Jan. 21, 2011 05:46 PM
Fred Mills is getting support from an unlikely celebrity source in his bid to become the next state Senator for District 22, which covers Iberia and St. Martin parishes. Fred Mills is getting support from an unlikely celebrity source in his bid to become the next state Senator for District 22, which covers Iberia and St. Martin parishes. A recent campaign mail piece, targeting African American households, features a picture of NBA star and LSU alum Shaquille O'Neal in a Mills for Senate jersey. Mills' relationship with Shaq goes back to when the current center of the Boston Celtics was at LSU, as detailed in The Ind's 2008 profile of Mills:
Shaq and Mills met when one of the "dream team" Boudreaux brothers, a pair of gifted athletes from Cecilia, roomed with O'Neal at LSU. "They'd come visit at the drug store in Parks," Mills says. "O'Neal was always at the drug store. Everybody knows everybody there anyway. It's like Sam Drucker's store [on the old sit-com "Green Acres"]. Then one time he was at my house and LSU was playing in an SEC game, but he had a stress fracture on his knee. I gave him some anti-inflammatory pills, some simple stuff. And the next day, he was a new man. I could not get rid of him after that. Even in the NBA, he calls, Fred? This is hurting me. What do I take? What do I do?' He's really just like a big teddy bear." Mills is widely regarded as the frontrunner in the District 22 race. Despite five opponents, he is pushing to capture more than 50 percent of the vote, and win the contest outright in tomorrow's primary election. For more on the race, read this week's Independent cover story, "Fight Card."