Randy Evans, an insurance defense attorney, last week kicked off his campaign for the newly configured state House District 98 -- with the strong endorsement of a fellow Republican, New Orleans City Councilman Jay Batt.
"Randy Evans would be an excellent representative," says Batt. "He has a proven track record of working for reform and has worked many years across party and racial lines to move New Orleans forward. He is both pro-business and socially inclusive."
Evans served on Democratic Mayor Ray Nagin's transition team and numerous civic groups. Evans has been active in GOP politics since the mid-80s; he is one of the founders of the local chapter of the Log Cabin Republican Party, an organization that works for the inclusiveness of gays in the GOP. He was active in efforts to pass Louisiana's Hate Crimes Act of 1997, the first in the Deep South to extend protections to gays and lesbians. This is Evans' third run for the legislature. In 1995 and 1999, he ran unsuccessfully for House District 89 seat; both races were won by state Rep. Mitch Landrieu, a Democrat now running for lieutenant governor.
The old district was majority-white and majority-Democrat. With the advent of the House re-districting plan to conform to changes in the census, old House District 89 will be converted into new House District 98 -- which will be majority-black and Democrat.
Specifically, new HD98 will be 56 percent black, 39 percent white and 5 percent others. Politically, HD98 will be 63 percent Democrat, 17 percent Republican and 20 percent independent. The district will include portions of Uptown, Broadmoor, Central City and Mid-City.
Evans is confident of victory. He is counting on the traditionally higher voter turnout -- up to 15 percent -- in certain Uptown precincts. "Additionally, I have put together a top-notch team of consultants headed by Bill Kearney and technology guru Greg Riggamer, who have an unparalleled record in crafting winning campaigns," Evans says. Randy Boudreaux will be Evans' campaign manager.
Sheriffs Supporting Sheriff
Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff Charles Foti is getting his campaign for state attorney general in high gear with the help of two fellow sheriffs. Foti, a Democrat, will host a $1,000 per person campaign fundraiser at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, at the Pavilion of Two Sisters at City Park. Co-chairing the campaign are civic leader Beau Bassich, Orleans Parish Civil Sheriff Paul Valteau and Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee. "It is a great opportunity for Sheriff Foti's many friends in the metro area to talk to him about his campaign for attorney general and his attempts to further energize the office," says Allan Katz, a spokesperson for the campaign. At least two other candidates are expected to make the race: state elections commissioner Suzy Terrell and Al Donovan, a Democrat and former executive counsel to former Gov. Edwin Edwards. Qualifying is Aug. 19-21. The primary election is Oct. 4. Any runoff will be Nov. 14.