Metro Councilwoman Tara Wicker announced Friday she's running for mayor-president of East Baton Rouge this fall, and is pushing a platform around unifying the city-parish and creating a robust business sector.
Wicker is the second council person looking to unseat current Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, who announced in January she's seeking re-election during this fall's municipal elections.
Councilman Matt Watson, a Republican, has also announced his candidacy for mayor-president. Broome and Wicker are Democrats.
"There's no question right now that Baton Rouge is more divided than it has ever been," Wicker told reporters after making prepared remarks during her announcement in the parking lot of Cortana Mall on Friday morning. "I think we have to make sure we have leadership that has the ability to talk to all facets of the community. Be that bridge-builder."
Wicker stressed the need to restart the local economy, which came to a screeching halt recently during the coronavirus pandemic and is still struggling to bounce back.
"We've got to get people back to business because pretty soon there won't be a community to come back to," she said.
She said she chose to announce her mayoral campaign outside of Cortana Mall out of nostalgia for the economic hub it used to represent for Mid-City.
She implied innovative technological solutions are needed to return the now mostly vacant site into commerce.
"We have to be able to use tomorrow's solutions for today's problems," she said.
Since 2008, Wicker has served as the representative for District 10 on the Metro Council, a diverse district that encompasses downtown Baton Rouge, Mid-City and parts of north Baton Rouge as well.
She help found Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Church in January 2014 with her husband, Pastor Michael Wicker. And she has served as executive assistant for the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge and is a former chairwoman for the East Baton Rouge Parish Planning Commission.
Qualifying for November's municipal elections begins July 22.