Businesswoman and civic association head Rajender “Raj” Pannu will fill a vacancy on the St. John the Baptist Parish Council for the next few months.

The council voted Tuesday night to appoint Pannu to temporarily succeed Buddy Boe, who resigned from his LaPlace-based District 7 seat to join Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser’s staff as communications director and senior adviser.

Pannu was immediately sworn in to her post by state 5th Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Jude Gravois.

She will fill the seat until St. John voters pick Boe’s permanent successor during a special election in the fall.

The primary is set for Nov. 8, with a runoff, if necessary, on Dec. 10. The three-day qualifying period opens July 20.

“I promise you I will do my best to serve this community and this great state of Louisiana,” Pannu, 61, told those attending Tuesday’s meeting.

The four-year term from which Boe stepped down doesn’t expire until 2020. Pannu is eligible to run in the special election, but she has said she has no interest in making the race.

Boe recommended Pannu as his interim replacement, citing her longtime tenure as leader of the Belle Terre Civic Association.

Pannu — a native of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — owns a number of local Subway restaurants and belongs to the LaPlace Rotary Club.

“She’s very giving of her time and efforts,” Gravois said to the council before administering Pannu’s oath of office. “I can assure you …... she really pays attention, so she is going to keep y’all on y’all’s toes.”

Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.

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