State Rep. J. Rogers Pope, consulting engineer Edith Carlin, and interior decorator Deven Cavalier are vying to take over the Senate District 13 seat soon to be vacated by the term-limited Dale Erdey.

The candidates, all Republicans, all promise to work to reduce what they see as wasteful spending by the sate if elected.

The district they seek to represent covers a portion of Livingston Parish around Denham Springs, the eastern part of Central in East Baton Rouge Parish and Pumpkin Center in Tangipahoa Parish.

Cavalier, 50, said she believes Louisiana has enough income to cover all the major projects ahead of it but there needs to be an overhaul of the budget and a close eye on what’s necessary.

“I want accountability in the spending, I don’t think we’re a state lacking of funds where we need to pick and choose what we can do,” she said. “I think there’s enough to take care of everything that needs taking care of, taxes, the roads, education, all of these things do not need to come under a list of 1, 2, 3, in importance, we need to address it all.”

Cavalier is a minister and interior decorator and her husband is a residential builder. She said she was drawn to run for the seat because she wants to see greater transparency and accountability in state government.

Pope, 78, was term limited in his current seat representing District 71 in the Louisiana House so decided to switch course and campaign for the District 13 seat in the Louisiana Senate. He said he didn't feel like his time in office was over.

He takes credit for such changes in Livingston Parish as the widening of Interstate 12 from O’Neal Lane to Satsuma, pushing to build a new bridge across the Amite River on Highway 190 and construction of roundabouts to help safety and traffic congestion issues.

Pope, a former Livingston Parish Schools Superintendent, said the parish is one of the fastest-growing areas of the state and as such needs to be a focus of attention from legislators.

“We are a growing parish and we have tremendous needs, we’re always trying to build coalitions with legislators to make sure they know our needs out here,” he said.

Consulting engineer and pastor Carlin, 55, has spent most of her career in project management for chemical plants and paper mills. She describes herself as a “rock-solid conservative.”

“Just like President Trump, I’m a self-made person who’s fed up with politics as usual,” Carlin said in a statement. “Rather than stand aside and watch career politicians destroy our state, I’m following in our president’s footsteps and running to challenge the establishment.”

She lists the economy, tort reform to lower lower insurance rates and infrastructure improvements as her highest priorities.

Carlin said her engineering background is a positive that will help bring Livingston Parish to recovery from 2016's devastating flooding, saying she can “hold government responsible in a way politicians can’t.”

She said the state is in a crisis in terms of its infrastructure needs and thinks it should be done by reforming the state’s oversight of maintenance and construction.

Pope, the only candidate with prior political experience, was also the most well-funded of the three that are running, ending the last reporting period prior to the election with $221,018 on hand. He was funded heavily by organizations and Political Action Committees surrounding the health care industry, including numerous nursing homes, the Acadian Ambulance PAC, chiropractors, dentists and others.

Carlin, 55, ended the last reporting period in September with $144,707 on hand. Many of her contributions came from political action committees, primarily building, business and industry-related contributors.

Cavalier, by comparison, ended the reporting period with $419 on hand and $6,550 in receipts, largely from loans.

Early voting begins Saturday and continues through Oct. 5, except Sunday, Sept. 29. Election day is Oct. 12.

Name: Edith Carlin

Age: 55

Party: Republican

Occupation: Consulting engineer and pastor

Name: Deven Cavalier

Age: 50

Party: Republican

Occupation: Interior designer and minister

Name: J. Rogers Pope

Age: 78

Party: Republican

Occupation: Retired schools superintendent, current State House District 71 representative

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