‘LaPolitics:’ Baton Rouge races taking shape; LSU as “aggressor”

A quick-hit roundup of who’s qualifying for Baton Rouge-area legislative races:

Senate district 16: Term-limited Rep. Steve Carter of Baton Rouge told LaPolitics Thursday that he will be running for the open seat being vacated by Sen. Dan Claitor. Beverly Brooks Thompson, an Emerge Louisiana recruit, is expected to make the race as well, alongside Rep. Franklin Foil.

House district 70: With Foil term-limited, Michael DiResto, executive vice president of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, has formally announced for the seat. DiResto, previously worked for the Louisiana Republican Party, Division of Administration and former Congressman Richard Baker. Also said to be looking at the seat are East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member Connie Bernard and former East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Councilman John Delgado.

The king of LSU: After nearly a decade of budget cuts and uncertainty, LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander said he believes that Louisiana’s flagship university is now on solid footing. “I’m very pleased with where we have been for the last two years,” Alexander said during an interview for the LaPolitics Report podcast. “We’ve had two stable budgets, which means that we haven’t been cut and have been able to get back on our feet.” He adds the financial progress made over the past 24 months has allowed LSU to recruit top faculty and students after years of being raided by other schools. “We’ve become the aggressor out of state, to bring in some of the best and brightest to Louisiana.” Finally, King says financial stability is allowing LSU to enroll and graduate students in record numbers. “The freshman class is the largest and most diverse freshman class that we have ever had. I’m pleased to say that the fall graduating class was the largest graduating class that we’ve ever had in every category, every ethnicity, every economic income group.” But it is not just students who are feeling the effects: “Our faculty were able to get pay raises for the first time in years. It has stabilized and helped our morale.”

They said it: We’re going to do some reverse voodoo and get back in the Super Bowl next year.”—Minority Whip Steve Scalise, on the Saints-Rams game, on TMZ.

Jeremy Alford publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter, or on Facebook. He can be reached at JJA@LaPolitics.com.  

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