Lafayette Mayor-President candidates, from left, Carlee Alm-LaBar, Simone Champagne, Josh Guillory, Carlos Harvin and Nancy Marcotte participate in a forum Sept. 5, 2019, at the downtown Lafayette Parish public library.

Four of the five candidates for Lafayette mayor-president submitted campaign finance reports as of Thursday in the Oct. 12 election. 

Campaign finance reports filed 30 days before an election offer a look at which people, companies and political action committees are putting money behind which candidate.

Those donating to campaigns are limited by the level of the office the candidate is seeking. In the case of Lafayette mayor-president, which is considered a district level position, the limit is $2,500, according to Kathleen Allen of the Louisiana Ethics Administration.


Carlee Alm-LaBar, a candidate for Lafayette mayor-president, is shown during the Kiwanis of Lafayette Candidate Forum at the Petroleum Club on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, in Lafayette, La.

Carlee Alm-Labar, a no-party candidate from Lafayette, received a total of about $160,000 from more than 60 donors who each gave the maximum $2,500 to her campaign as of Sept. 2.

Alm-LaBar worked for Lafayette Consolidated Government as an assistant to Mayor-President Joey Durel and later as chief development officer. Under Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, Alm-LaBar was director of development and planning until leaving in June 2018 to work for Southern Lifestyle Development.

People and companies associated with Southern Lifestyle Development contributed the maximum $2,500 each to Alm-LaBar's campaign. They include owners Robert Daigle and Rodney Savoy; La Savoy Famille, a Savoy family trust; RR Co., of which Savoy and La Savoy Famille are officers; and The Scott Co., of which Savoy is an officer. Alm-LaBar resigned from Southern Lifestyle Development to run her campaign.

Several attorneys who work for Lafayette Consolidated Government contributed $2,500 to Alm-LaBar's campaign, including Assistant City-Parish Attorney Mike Hebert and his firm Becker and Hebert; Mahtook & LaFleur; and Stephen Oats.

Architects Southwest, a Lafayette company that designed River Ranch and was awarded a contract to administer a $300,000 federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) planning grant for LCG under Alm-LaBar's tenure, also contributed $2,500.

Other notable contributors include Durel, $2,500; City-Parish Councilman Jay Castille, $2,000; The Jay Castille Campaign Fund, $2,500; Terry Huval, former Lafayette Utilities System director, $500; state Rep. Vincent Pierre, D-Lafayette, $332 in food and drink for a meet and greet.

DesOrmeaux Group, a fundraising company, was paid nearly $16,000 for its work thus far.

Alm-LaBar was instrumental in developing a comprehensive plan for Lafayette and unincorporated areas called Plan Lafayette, while at LCG. She was on committees involved in the Interstate 49 Lafayette Connector and Evangeline Thruway Redevelopment Team.

In 2018, Alm-LaBar was a lead in the Fix the Charter movement that pushed for passage of a home rule charter amendment approved by voters Dec. 8, splitting the city-parish council into separate city and parish councils. 


Simone Champagne speaks during a forum for candidates seeking the office of Lafayette mayor-president on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, at the downtown Lafayette public library.

Simone Champagne, Republican from Youngsville, reported far fewer donations than Alm-LaBar as of Sept. 2. Ten contributions of $2,500 were made from supporters including Robert Giles, using the address of Giles Automotive; Gordon's Disposal, of New Iberia; W. Ross Little, national committeeman for the Louisiana Republican Party; Julie Little; Sandra Mills; and William Mills.

Champagne, a former administrator for the Iberia Parish government who served seven years in the Louisiana Legislature before resigning in December 2014 to take a job as city administrator for Youngsville under Mayor Ken Ritter, who donated $1,000 to her campaign. 

Jeremiah Supple, a real estate investor, contributed $1,000 to Champagne's campaign. Supple helped fund a lawsuit challenging the 2018 Lafayette Parish home rule charter amendment creating separate city and parish councils.

The Champagne campaign paid $6,500 to Nungesser Consulting of Baton Rouge for fundraising consulting. The company's website says it "provides professional fundraising services to select Republican candidates and conservative causes in Louisiana," including U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins.

Brave New Politics of Denham Springs received from Chamagne $8,900 for consulting web design, social media and graphic design between June and July, her campaign finance report shows. Brave New Television of the same Denham Springs address received $1,491 from Champagne's campaign in August for "agency fees." Chris Comeaux is the manager/officer, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State Office. 

Comeaux, a former Higgens campaign manager, has been involved in conservative anti-tax organizations that were successful in helping to defeat tax renewals and new tax proposals in Lafayette Parish in recent years, including a new 2017 Lafayette Parish School Board tax and 2018 Lafayette Parish public library tax renewal.

He was a director in Citizens for a New Louisiana, with Michael Lunsford, but is no longer listed as a director by the Secretary of State's Office. Comeaux was an administrator of the Facebook page for Lafayette Citizens Against Taxes, which changed its name this year to Citizens for a New Louisiana that is run by Lunsford, who is a paid executive director, a resident of Breaux Bridge in St. Martin Parish and chairman of the St. Martin Parish Republican Party. 

Lunsford and Citizens for a New Louisiana are under investigation by the Louisiana Board of Ethics for violating the state's campaign disclosure laws.


Josh Guillory speaks during a forum for candidates seeking the office of Lafayette mayor-president on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, at the downtown Lafayette public library.

Josh Guillory, a Republican from Lafayette, is an attorney who previously served in the military, including the war in Iraq. He ran an unsuccessful 2018 campaign to unseat Higgins from the U.S. House of Representatives. Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and then-personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, visited Lafayette to throw his support behind Guillory.

Guillory received two contributions at the maximum $2,500 level, from L. Clayton Burgess APLC Operating Account, and William Logan III. Yu-Cheng Chen and Fernand Privat each donated $2,000, while Dean-O's Pizza and Great Crust LLC, both at the same Bertrand Drive address, each donated $1,500 to Guillory's campaign.

The state Ethics Administration website Sunday showed Alm-Labar had a total of $270,480 in contributions for a four-month period ending Sept. 2, while Champagne had taken in $44,150 and Guillory had collected $41,047. The figures do not include in-kind contributions or loans.


Nancy Marcotte speaks during a forum for candidates seeking the office of Lafayette mayor-president on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, at the downtown Lafayette public library.

Nancy Marcotte, a Republican from Lafayette, is the broker of three Keller Williams real estate franchises and an investor in three others across the South.

The largest contribution Marcotte received was $5,000 from the Louisiana Realtors Political Action Committee. The contribution appears to be in compliance with campaign rules that allow a "big PAC" to donate up to $5,000 to a mayor-president candidate. A committee is classified as a "big PAC" when more than 250 of its members contributed more than $50 to the PAC during the previous calendar year, according to the ethics administration website. 

Marcotte receive $2,500 donations from Keller Williams Realty Acadiana; and Charlotte Ducote, Ramon Fonseca and Dale Pointiff, of Virginia; and $1,250 donations from Dana Pontiff, of Georgia, and Oleg Mikhailov, of California.

Carlos Harvin, a Democrat from Lafayette, did not file the report that would detail how much his campaign received in donations and from whom, how much his campaign spent and on what, and how much money he has heading into the last days of the campaign.


Carlos Harvin speaks during a forum for candidates seeking the office of Lafayette mayor-president on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, at the downtown Lafayette public library.

Contacted by The Acadiana Advocate on Friday, Harvin said he thought he could submit a written copy of the report but learned after the deadline that it has to be filed electronically.

(This story has been updated to indicate Carlee Alm-LaBar resigned from Southern Lifestyle Development to run her campaign for mayor-president).

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