That was the rallying cry — "Send Boudreaux to Baton Rouge" — as Gerald Boudreaux launched his campaign for the state Senate District 24 seat during a packed-house event Friday in Carencro.
“For those of you who like me, you’re going to love Gerald,” said the candidate’s younger brother, Lafayette City-Parish Council chairman Kenneth Boudreaux before a standing-room-only crowd of about 300 — including close to 20 elected officials — who packed inside the Carencro Community Center for Friday’s campaign launch.
Following the introduction by his younger brother, Gerald Boudreaux took the mic and started with a story from his days as a college basketball official (1984-2006), saying he was never nervous, even during the five occasions in which he was selected to officiate the NCAA Final Four. “We knew we had to get the job done. But today,” said Boudreaux, “I’m nervous.”
Boudreaux then got down to his reason for running: “I have a calling to continue to serve, and I want good governance.” Boudreaux also gave a brief outline of his platform during Friday’s event, saying education would be one of his top priorities.
“We have to stop cutting education,” said the candidate. “A few years ago, it was ‘No Child Left Behind.’ Well, I don’t need to tell you, we’ve left them behind. We must restore hope to our young people, through education, and it can’t just be a slogan, it has to be a reality. Education will be the driving force of our economic success in this area.”
Boudreaux, who has worked for the parks and recreation department since 1978, serving as its director since 1985, is running to replace Elbert Guillory, a Republican-turned-Democrat-turned-Republican who has indicated he’ll be running for lieutenant governor instead of seeking re-election.
District 24 includes most of St. Landry Parish, as well as the northern parts of Lafayette Parish (where Boudreaux lives) and (since redistricting) a black majority section of Breaux Bridge in St. Martin Parish.
Boudreaux, a lifelong Democrat, has a long history of community and civic involvement, which includes a recently completed term as chairman of the board of directors of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center. He’s also on the board of the Miles Perret Cancer Services Center (attorney Hank Perret emceed the announcement event), and was appointed in 2013 to a three-year term on the board of directors for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.