Former state senator, booze boss Hebert running for U.S. Senate

by Walter Pierce

Photo by Robin May

Troy Hebert, a former state senator from Iberia Parish who until late last year served for five years as the commissioner of the state office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control, says he plans to enter this year’s U.S. Senate race as an independent. Hebert says in a press release announcing his Senate bid that he was the first registered independent to serve in the state Senate in modern history.

“It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, it’s insane if we think things will change by electing the same type of politicians over and over. My record of fighting for the “Lil Man” against the establishment runs from governors to DA’s to illegal multi-million dollar businesses,” Hebert says in the release. “The answers to our country’s problems are not complicated. One just needs common sense and the guts to fight for them. If you tick off some people along the way, that just means you are making progress.”

Hebert’s timing in announcing his run may seem odd to many news-watchers: It comes a day after a New Orleans TV station and the political blog LouisianaVoice reported that Hebert is under federal investigation stemming from allegations that he used his position as ATC commissioner to extort sex from a woman experiencing problems with the regulatory agency over a liquor license for her New Orleans restaurant. Hebert has vigorously denied both the reports of a probe and the allegations.

Hebert is clearly unswayed by this week’s unflattering press and, depending on one’s reading, makes a sideways reference to it in his press release:

“Given the number of voters that are fed up with both parties, the large number of registered independents and the swollen number of Republican candidates, simple math shows a great opportunity for voters to elect their first truly conservative, independent United States senator,” Hebert adds. “This realization has some powerful people, with a lot to lose, already trying to keep me out of the race. They think I kicked their butts before, just think what I could do as a U.S. Senator.”