Monday, September 24, 2007

Great PR for the RPRW and LAGOP candidates!

Thank you, Diane!

Rapides GOP women host candidates
By Karina Donica
(318) 487-6342

PINEVILLE -- A group of GOP candidates visited Pineville on Sunday as part of the Rapides Parish Republican Women's annual picnic.

Gena Gore, president of the organization, said it was an honor to be able to host the event, held at a neighbor's home at Holiday Circle, because it gives the public an opportunity to meet the candidates one-on-one.

State Senate candidate Gerald Long, state House candidate Chris Hazel, Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education candidate Ruth Ulrich, commissioner of agriculture candidate Wayne Carter, lieutenant governor candidate Gary Beard and attorney general candidate Royal Alexander came to shake hands and chat with those attending about how they would like to improve the state.

"Many of these people running today are running because there is a need for change," said Long, who is a new face in politics. Most recently, the retiree was the regional director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

"When you begin to look at the issues facing Louisiana, you can capsule all of that into one thing: Until we change the image of our state, we are not going to see very many things happen," Long said.

Long, of Natchitoches, said one of his top priorities, if elected, is to bring a three-fold ethics reform plan to the state. His plan includes requiring candidateds to disclose all sources of income, prohibiting any elected officials from doing business with the state and to demanding accountability.

Following Long, Louisiana House candidate Hazel, a Ball resident, said he is looking forward to a new era in politics in Louisiana.

He urged voters not to be apathetic about visiting the polls and helping to change Louisiana and the culture of corruption that has plagued the state.

Ulrich, the only woman candidate at the picnic, said Louisiana must not settle for less than being among the top 10 states in education.

Ulrich, of Monroe said quality education can be attained if the right financial support is available.Ulrich, of Monroe said quality education can be attained if the right financial support is available.

"I am running against three Democrats that have been 30 to 40 years in the system. I think it's time for someone outside of the system," Ulrich said.

Carter, who seeks to replace current Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Bob Odom and currently serves as a Baton Rouge metro councilman, said he is the right choice.

"Folks, we can beat this guy," said Carter, who has worked in the logging business in Grant Parish. Carter said his plan focuses on ethics, efficiency by investing in priorities and economic development.

Carter's plan also includes promoting nutritional value and producing organic foods, traditional farming and specialty crops and a push for workforce development and scientific research.

Beard, of Baton Rouge, said the lieutenant governor's office he seeks to hold is significant for taxpayers because the lieutenant governor sits on the Louisiana Bond Commission and votes on projects coming before the commission.

"It's about the people's money" and how it's carefully spent, he said.

The two-term member of the Louisiana House said key legislation he has been involved with has included an environmental effort to help reduce waste-water rates, ethics reform to get required government agencies to get appraisals before purchasing and prohibiting campaign contributions from companies receiving emergency contracts.

Shreveport attorney Alexander, the final speaker and another new face in politics, said he was thankful for the response he is getting in the race against current Attorney General Charles Foti.

"I know that across the state I am not well known, but my opponent is, but not for very positive things. That's why I feel that I really have a chance," Alexander said. He most recently was chief of staff for U.S. Congressman Rodney Alexander (no relation). "But it is more than just the missteps he (Foti) has made. He has been in office longer than I've been alive."

Alexander said he wants to be a public servant because has the knowledge of the law and a commitment to abide by the constitution.

"What I tell people is that we have some of the best people living in our state, he said. "We certainly have some of the best food, the finest culture. What we lack is leadership at so many levels."

The Rapides Parish Republican Women organization is part of the Louisiana and national federations of Republican women, one of the largest and most influential women's political organizations in the country.

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