at to cut the budget without affecting services to the people,” Landry said, adding that government can and should be responsible for those most vulnerable.

Martin said the state should seriously explore privatization when it proves to be a viable and realistic option.

“It has to be approached from a multi-facet standpoint with a lot of common sense and an open mind,” Martin said.

Smith said the state also should consider turning the prisons and jails over to the private industry.

Programs for the elderly and youth, Smith said, should be the last to be cut.

Education was repeatedly cited as a key factor in addressing poverty in Louisiana.

Alexander said he would work with the proper federal agency to ensure that the area has enough Head Start programs in place so that “our young people have the best basic education foundation to do well in our schools.”

Landry cited parent involvement and an increased focus on adult literacy programs as key factors.

Martin said job training is important for those who may feel trapped at a lower income level.

“It’s going to put more money in the economy and take people off the poverty rolls and move the state in the right direction,” Martin said.

Potier said he believes the keys to addressing poverty are to implement training programs, offer employment incentives to companies interested in hiring the unemployed and increase access to technical schools.

Smith said the state must find more jobs for people before it can address poverty.

“They go out every day to look for a job and can’t find one,” Smith said.

All the candidates agreed that bringing jobs to the district is the area’s greatest need.

Landry said the person elected to District 96 must have the necessary skill-set to work with a coalition of legislators to represent the region’s diverse constituency.

Lewis said the district needs someone who is prepared to sell District 96 to the rest of the state.

Additionally, Martin cited the completion of Interstate 49 as the district’s biggest need, since it is expected to “create some positive momentum in the corridor.”


Independent, Breaux Bridge.

60, insurance agency owner.

EDUCATION: Spencer Business College.



Democrat, Lafayette.

60, retired State Police superintendent.

EDUCATION: High school graduate, some college.



Democrat, New Iberia.

48, Walmart distribution.

EDUCATION: High school graduate.

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Two terms on the New Iberia City Council, currently serving first term on the Iberia Parish School Board.


Independent, St. Martinville.

48, public relations and advocacy for Pfizer.

EDUCATION: General business, University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Two years on the St. Martinville City Council, 14.5 years as

St. Martinville mayor.


Democrat, Breaux Bridge.

53, self-employed business owner.

EDUCATION: Evangeline Technical College, St. Martinville; attended University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: 17.5 years on the St. Martin Parish School Board.


Democrat, St. Martinville.

65, private security.

EDUCATION: High school graduate.



Ward/Precinct and location

Iberia Parish

1-1 Robert B. Green Memorial Building

1-2 Hopkins Street Elementary Library

1-3 North Street Elementary

1-5 Robert B. Green Memorial Building

2-1 Anderson Street Middle

2-2 Robert B. Green Memorial Building

3-4 Career Campus

4-1 Johnston Street Elementary

4-2 Bank Avenue Elementary

4-3 Bank Avenue Elementary

4-4 Pesson Elementary

5-1 Catholic High

5-2 Pesson Elementary

5-3 St. Francis Diner

6-2 New Iberia Senior High

Lafayette Parish

54 Domingue Recretion Center

55 Teurlings High Gym Lobby

54 Domingue Recretion Center

99 Broussard Police Dept.

100 Broussard Middle

St. Martin Parish

1-1 Parish Government Building

1-3 National Guard Armory Hall

1-7 St. Martinville Primary

1-7A St. Martinville Primary

2-1 Early Learning Center

2-3 Early Learning Center

2-4 Early Learning Center

3-1 St. Martinville Parish School Board Professional Academic Center

3-1A St. Martinville Parish School Board Professional Academic Center

3-1B St. Martinville Parish School Board Professional Academic Center

3-1C St. Martinville Parish School Board Professional Academic Center

3-2 St. Martinville Primary

3-3 National Guard Armory Hall

3-4A North City Park Recreation Building

3-6 New Parks Elementary Gym

3-9 North City Park Recreation Building

4-3 Parish Government Building Cypress Island S BN

4-4A New Parks Elementary Gym

4-6 Parish Government Building Cypress Island S BN

6-2A Parish Government Building

6-3 Parish Fire Training Center

7-1 Breaux Bridge Volunteer Fire Dept. Substation

7-3 Breaux Bridge Elementary Gym