ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Ascension Parish Council Chairman, Chris Loar announced Tuesday he is joining the race for parish president. He was surrounded by his wife, two daughters, and a room full of supporters at Kamal's Café in Gonzales.
Loar said infrastructure is the biggest challenge facing the parish.
Nearly everywhere you turn in Ascension Parish you see men at work. Dirt is moving on a number of projects in response to economic development and a residential boom that hit the parish several years ago.
Loar, who has served on the parish council for six and a half years, has been a driving force behind planning and developing solutions to alleviate the growing pains. He acknowledged there is still plenty of work to do.
"That is why I stand before you today to officially declare for the office of parish president of Ascension," Loar said.
Loar is the Director of Business Information Systems at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. He said his interest in the parish's top seat isn't a political move. He said he wants to be the next CEO of Ascension.
"It's about how we can make things better, how we can make things cheaper, and deliver a better service to people, and I'm going to bring those skills to the office of parish president," Loar said.
He has the support of Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez, who after three four-year terms as president, has decided to pass the torch.
"Politics is all about compromise. You can't go in with a dictator attitude. You need to be a chairman of the board and sit down and work things out," Martinez advised.
Martinez said it is how he was able to earn his proudest achievement, reviving the once financially strained Lamar Dixon Expo Center.
"It's kind of like my baby. I had to go rescue it and bring it back and now it's doing well and thriving," Martinez said.
Loar said he also plans to leave a mark if he is chosen to fill Martinez's shoes.
"I'm not about talk. I'm about getting things done," Loar said.
The election will be held in the fall of 2015.
Surveyor, Clint Cointment has also announced he intends to run for the office.