Jennifer Van Vrancken Dwyer has stepped down as Jefferson Parish’s chief operating officer to run for a Metairie-based seat on the Parish Council this fall, Dwyer’s political consultant Karen Carvin said Tuesday.
Dwyer, 44, is the third candidate to decide to run for the District 5 seat being vacated by Cynthia Lee-Sheng. It is one of several Jefferson Parish posts up for grabs in the Oct. 24 primary.
Like LaBruzzo and Thomas, Dwyer is registered as a Republican.
Her official campaign kickoff will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. June 2 at the Balcony Ballroom, 4738 Utica St., Metairie, Carvin said.
Lee-Sheng, who has held the District 5 seat since 2009, cannot run for it again because of term limits and is pursuing one of the council’s two at-large posts.
Dwyer’s boss, Parish President John Young, is not seeking re-election this fall so he can run for lieutenant governor. Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni and At-Large Councilman Elton Lagasse are seeking to replace him as parish president.
“Jennifer has served the citizens of Jefferson Parish admirably,” Young said in a written statement. “I wish her well in her future endeavors.”
Dwyer’s resignation, which took effect immediately, set off a series of personnel changes in Young’s administration.
Deputy Chief Operating Officer Jacques Molaison will take over Dwyer’s post, while Chief Administrative Assistant Andrew Maestri will succeed Molaison as deputy COO.
Virginia Ruth Walker, an assistant parish attorney, will replace Maestri as chief administrative assistant. She will oversee the Department of Human Resource Management, the Department of Personnel, the Community Justice Agency, Electronic Information Services and the Library Department.
Dwyer worked as a television news reporter and anchor before joining Young’s staff in 2010 as a chief administrative assistant for business, civic and film industry matters. She was promoted to deputy chief operating officer in 2012 and then was appointed Young’s second-in-command in 2014.
She could not begin campaigning for the District 5 seat without resigning from her job in Young’s administration.