Reginald Laurent.jpg

Reginald Laurent ORG XMIT: v66pnmNEkSPLuUbL83rA

Reggie Laurent, who lost a bid for a judgeship on the north shore last week, said Saturday that he didn't want to comment on his sister's angry Internet post concerning the election, and is instead "moving forward" with other justice-related efforts.

Laurent was in New York when the Facebook post by his sister, Margaret "Mel" Laurent, became public Friday. She resigned the same day from her victim assistance post at the 22nd Judicial District Attorney's Office.

"I don't want to talk about my sister or the failings of the African-Amercian community," he said, alluding to her comments excoriating black voters on the north shore for not turning out in greater numbers Oct. 14. He added that he wants to remain focused on improving the criminal justice system.

Laurent, who is Slidell city prosecutor, said he is in New York to gather information about court innovations, saying he keeps abreast of what places like New York and California are doing. He is also resubmitting a grant proposal to the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance to help Bogalusa. His first proposal, made in conjunction with District Attorney Warren Montgomery, was turned down, but he is trying again.

Washington and St. Tammany parishes together make up the 22nd Judicial District, where he sought the Division H judgeship.

"I'm interested in justice. It's a bigger picture and people don't get it ," he said. He criticized what he called a focus on "money, glitter, ego and elitism," renewing a theme from his campaign that political elites have had a lock on the judiciary in the district.

"It's not all about a judgeship. They can have it. I'm keeping focused on justice and improving the criminal justice system. That's what my life is and what my campaign was."

Laurent, 64, touted himself during the campaign as the candidate with the more formidable legal resume. On Saturday, he sounded that theme again, saying that attorney Alan Zaunbrecher, who defeated him with 62 percent of the vote, is the "rookie."

"I'm praying for Alan and hope for the best," Laurent said. "It doesn't stop my journey." He indicated that his political support was not limited to black voters. "I brought a lot of white people together and built a lot of unity," he said.

Follow Sara Pagones on Twitter, @spagonesadvocat.