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Larry Selders

Democrat Larry Selders, a longtime healthcare professional and current BREC commissioner, will succeed Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith representing House District 67.

Selders defeated his Democratic opponent, Leah Cullins, also a healthcare professional and lifelong Baton Rouge resident, in Saturday's runoff. He received 55% of the vote, according to complete but unofficial returns.

Selders will now represent the sprawling district, which extends from LSU to downtown and into north Baton Rouge, after Smith's long tenure. She was term-limited out of the seat and then defeated in a state Senate race in the general election.

Selders, 37, is a social worker and executive director of a mental health and substance abuse clinic. He's promised to continue raising awareness of mental health issues, including among children growing up in poor urban communities.

He also noted the diversity of District 67, which is 62 percent black. Selders said one of his goals is to make sure money is going to the communities and schools that need it most.

"Everybody deserves an opportunity," he said. "We need an even playing field."

Selders said he also started a development group and has invested in several properties, most in Old South Baton Rouge, that he's bought and fixed up and then sold or rented to low-income families. 

Email Lea Skene at lskene@theadvocate.com.