Baton Rouge doctor considering run against Clark for coroner

    Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group Dr. Rani Whitfield is considering a run for the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner’s election this fall.

    “That office needs to see more of the parish,” Whitfield says, adding he’s thought about running in the past, but won’t make a final decision until August. “In other words, putting individuals in the grave as well as putting individuals in ministry is not what that job is all about. I think there are many health issues I feel need to be addressed.”

    Prior to his telling Daily Report of the possible run, Whitfield spoke at the Press Club of Baton Rouge. During his address, he touched on the state’s nascent medical marijuana program and noted the abnormally high suicide rate of African-American men in East Baton Rouge Parish as compared to other ethnic groups. He says suicide and the opioid epidemic are among the issues he wants the Coroner’s Office to address.

    Whitfield—who also sits on the Southern University Board of Supervisors—previously campaigned for the District 3 Metro Council seat in 2016. He ultimately suspended the campaign shortly after the August 2016 flood.

    Dr. Beau Clark, who assumed the coroner’s job after beating out incumbent Shannon Cooper in 2011, has said he intends to run for a third four-year term.

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