Wilson challenging Shelvin? Say it's so

by Leslie Turk

Former challenger Shawn Wilson is reportedly eyeing the race.

Surely there isn't a single soul (except Shelvin himself) in District 3 who thinks the man representing them on the Lafayette City-Parish Council should walk back into office. Not without a campaign that forces him to answer troubling questions about his judgment, ethics and truthfulnessĀ - not to mention whether he ever qualified as a resident of District 3 in the first palceĀ - all of which are well-documented in this March 2010 investigative story on the first-term councilman.

Then there was no small matter of him defaulting on a loan backed by his own minister.

Though he is said to not have finalized his decision, Shawn Wilson, who lost to Shelvin in a 2007 runoff, is reportedly eyeing the race. Contacted by phone this morning, Wilson declined to say how he is leaning.

Shelvin - backed in 2007 by two of the losing candidates from the field of six, Shelton Cobb and Dale Brasseaux, and supported by a faction of the black community that included then-influential KJCB radio - won the runoff with 57 percent of the vote. It could certainly be a different outcome this time, should Wilson - chief of staff for the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development - choose to mount another challenge.

Another source close to the race says Amos Batiste, a sales rep at Acadian Ambulance's National EMS Academy, also may be considering a run. In 2007, Batiste, Brasseaux and Cobb each received 13 percent of the vote in the September primary. The remaining candidate, Lloyd Rochon, received 15 percent. Shelvin led the primary with 25 percent, and Wilson received 18 percent.