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Meet the Candidates: Clay Higgins - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Meet the Candidates: Clay Higgins

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Clay Higgins Clay Higgins

In an election cycle that's been very good for political outsiders, Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre, is hoping the trend holds true in Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District. He says a political outsider is exactly what the district needs. 

"I know what it is to bounce a check," said Higgins. "I know what it feels like to see an eviction notice on my door. I can relate to the struggles of regular American people and this is the type of representation that our founding fathers envisioned would take place in the halls of power."

Higgins, the so-called Cajun John Wayne, became an internet sensation during his time as a spokesperson for the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office. His weekly Crime Stoppers segments featured tough, and sometimes controversial rhetoric. 

Like his time at Crime Stoppers, Higgins' foray into politics has made headlines, but not always flattering. Most recently, his ex-wife filed a lawsuit seeking $100,000 in child support from the last decade.

In a one-on-one interview with KATC's Jim Hummel, Higgins denied ever skipping child support payments. 

"That's a complex legal matter," said Higgins. "There was a lot absent from that narrative, and I still support my children." 

Higgins also questions the timing and the motivation of the lawsuit. It was filed one day after he made the runoff election. His ex-wife who filed suit, has ties to the Jindal administration, where Higgins' opponent, Scott Angelle held a number of leadership roles.

When asked if he thought Angelle's campaign had something to do with the lawsuit, Higgins replied: "I think that's a reasonable conclusion." 

A pro-Angelle political action committee, Love for Louisiana, is currently running a television ad accusing Higgins of using his position in the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office, to make cash for himself. 

"It's not true," said Higgins.

E-mails from his time at the Sheriff's office show he advanced private interests during public time. He also coordinated paid public appearances around the country using his government e-mail account, with a particular request, payments in cash. Higgins says his preference for payments in cash was a matter of convenience. 

"I'm a street cop," he said. "When I'd go out of state, they'd write me a check and I'd go home and need my money, you understand? I'm a cop. So I'd get paid by check and it'd take five to seven days for me to get that and have access to that money in my account." 

Higgins has branded himself as a man of faith, his bible never far away. He says he has faith in a win against Scott Angelle. 

"Well, Mr. Angelle, respectfully, represents what's wrong with our country," he said. "Experience is fine, but you wouldn't want to have an experienced arsonist as a roommate would you?"

When asked about his first 100-days in office, if he's elected, Higgins admits he'll have challenges. 

"I'll be a rookie," he said. "There's a learning curve. I've never claimed to have all the answers, but I have a clear grasp of the challenges that face our nation.  Every answer to the challenges we face lies in returning our federal government to the constitutional parameters as envisioned by our founding fathers." 

So why run for office?

"I love my country," said Higgins. "It's a soldiers love for his fellow soldier that's injured. It's love that will cause a man to move across a field of fire. To do something very uncomfortable. It's love for that fellow soldier. It's love for his country. It's faith in a better day. That's why I'm in this campaign."

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