GONZALES — Community activist Kathryn Goppelt promises to manage growth responsibly, improve inadequate infrastructure and be a principled leader if elected president of Ascension Parish this fall.

Goppelt, 60, of Gonzales, cited her accomplishments in civic activism, including work on the original parish master plan adopted in 1998 and on a 2002 parish ordinance to regulate sexually oriented businesses, such as strip clubs.

“After 15 years of volunteerism with government at every level, I am stepping forward with the wholehearted support of my husband and family to offer voters a choice for Ascension Parish president,” she said in a campaign announcement.

“The incumbent has been in office for 10 out of the last 18 years. It’s time for leadership with integrity,” she said. Goppelt, a lifelong Republican, is challenging incumbent Parish President Tommy Martinez, an independent, in the Oct. 22 primary election.

Goppelt said she was involved in creating the original master plan and continues working on growth issues, often speaking about them as well as other community issues.

Goppelt, who served on the Republican State Central Committee from 2004 to 2007, said her “strong work ethic, knowledge of the issues and conservative beliefs” make her a formidable contender.

She said self-serving politicians are diminishing the parish’s potential, a situation that won’t change unless the people vote in new leadership.

“Ascension Parish needs principled leadership, not politics as usual,” she said in the statement.

Goppelt also said parish leaders must address “the infrastructure deficit we have because of uncontrolled growth” and said she opposes the “high-density urbanization being promoted by the current administration.”

She said she is ready to work with all sides and find solutions that serve the people and preserve Ascension’s “economic viability.”

“We will continue to grow, but it must be done responsibly,” Goppelt said.

For more information, visit http://www.kathrynforascension.com.