Candidate Profile: Jay Dardenne

Jay Dardenne
Jay Dardenne

By David Spunt - bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Next week voters will go to the polls to choose a host of elected positions around the state. One of those is the number two position in Louisiana, lieutenant governor. This week WAFB is profiling both candidates for the job, and by random selection, Jay Dardenne is the first profile.

His roots in Baton Rouge run deep, and Jay Dardenne, Louisiana's current secretary of state says he is ready to step in to the state's number two job.

"I better be ready. That's the constitutional mandate of this job. The lieutenant governor must be ready to serve as governor in the event the governor is incapacitated, out of town or leaves the office," he said.

The main focus of the position is promoting tourism throughout the state, and it has not been an easy challenge after a summer full of oil filled marshes, and thousands out of business.

"There's a huge misperception right now about Louisiana seafood all around the country that we have to dispel. We have to make certain people realize our seafood is safe, it's abundant, it's plentiful, it's ready to be consumed," he said.

Last week marked the six month anniversary since the Deepwater Horizon explosion, and Dardenne says holding BP's feet to the fire is a must.

"We need to make certain BP is held responsible to all those who have been affected and that includes the state and local governments and individuals and BP will be responsible. And I want them to make sure they help us develop a comprehensive plan to promote Louisiana and bring tourists back into our state," he said.

Last week, Dardenne came out full force, attacking opponent Caroline Fayard in an ad, saying she is in favor of gay marriage and against the death penalty. Fayard says she's actually against gay marriage but for civil unions. We asked Dardenne why he chose those issues, for a job about promoting tourism in the state.

"I am not in favor of gay marriage and I support the death penalty. It's an important issue if the lieutenant governor is called upon to be governor. You'll have to make a decision about the death penalty so it's certainly a relevant point," he said.

Tuesday night, we will profile Caroline Fayard, a registered Democrat.

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