St. Martin

Sep 6, 2011 11:13 PM by Maddie Garrett

Are Politician's Statements Degrading Toward St. Martinville?

A political candidate takes aim at one Acadiana city, and Tuesday night some city leaders fire back. It's a back-and-forth between State House of Representatives District 96 candidate Raymond "Shoe-Do" Lewis and the City of St. Martinville.

Is it a political game, an insult, or maybe just words of advice? The verdict is still out on Lewis's statements published in the Daily Iberian.

"When I first read it I was taken aback because he was supposed to be citing his accomplishments and he spent two paragraphs, I felt, degrading the city of St. Martinville," said St. Martinville City Council Member Mike Fuselier.

This is the paragraph Fuselier is talking about:
"But when I look at St. Martinville there is nothing economically going on there. For the past 10 years, St. Martinville has been left on life support. I want to come to show them how to breathe on their own again, breathe some life again."

This statement caught the attention of several St. Martinville City Council members, including Ronald Charles.

"I was concerned that's why I called him," said Charles.

Charles said speaking to Lewis, he doesn't think the statements were derogatory towards the city.

"He assured me, he said in no way that he, you know, he would say anything to degrade St. Martinville," said Charles.

While there are mixed feelings about what those words meant, some on the council think that it was just political ploy because the former mayor of St. Martinville, Eric Martin, and Former Assistant Police Chief Nary Smith Sr. are running for that same District 96 position.

"I really feel like he was taking a cheap political swipe at those two opponents, that's all I could see, why he would say those things that he said about our city," said Fuselier.

Fuselier responded to Lewis's statements with a letter of his own Tuesday night.

While Charles agrees there are probably politics at play here, he questions why Lewis would put down a city where he's seeking votes.

"It wouldn't make too much sense to say anything that would certainly degrade the city," Charles said.

But how voters receive Lewis's statements will be made clear come election day on October 22.



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