Incumbent state Rep. Jean-Paul Coussan is seeking reelection for his House District 45 seat against challenger Rhonda Gleason on Oct. 12. 

Coussan, a Republican, is an attorney and business owner. Gleason, a Democrat and an educator, teaches fine arts, communication and English at South Louisiana Community College.

District 45 includes areas from Cameron Street to Ridge Road and from the Evangeline Thruway to South Fieldspan Road.

Coussan, a graduate of LSU and LSU Law Center, is a partner at the law firm Andrus Boudreaux Complete Title and co-founder of Cougar Construction. He also served on the Cajundome Commission for five years and was with the law firm of Ottinger Hebert LLC, where he defended clients in the oil and gas industry.

He is also involved with the Acadian Homebuilders Association, Boy Scouts of America, Lafayette Young Lawyers Association and the Krewe of Gabriel.

In the House, Coussan served on the natural resources and environment committee along with the commerce and judiciary committees.

“I am running to continue serving as a conservative leader to help meet the needs of Lafayette as well as our great state,” Coussan said. “While on the commerce committee, I supported free enterprise and fought over-regulation of our small businesses.”

Gleason, a graduate of University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Northwestern State University, said one of her focuses will be on education if she's elected. Gleason said she wants to remain in contact with constituents because she wants the voices of the people to be heard.

She is also a state education committee chair of the League of Women Voters of Louisiana.

“Whether it is in Baton Rouge or in Lafayette, I will have a very open-door policy like teachers have office hours,” Gleason said.

Gleason is also involved with the community. She serves as president of Blue Acadiana. Its mission is to “Encourage, engage and energize Democrats in the Lafayette/Acadiana region.”

Gleason is a representative of the Lafayette Democratic Parish Executive Committee and a member of the American Association of University Women. 

Email Adam Daigle at adaigle@theadvocate.com.