Sources close to Liz Webb-Hebert, a 32-year-old community volunteer who has been the Cajundome’s convention sales manager since 2007, tell The Independent she is likely to enter the race for the District 8 city-parish council seat currently held by Keith Patin. Patin, who is in his second term, has decided not to seek re-election.
Community activist and tea party member Carol Ross is the only declared candidate in the District 8 race. The 69-year-old is president of Edge Communications, a local ad agency.
Both women are Republicans.
“What I can tell you is that people who have reached out to me are most concerned about having the kind of council leadership that will move city-parish government forward. They don’t want to live in the past, and they certainly don’t want their representatives to live in the past,” Webb-Hebert says. “Lafayette needs bold leadership and fresh ideas about how we can make this community a better place for all of us now but mainly a better place for future generations. I’m not sure people realize how critical this council election is for the future Lafayette.”
What Webb-Hebert did confirm is that her current position as co-chair of Lafayette Junior Leadership has largely been the impetus for her to consider running. “The 27 high school juniors chosen for this program are among the best and brightest our community has to offer,” she says. “And we are in jeopardy of losing them to other states — even to other, more progressive cities in Louisiana — if we don’t make Lafayette the best city it can be.”
Webb-Hebert, a Lafayette native and Teurlings grad (her degree is from Northwestern State University) who is active in the young professionals group the705, is a board member of the Leadership Institute of Acadiana and past president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana. In 2013 she received The Daily Advertiser’s “20 Under 40” leadership award.
Political watchers might recall that last year Webb-Hebert managed the successful campaign of District 8 School Board member Erick Knezek, who defeated incumbent school board member Hunter Beasley. Knezek garnered 8,012 votes, or 75.25 percent, while Beasley got only 2,635 votes, or 24.75 percent.
Webb-Hebert tells The Independent she will make a final decision by the end of the week.