The four major contenders for governor and 31 legislative candidates in the region are backing all or some of the economic development group One Acadiana’s regional priorities, the organization announced Monday.
Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and U.S. Sen. David Vitter, all Republicans, and state Rep. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, all offered written statements in support of the group’s priorities, which were developed in recent months through meetings with business owners and community leaders.
One Acadiana has identified its top “priorities for a better Acadiana” as economic development, completing Interstate 49 South, working to better develop the area’s workforce and continuing gains in pre-K through 12th grade public education.
One Acadiana also released a list of 31 candidates for the Legislature who support at least some of the group’s top priorities and a white paper outlining the issues and goals.
One Acadiana President and CEO Jason El Koubi said the group met individually with the four major gubernatorial candidates and with most of the candidates for state legislative seats representing Acadiana.
“We know that achieving our region’s economic potential will require a focused effort from the next governor and state Legislature,” El Koubi said.
The event held to announce support for the priorities was attended by about three dozen business leaders, public officials, educators and economic development professionals from the nine-parish Acadiana region, which has become the expanded focus of One Acadiana since the group transitioned from its role as the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.
“We share so many wants. We share so many needs,” said Iberia Industrial Development Foundation President and CEO Mike Tarantino.