Staff reports

Johnny Berthelot, issued the following statement regarding the announcement of his candidacy for State Representative, District 88:

After an accomplished tenure as Mayor of Gonzales for 24 years, I decided to retire in 2008. With the help of some very dedicated and experienced people, we worked together to make Gonzales a shining example of what Louisiana can become if people focus on smart policies as a true, obtainable goal. Our top-rated school system, successful businesses, excellent recreational opportunities and our strategic location made our community a great commercial hub for Ascension and the River Parishes. As Mayor-Administrator, I had a plan to operate the office in a fiscally conservative manner. We would do things the right way, by investing in our infrastructure and people while maintaining a strong balance sheet. It worked.

Now a new chapter of my life has begun and my passion for service has not diminished one bit. There is still a lot of work to be done in Louisiana, and equally, I still have an abundance of fight left in me. I relish the time I can spend with my grandchildren going to baseball and soccer games and hosting backyard barbecues, but it also reminds me that if we do not turn things around in our state, they may have to move away to fulfill their dreams. Thousands of families are torn apart by lack of opportunity. This is unacceptable.

For this reason, it is my honor and pleasure to announce my candidacy for State Representative of District 88. I will bring a conservative approach to state government and a powerful voice for the citizens of our community. In addition, I will bring my full energy and network of policy experts to the table to start addressing our fundamental weaknesses as a region and state:

1.Reduce the traffic congestion that drains us of time and money by adding thru lanes, turnabouts, increased capacity to existing highways, and put more emphasis on road safety

2. Eliminate the bloated government spending on programs that have proven to be failures and reform those programs that are necessary but could be updated?

3. Improve our statewide public education system by retaining the best teachers, making technology upgrades to the classroom, and allowing parents more control over their child’s education

4.Invest in a jobs development plan that makes Louisiana more competitive on the national scene through tax incentives, diversifies and strengthens our economy, updates worker training to meet demand and makes sure that Education is funded properly

5. Protect our conservative values, sportsman’s paradise and fight political corruption at all levels of government

With the support of my wonderful wife, the former Paula Chauvin, and the inspiration of my three children and five grandchildren, and a fully recharged battery, I plan on running a positive campaign that speaks to the best interests of Ascension residents. Over the years, I have found that we share the same philosophy about government- Bigger is not Better. We have work to do. I look forward to being your voice in the State House of Representatives. Please join our team and help us be successful on October 22, 2011.