Rees announces for Congress

Lafayette resident and former Bush II-appointed ambassador joins a crowded field seeking to replace U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany.

Yet another Republican from Acadiana has joined a growing field of candidates in the fall election to replace U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, the Lafayette Republican who is vacating his seat in the House to run for Sen. David Vitter’s seat in the upper chamber.

Grover Joseph Rees, a New Orleans native whose family has ties to Breaux Bridge — the Rees name is an institution in the Bayou Teche community — announced that he has filed the paperwork necessary to run for Congress. Rees says a formal announcement is to come.

“I’m reasonably confident that whoever is elected from the Third District in 2016 will be a conservative who is pro-life, pro-family, anti-tax, and in favor of a foreign policy that is focused on defending American interests and values,” Rees says in a press release announcing his candidacy. “But it’s far less certain that he or she would be one of the handful of Members of Congress who go to work every morning thinking about what they can do to advance these objectives, whatever the obstacles.”

Rees’ involvement in GOP politics goes back to his work on Ronald Reagan’s presidential run in 1976, shortly after graduating from LSU Law School. In the 40 years since, he held various positions in and out of government, including as a law professor, as a member of Reagan’s Justice Department in the ’80s, as an aide to U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Illinois, and from 2002-2006 as the first U.S. ambassador to the newly created nation of East Timor — a résumé he touts as the experience necessary to represent Southwest Louisiana in Washington, D.C.

“It also matters a lot whether a new member of Congress has had the kind of experience that is necessary to acquire the knowledge and skills that will enable him or her to be an effective legislator,” Rees adds. “I believe my record as a conservative reformer has prepared me well to serve as an effective member of Congress — that is, as an effective advocate for a culture of life, for smaller government and lower taxes, and for protecting and promoting American interests and values.”

Rees joins Lafayette Parish School Board member Erick Knezek, retired Army Lt. Col. Greg Ellison and health care executive Gus Rantz among candidates from the Lafayette area who have announced plans to seek the seat.

Visit Rees’ website here.