Early voting for the special election to fill the District 47 State Representative seat is underway.
The district includes parts of Vermilion, Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes.
Republicans Ben Rivera and Ryan Bourriaque are vying to serve the remainder of former Representative Bob Hensgen’s term, which will end later this year. Hensgens stepped down after being elected to the state senate.
Though the candidates are both republicans, they have differing opinions on what their focus would be if elected.
“I’m working to bring back jobs in the oil industry. I’m a strong supporter of agriculture and also auto insurance reform. I will en-grain myself in those three things to bring it home for District 47,” Rivera said.
Bourriaque said, “You can’t accept the status quo of losing shore line. You have to be proactive and engaged to get those funding projects on the ground. Roads are in disrepair.”
This is Rivera’s first run for office. He says one of his goals is to end legacy oil and gas lawsuits and lower the severance tax rates for oil companies.
Rivera said, “I’m pro-business and I’m looking for jobs for the working man to bring jobs back. In my opinion, communities are built around jobs and where jobs are. We see our communities don’t have money for infrastructure, or upkeep public schools or things like that. I think being pro business and for jobs will make me stand apart.”
Bourriaque currently serves as the parish administrator for the Cameron Parish Police Jury.
“We need to increase our sustainability and resilience to natural and man made disasters,” Bourriaque said. “The opportunity is there for us to capitalize on it and there is opportunity for us to bring projects and prosperity to District 47.”
Early voting ends this Saturday and election day is February 23.