John Petersen enters District 3 race

The Lafayette entrepreneur hopes his entry into elected politics is as sweet as his Swamp Pop Soda.

John Peterson, co-owner of Genterie Supply, a Downtown clothing store, and Swamp Pop Sodas, has thrown his hat into the October election for City-Parish Council, announcing this week he’ll join two other candidates in challenging two-term incumbent Brandon Shelvin in the mostly urban, inner-city district.

A resident of Downtown Lafayette, Petersen is the son of educators and a graduate of the public education system in Lafayette, earning a master’s degree in business administration from UL Lafayette. His beverage company, Swamp Pop Sodas, was named Startup of the Year in 2015 and inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame.

According to his campaign website, Petersen will focus on public safety, quality of life and economic development issues as well as outreach to Lafayette’s homeless population, which is concentrated in the district. His candidacy will be an uphill climb: He’s the lone white candidate in a district that is about 75 percent black, stretching from Downtown Lafayette north through some of Lafayette’s oldest neighborhoods to Gloria Switch road. While mostly within the city limits of Lafayette, District 3 does cover some parts of unincorporated Lafayette. The two other challengers in the race are Democratic businessman Pat Lewis and Ursula Anderson, a Republican who works for a pro-life nonprofit.

Visit Petersen’s campaign website here.