Simone Champagne speaks during an election forum for candidates seeking the office of Mayor President of Lafayette on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. The forum was hosted by Downtown Lafayette.

Newly elected Lafayette Parish Mayor-President Josh Guillory announced Tuesday that Simone Champagne will join his transition team. This follows an announcement Monday appointing Elizabeth “Beth” Guidry to serve as his chief administrative officer.

Champagne, Guillory announced in a prepared statement, will lead a committee charged with reviewing current Lafayette Consolidated Government contracts and identifying potential unnecessary expenditures and opportunities to negotiate better contract terms. Transition teams typically are responsible for identifying and placing key personnel in the new administration. On Nov. 20, Guillory announced Jim Dore as head of his transition team.

Champagne, who lost to Guillory in the October primary, is Youngsville's chief administrative officer. She will serve in this volunteer capacity with the blessing and support of Mayor Ken Ritter, Guillory said in the statement.

“Having the continued support of Ms. Champagne as we transition into office is a big honor," Guillory said. "Her expertise and conservative fiscal approach will help us eliminate government waste and provide a great jump start to my administration.” 

Guidry, Guillory's CAO pick, is a 20-year veteran of economic development in Acadiana, serving as executive director of the St. Martin Economic Development Authority for 16 years, according to a statement issued Monday. She worked with Republic Services before joining the city of Broussard as economic development officer.

“Beth brings strong leadership skills and an extensive background in economic development to the role of CAO," Guillory said. "She has proven that she knows how to compete and win when recruiting companies, local investment and jobs.” 

Dore said Nov. 20 the transition team would vet candidates for directors, who are appointed by the mayor-president, starting with the departments of community development, development and planning, parks and recreation and public works. There have been no announcements regarding those department heads.

Guillory, a Republican, defeated Carlee Alm-LaBar on Nov. 16 in the race to become the next mayor-president. He will take office Jan. 6, replacing Joel Robideaux, who didn't seek reelection after one term.