Leslie Turk

Skinner not running for DA

by Leslie Turk

Disappointingly, it's over before it officially began.

Former U.S. Attorney Mike Skinner, who had been planning to mount a challenge to 15th Judicial District Attorney Mike Harson this fall, says he will not seek the office. "Basically it came down to a decision of not being able to do two things well at the same time," Skinner tells the INDsider. "The harder I have tried to get the campaign off the ground, the busier I have gotten in my practice. It's great, don't get me wrong, but I didn't have the time to adequately devote to each of them."

Skinner has a thriving solo practice that primarily focuses on business and commercial litigation and transactions, as well as white collar criminal defense and governmental relations work. The financial strain of giving up his practice was another factor, as Skinner's two children are in college, with son Winston heading to the prestigious Vanderbilt University Law School in Nashville this fall.

Skinner's campaign unofficially got under way early last year when he passed out lapel stickers at the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce's Building Community Conference at Toledo Bend. He served as U.S. attorney for the Western District from 1993 to 2000 and chaired the Louisiana Democratic Party from 2003 to early 2005.

"Mike would have been a fine candidate for any position," says attorney Gary McGoffin, a friend and supporter. "We need more good citizens running, but I can understand the personal and professional decisions he made."

The 15th Judicial District includes Acadia, Lafayette and Vermilion parishes.