Nathan Stubbs

Governor may decide newest council member

by Nathan Stubbs

Gov. Bobby Jindal may have the final say over who is appointed the newest member of the Lafayette City-Parish Council. The council is scheduled to appoint an interim replacement for outgoing District 6 Councilman Bruce Conque at a special meeting tonight. (Conque is stepping down for a new job with the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce). Five applicants have submitted their names to be considered for the position, and the council called the special meeting tonight in order to have a District 6 representative named in advance of the next regular meeting on Oct. 7.

That may not happen, however, as the latest indications are that the council may be headed for a split decision. Based on conversations with council members, support has been building for two of the applicants, Republican attorney Judith Kennedy and Democrat Sam Dore, who previously ran against Conque for the District 6 seat. Backing appears to be falling along party lines, with the council’s four Democratic members favoring Dore and the four Republican members leaning toward Kennedy. (Conque will not be a part of tonight’s council). By law, the council has until Oct. 15 to make the appointment. If a majority decision cannot be reached, the appointment then goes to Jindal. Jindal would be permitted to select any District 6 resident to the seat, regardless of whether he or she was one of the five applicants to the council.

Update: Looks like this will head to the Governor. The council vote, falling along party lines, split between Dore and Kennedy. Barring the unlikely event that a councilman decides to change his vote before the 15th, Gov. Jindal will be making the appointment.