The East Baton Rouge Parish Democratic Parish Executive Committee has endorsed Cleo Fields over state Rep. Patricia Smith in their contest for the state Senate.

Fields, a former state senator, congressman and gubernatorial contender, was selected over Smith, a House member who is leaving the lower chamber because of term limits.

The District 14 race will be decided in the Oct. 12 primary.

The seat is now held by Sen. Yvonne Colomb, who is also being forced out by term limits.

The 21-member committee endorsed two contenders in the battle to succeed Jada Lewis on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Former East Baton Rouge Parish school board member Vereta Lee and attorney Preston Castille Jr. were both endorsed by the committee, which includes Lee.

The other candidates for Lewis' District 8 post are Democrats Jonathan Loveall and Chakesha Webb Scott.

Ciara Hart, who hopes to succeed Kathy Edmonston on BESE, was backed by the committee.

Hart, a public school teacher, is the lone Democrat in the four-person race for District 6.

The other candidates are Republicans Ronnie Morris and Gregory Spiers and Vickie Auguste, who has no party affiliation.

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