Sept. 21, 2015 09:52 AM

From left: Stanley, Durel and Robideaux
City-Parish President Joey Durel Monday urged voters parishwide to select Dee Stanley, Durel’s longtime chief administrative officer, for the job Durel is vacating. “If you like the direction in which Lafayette Parish is heading, if you like the transparency and accessibility we have in this government, I believe the person to keep that going and more is Dee Stanley,” Durel writes in an effusive endorsement of Stanley, who, before serving since 2004 as CAO, was an anchor and investigative reporter with KLFY-TV10 and, prior to that, served as clerk for the former Lafayette City Council.

Durel’s nod to his top lieutenant comes just over a month before the Oct. 24 election pitting Stanley against state Rep. Joel Robideaux, who like Durel is term-limited. All three are Republicans.

The gist of Durel’s endorsement, reproduced below, is that Lafayette is on a positive trajectory and Stanley has been instrumental in not only positioning the parish for that arc but has the know-how to maintain the momentum. Durel’s backing of Stanley comes as little surprise: The three-term mayor has been outspoken publicly — and privately — in his praise for Stanley.

Durel also takes what many politics watchers in Lafayette would consider a swipe at Robideaux’s decision to hire Joe Castille as his campaign manager; Castille is considered in many circles to be an unscrupulous hack chipped off the Lee Atwater block: “I have watched each of their campaigns, and believe it fair to judge candidates by their record," Durel writes. "It is also important to judge by the company they keep: the people their campaign is associated with. The integrity of a political campaign speaks volumes about the candidate.”

Durel’s endorsement:

Twelve years ago, you elected me to be your city-parish president. I said then that you trusted me, trusted my motives, and my judgment. How else could I ask you to trust me?

Now, almost in the blink of an eye, I am saying goodbye to a job in which your trust and our trust in one another has helped reshape our community. Now, someone else will take my place in leading and serving this great city, parish, and even the region into the future.

Lafayette Parish is on the map like never before, not only around the country, but around the world! We are, unlike our state as a whole, making “Best Of” on all of the good lists. This is a reflection of the positive attitude and determination of our people.

A recent poll showed that over 90 percent of you believe Lafayette is heading in the right direction, while only 40 percent believe the state is heading in the right direction.

There were no bike trails in Lafayette before we took office, there was no discussion of fiber to the home, there was no Horse Farm, no plan for the future, or modern codes to make plans happen. There was no Project Front Yard, no CNG busses, or public CNG station in Lafayette. There was no discussion of working together as a region. Today, we truly are, “The Happiest City in America!”

The finances of this government are in much better shape than we found them, despite going through the same recession our state went through. And, we have something new, something I love witnessing: we have an incredible attitude! Not an arrogant one, but maybe just a little swagger that says we can do anything we want to do, if it is good for our community. That may be the intangible that I am most proud of.

It might be safe to say that no living person understands better what it takes to be the city-parish president of Lafayette than perhaps do I. No other person alive has led this very complex form of government in which we now operate.

In this race for City-Parish President are two candidates with whom I’ve worked closely. I have watched each of their campaigns, and believe it fair to judge candidates by their record. It is also important to judge by the company they keep: the people their campaign is associated with. The integrity of a political campaign speaks volumes about the candidate. The wonderful people of Lafayette Parish have worked too hard, to get where we are today, and to where we hope to be in the future, to risk seeing it all be lost. We cannot afford to go back to where we came from, and we all know and understand what that was like: we all want better.

Today, I am again asking you to please trust me once more. I am asking you to keep the momentum we have going in Lafayette by joining me in supporting and voting for Dee Stanley to be our next city-parish president.

Dee and I have learned the complexities of operating a hybrid form of a consolidated government together. Everything that we have achieved, we have all, as a community, achieved through trust and teamwork. And, Dee has been the quarterback, always playing a critical role in getting it done.

With Dee, there will be no learning curve, and there will be no bumps in the road that could interrupt the momentum we have as a community. Let’s not risk our “best of” lists. In fact, let’s make our “best of” lists even better. If you like the direction in which Lafayette Parish is heading, if you like the transparency and accessibility we have in this government, I believe the person to keep that going and more is Dee Stanley.