Buddy Mincey.jpg

Buddy Mincey

Editors note: An earlier online version of this story incorrectly stated how many years Buddy Mincey had served as the Livingston Parish School Board's president. He was the president for one year, and the vice president for eight years.

Livingston Parish School Board president Buddy Mincey is expected to resign from his position next week to start his new role as a state representative, leaving an open seat to be filled in his place.

Mincey, who won the state representative District 71 seat against opponent Lori Callais in the November runoff, will be sworn into his new role Jan. 13.

Mincey said he will resign at the board's Jan. 9 meeting and the remaining board will start the process to find an interim member to serve until the next regularly scheduled election in November.

Schools Superintendent Joe Murphy said he does not know who may be put forward for the role, but he expects nominations for the interim board member to open right away. If the board does not vote on Jan. 9, it will vote the next meeting on Jan. 23.

Murphy said the Secretary of State’s Office hasn’t yet indicated whether a special election would be necessary, but he expects the interim member would serve until the Nov. 3 regular election.

The board will also shuffle around its leadership positions, picking a new president to replace Mincey for 2020.

Mincey, a Republican, had served on the school board for 13 years, one as president and eight as vice president. He replaces J. Rogers Pope in the Legislature.

Pope is a former Livingston Parish Schools superintendent who was term-limited in the House. He is now moving to the state Senate, having been elected as state senator for District 13.

Mincey’s house district covers parts of western Livingston Parish encompassing Denham Springs and Walker.

Murphy said Mincey has long been a “very, very strong advocate” of his district and the parish as a whole, and Murphy said he hopes the relationship between Mincey and the board will continue as he transitions to the legislature.

“We’re proud to support him as he moved into a new phase of his life as a state representative in our area and we’re excited as a school system to have someone as a state rep who absolutely understands the needs of the education system,” Murphy said.

Mincey said he will spend the first part of the year setting up his Denham Springs office and meeting with other legislators ahead of his first legislative session. He called his school board resignation "bittersweet" and hopes the board the best in finding an interim.

"I'm hopeful we can find someone who is going to put the kids in our school system first and do the very best they can," he said.

Email Emma Kennedy at ekennedy@theadvocate.com.