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Meet the candidates running for District 26 state senator

Posted at 8:37 PM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-09 20:31:54-04

The October election is exactly one month away.

Voters in District 26 will decide on a state senator.

The district covers parts of Acadia, Lafayette, St. Landry and Vermilion parishes.

Senator Bob Hensgens (R-Gueydan) is seeking re-election. He won the seat during a special election last November.

"We've had a good year this year even though the circumstances were difficult, and we want to keep it going, working with the team of state representatives we have in District 26 to move things forward," said Republican Sen. Hensgens.

Before being elected as senator, Hensgens served as the state representative in District 47 for nine years. Previously, he served as mayor for the Town of Gueydan.

The incumbent says he will continue fighting for small businesses and the oil and gas industry.

"It's less government and more priorities on a business climate," the senator explained. "In the last few years, we've focused on too much on how government is going to grow and instead of how we're going to have our small business going to grow."

Hensgens's opponent, Jerry Gaspard (D-Abbeville), describes himself as a conservative Democrat.

Gaspard says although he's never worked in politics, he's knowledgeable about the legislative process after working for the Louisiana Farm Bureau for nearly 30 years.

Like Hensgens, Gaspard would like to concentrate on creating more jobs. However, Gaspard says it starts with education.

"There's only about thirty percent that go to college, so we need to target the seventy percent and train them with job skills as well as better education."

Gaspard also has a plan to improve the state's infrastructure.

"We can start a $3 billion road investment fund. Pay [investors] six-percent interest [and] get the roads immediately done once we get the funds in," explained Gaspard.

Hensgens's opponent is also concerned about coastal erosion. He says more funds need to be allocated to complete projects aimed at lessening the state's deterioration.

Gaspard says if elected, he would work toward lowering car insurance rates and creating incentives for students to study psychology to improve treatment of mental illness.

Election Day is October 12. To find out who the Senate candidates are in your district, click here.

For more information on Hensgens, click here.

For more information on Gaspard, click here.