Carlee Alm-LaBar

Carlee Alm-LaBar

With qualifying six months away for the Lafayette mayor-president's election, a candidate may be emerging to contest incumbent Joel Robideaux.

A Facebook page called Lafayette for Carlee  appeared this week urging Carlee Alm-Labar to run against Robideaux as he seeks a second term as mayor-president. The page attracted more than 175 likes in two days.

Contacted Wednesday morning, Alm-Labar said she's "had a lot of people talk to me about the idea" and she's thinking it through.

"I care about the people of the city and parish," Alm-Labar said. "That's what's driving me as I work through my decision."

She said she expects to make a decision soon.

Qualifying for the Oct. 12 election is Aug. 6-8.

"I think it's a big decision and, to the extent that the folks who have weighed in on the (Facebook) page may have some confidence in me, I certainly appreciate that," Alm-Labar said. "It's one of the things I'll think about when I make this decision."

Alm-Labar grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, and moved to Acadiana after college as part of Teach for America. She taught for three years at Church Point High School. 

In March 2010, she became assistant to then City-Parish President Joey Durel, a post she held 4½ years before becoming chief development officer. When Robideaux was elected mayor-president, Alm-Labar became director of development and planning. She held that post until June, when she left Lafayette Consolidated Government to work for Southern Lifestyle Development, where she runs its traditional neighborhood developments program.

Robideaux has been criticized in recent months for what has been perceived as a series of missteps, including secretly allowing Bernhard Capital Partners to study Lafayette Utilities System for a possible sale or management deal, not supporting Drag Queen Story Time at the Lafayette Public Library, opposing new jail and courthouse taxes on the November 2018 ballot and suggesting the transfer of $18 million in public library surplus to other uses.

As of Dec. 31, Robideaux had less than $43,000 in his campaign re-election fund.


Follow Claire Taylor on Twitter, @ClaireTaylorACA