Two Lutcher Democrats are vying to win election as the next president of St. James Parish, succeeding Dale Hymel Jr., who announced his retirement from office.

Timothy “Timmy” Roussel, a former Parish Council member, and Rowdy Kennard Scott, mayor of Lutcher, are running to fill the seat in January, when Hymel’s term is up.

Hymel was first elected parish president in 1991. Scott did not respond to requests for information for this story.

Roussel, 59, works as a maintenance supervisor at Mosaic Fertilizer LLC at Uncle Sam in Convent. He held the District 2 Parish Council seat for 16 years and served on the Lutcher Board of Aldermen for five years.

Roussel said, if elected, he would team up with the school system to promote training for residents to be “job force ready.” He proposed using the Career and Technology Center to provide evening instruction in welding, millwright work and pipe fitting.

He said he also would create a nine-member volunteer task force and dedicate an employee to help small businesses. Roussel said he would join with the Sheriff’s Office to visit the homes of elderly and homebound residents to ensure they are aware of services available to them. Roussel’s plan further calls for a drainage study and a “common sense approach” to addressing sewage and mosquito control issues.

“We have a lot of good things in our parish, we also have a lot of things that can be improved upon,” he said. “I am eager for the day that I can get started.”

Early voting for the race ends Saturday and the election is on Oct. 22.