June 20, 2017 10:42 AM

Kleckley, left, and Barras
Photos by Robin May

Former House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, now a government affairs advisor at Adams & Reese in Baton Rouge, said last week that he thought his successor in the Legislature’s lower chamber is “doing a good job.”

But Kleckley also added that sitting Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, “has his work cut out for him.”

Barras, the first speaker elected in modern times with the endorsement of a governor, has been under fire in recent weeks by newspaper editorials asking for a fresh start for the House.

“I think probably every speaker back to the beginning of time has had some type of challenge,” Kleckley said in last week’s episode of The LaPolitics Report podcast. “I read the stuff about Taylor and removing him from the speaker’s office... But if you remove him, the whole deck gets reshuffled. You’re going to have new chairmen of the 16 standing committees, new vice chairmen of the 16 standing committees, a whole new Appropriations Committee.”

Kleckley added, “When you factor all of that in, what guarantees that a new speaker will be any different? It’s a lot of noise. It’s unfortunate. That energy can be better spent resolving some of the problems the state has.”