Three candidates for mayor-president are going head-to-head for the position on Oct. 14, 2023.
One of them is the incumbent mayor-president, Josh Guillory, and the other two candidates are Monique Blanco Boulet and Jan Swift.
The incumbent, Guillory, is running for re-election this year. Guillory had wanted to focus on “core priorities” which are wanting to grow the economy and making it more diverse as well as making the parish a more business-friendly community.
Guillory has recently been in a scandal with one of the running candidates, Monique Blanco Boulet, where he has recently filed for a temporary restraining order against her.
The reason for the restraining order against Boulet is due to the fact that she accused him of corruption in her statements on social media and interviews.
Boulet’s accusations of Guillory’s corruption include “unlawfully seizing 400 acres of private property to build a $60-million retention pond that will do little to prevent flooding,” using police officers as personal bodyguards and drivers, starting a construction equipment rental business within two months of starting large drainage project and possible violations of state bid laws, the state constitution, the parish Home Rule Charter and the Lafayette Consolidated Government’s policies and procedures.
Boulet responded to Guillory, saying that the incumbent mayor-president is resorting to a restraining order due to being unable to defend himself and his record in office.
“Josh Guillory cannot defend his record of failure and corruption, so he is trying to silence others from talking about it,” Boulet said. “I will not back down from speaking the truth, standing up to this bully, and fighting to bring honesty and transparency to Lafayette Parish.”
The restraining order was denied on Sept. 15, with another hearing set for Oct. 4.
Though he has been accused of corruption, Guillory has pledged from the beginning that he would work tirelessly to ensure that all of Lafayette’s citizens would be treated fairly. In doing so, he has worked through the shutdown of COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of the community of Lafayette Parish, while also being sure that he and his team were working safely for the community.
Boulet is the second candidate for mayor-president.
She was born and raised in Acadiana and went to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she got her Executive MBA, She currently serves as the CEO of the Acadiana Planning Commission (APC).
Being one of the candidates running, she says that she will bring honesty, integrity and true leadership to Lafayette Parish.
“Monique believes in an honest and transparent government that welcomes questions, feedback and collaborations.” according to her website.
There are many issues that she wants to work on in Lafayette if she becomes mayor-president, such as building a safe community for families, working on flood issues, growing and supporting businesses in the environment, as well as putting education and workforce training on the top list of her priorities if elected.
The last running candidate is Jan Swift, who graduated from LSU and LSU Law School before moving to Lafayette in 1983. She currently serves on the council with Swift and Rhoades, LLP.
There are issues that Swift wants to cover and make better if she is elected mayor-president and one of the issues she wants to fix is the drainage problem which according to her website, she says there are two.
“The first one deals with water. The second one deals with the drainage of money benefiting the insiders and dealmakers while the basics of local government are being neglected.” Swift said on her campaign website.
As a candidate wanting to be elected as mayor-president, there are many things that she feels that she can contribute to the community, and being a person that she wants the parish to turn to and voice the matters that they feel need to be heard, she wants to be the one to help make Lafayette Parish better by listening.
Swift has mentioned that she wants to bring public service back into the leadership position as mayor-president because she feels that the community is being led adrift by “inadequate leadership.”
“I cannot sit idly by and allow what we have built together to be subjected to a politics of self-interest and duplicity,” Swift said.
Though there are tensions surrounding the election and some of the candidates, each of these three individuals are unique in what they can bring to the seat of mayor-president, one thing is clear and that is that they care deeply for Lafayette Parish and the community..