CLINTON — Pledging to “put people over politics, Larry Thomas is a candidate for the state Senate from the newly configured District 17 in the Oct. 22 primary election.

The district includes all of East Feliciana and Pointe Coupee parishes, and portions of Assumption, East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, St. Martin, Iberville, West Feliciana and St. Helena parishes.

Thomas, 58, said he is running a person-to-person campaign on a modest budget.

“The majority of our people and small businesses in our district are on modest budgets and I believe their senator should be too,” Thomas said.

“I plan to put my experience to work for you and to serve the people with public service in mind, not to protect the interests of a privileged few.”

A Clinton native and a former sawmill owner, Thomas said he has been both a worker and an employer and considers himself a conservative, pro-business Democrat.

Thomas said he has served as East Feliciana Parish’s representative on a nine-parish economic development board, was the architect of the nine-parish Capital Area Film Commission and served as its first president, is a board member of the Amite River Basin Commission, East Feliciana Democratic Executive Committee, the Capitol Region Northern Alliance, an economic development organization, and currently chairs the East Feliciana Economic Development District.

Thomas also spent time as a legislative assistant to state Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Livonia, who currently holds the seat but is term-limited. Thomas said his own experience at the State Capitol would ensure no lapse in the expertise of the district’s representation.

“We have too many needs in this district to wait for someone to learn the ropes at the State Capitol,” Thomas said.

“We need to make Louisiana a more attractive place to do business. We need to whip our state government and budget into shape without privatizing state facilities. We must concentrate efforts on revitalizing the educational system of our state so all our people have an equal chance at success in life,” Thomas said.

Thomas and his wife, Kathy, reside in Clinton and have two children and two grandchildren.

Thomas is opposed by Rick Ward III, of Maringouin.