Rep. Simone Champagne vacating District 49 seat

by Patrick Flanagan

State Rep. Simon Champagne has announced she will be vacating her District 49 seat to work for Youngsville’s new mayor.

Champagne says she’ll officially vacate her seat on Dec. 31, and come Jan. 31, she’ll become the chief administrative officer for Youngsville’s Mayor-elect Ken Ritter — a job she once held under the administration of former Iberia Parish President Will Langlinais.

This announcement shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering reports by The IND last February that Champagne had sold her home and was no longer domiciled within the boundaries of District 49, which covers portions of Iberia and Vermilion parishes. At the time, Champagne had confirmed with The IND that she had moved to the Youngsville area and that she wouldn’t seek reelection for the District 49 seat in 2015.

“I am honored to have served the citizens of District 49,” Champagne says in a press release, adding her decision was not made “with little thought.”

Regarding her future with the city of Youngsville, Champagne says she’s “excited and honored to be joining this team of leaders, including the mayor and city council, in one of the fastest growing cities in Louisiana.”

“I feel fortunate to have Rep Champagne join our team as Chief Administrative Officer,” says Ritter. “I know that her knowledge and experience will serve the residents of Youngsville well.”

A special election has been set by House Speaker Rep. Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, for Saturday, Feb. 21, followed by a March 28 general election in the event of a runoff. Whoever wins that election, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office, will also have to run for reelection in November.

And according to this report from The Advocate, Champagne’s announcement has already attracted one campaign announcement from Blake Miguez. According to the report, Miguez was already preparing to run for the seat in November, and so far, has a campaign fund of about $60,000.