GONZALES — Ascension Parish School Board member Jamie Bourgeois has withdrawn from this fall’s elections due to a paperwork error when he qualified for the race.
“It was an honest mistake,” said District Attorney Ricky Babin, of the 23rd Judicial District, which covers Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes.
To qualify to run in an election, a person must sign a notice of candidacy in the local clerk of court’s office, swearing to facts such as residency and age, and pay a qualifying fee, Babin said.
If the candidate is unable to do that in person, he or she can appoint an agent beforehand, through a document called an affidavit of agency that must be notarized in the presence of the candidate, Babin said.
Bourgeois, the School Board member for District 6B, had been traveling out of the country during the days of qualifying that ended on Aug. 22 and faxed a document appointing an agent but needed to be present for a notarization of an affidavit, Babin said.
The DA’s office received a complaint about Bourgeois’ qualifying and, looking into it, “found a defect in his qualifying,” Babin said.
“He did the honorable thing when he withdrew,” the district attorney said.
Bourgeois, a first-term Democrat from St. Amant, could not be reached for comment Friday.
The two remaining candidates in the District 6B race are Chad J. Bourgeois, a Libertarian from Prairieville who is not related to Jamie Bourgeois, and Louis D. Lambert, other party, also of Prairieville.