Former Kenner mayor and Jefferson Parish Councilman Louis Congemi knows he’s running for a Parish Council seat during the Oct. 24 elections. All that’s left is for him to decide whether it’ll be for one of the council’s two at-large seats or for the Metairie-based District 5 post that won’t have an incumbent defending it, he told The New Orleans Advocate on Tuesday.
“I’d been waiting to see where the (sitting council members) are falling out and lining up,” said Congemi, 65, who began the year with a robust $265,299 in his campaign finance account. “But I’d been contemplating it for a while.”
The picture for Jefferson Parish’s fall elections began clearing up Friday evening, when At-Large Councilman Elton Lagasse announced himself as the first candidate for office of parish president.
Chris Roberts, who occupies the council’s other at-large seat, has since said he is running for a fourth consecutive term on the panel. And District 5 Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng has said she is running for an at-large seat — she didn’t specify which, but it is presumed she’ll choose to go for the one Lagasse is leaving.
For his part, Metairie resident Congemi said he isn’t sure yet whether he will run against Roberts, Lee-Sheng or anyone who may pursue the District 5 seat. But he doesn’t anticipate it’ll be much longer before he makes up his mind on that front.
“I almost assure you I’ll make a final decision of which of the (seats) I’ll be running for the weekend after (this upcoming one),” Congemi said.
Congemi added he’d wait to settle on which seat to campaign for before finalizing and discussing his election platform.
Congemi was Kenner’s mayor from 1996 to 2003. He won election to the Jefferson Parish Council in 2003 and served on it until 2012. He campaigned for Kenner mayor again in 2010 but ultimately withdrew from that race.
One name numerous Jefferson Parish politics reporters have repeatedly mentioned as another potential candidate for the District 5 seat is Jennifer Van Vrancken Dwyer, Parish President John Young’s chief operating officer.
In Young’s administration, Dwyer ranks only below the parish president, who in August revealed he would run for the office of lieutenant governor.
Dwyer on Tuesday did not confirm or deny whether she was interested in the District 5 seat.
“I am focused on continuing to serve the citizens of Jefferson Parish as chief operating officer under Parish President ... Young,” Dwyer said in a text message. “It is an honor and a privilege.”