Youngsville Mayor Ken Ritter, a Republican, issued an eleventh hour endorsement of Carlee Alm-LaBar, a no party candidate, in Saturday’s runoff for mayor-president. Ritter is the first Lafayette Parish mayor to formally back a campaign.
On his official Facebook page late Friday afternoon, Ritter writes that voters who truly wanted a Republican to lead the parish missed an opportunity when they failed to elect his CAO, Simone Champagne, in the primary.
In what appears to be an expression of frustration, Ritter goes on to say, “same old same old. Same campaign consultants and similar rhetoric that we’ve grown accustomed to lately. It doesn’t have to be that way. Campaigns and elections are tough. They tear our communities and friendships with each other apart.”
Mayor-President Joel Robideaux’s controversial campaign consultant, Joe Castille, is now working on the campaign of Alm-LaBar’s opponent, Josh Guillory.
Guillory is running as a Republican.
A popular figure in Youngsville and parish political circles, Ritter was twice elected without opposition, winning his second term in November 2018.
The mayor goes on to stress that the stakes are high in Saturday’s election, “because we all love Lafayette Parish,” adding that he is ready to work with either candidate. “I know both MP candidates. Both are good people that I respect, but I also understand local government.”
“Tomorrow I am proud to vote for Carlee for Lafayette,” he writes. “I believe in her qualifications, and I believe in her ability to move Lafayette Parish ahead.”
“Ken and I have known each other for several years now, and I’ve had the privilege of speaking with him often over the last several months about how we can work together on parish issues,” Alm-LaBar said in a response to the endorsement. “As your parish president, I look forward to working with Ken and the other mayors to coordinate on activities like drainage, fire protection, and traffic.”
Disclosure: Alm-LaBar contributed seed money to The Current in 2018. See our donors here.