Louisiana’s next governor: What do citizens want?

NELA voter expectations for governor
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 6:30 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - As the gubernatorial candidates continue their campaigning, KNOE asked Northeast Louisiana residents what they’re looking for in a candidate.

Charles Williams, from Ouachita Parish, says he would like to see the next governor focus on community safety and the high crime rates.

“Crime, poverty, gun violence,” Williams says. “Someone that’s gonna do the right thing, be responsible, and treat everybody right.”

Dr. Joshua Stockley, a professor of political science at the University of Louisiana Monroe, says each region of the state faces different barriers. This leads to residents prioritizing the issues closest to them.

“I don’t think there’s one issue that residents of northeast Louisiana want, I think its a collection of things that we want from our Governor,” Stockley says.

He believes everyone would root for the betterment of the state in terms of infrastructure and economic stability.

“Safe streets, safe roads, safe Schools, doesn’t matter where you are in Louisiana, all of Louisiana residents want that because if it’s not a safe community, people don’t move to your community. If people don’t move to your community, you’re not going to do your businesses without the businesses, then you don’t have the money,” Stockley says.

Some constituents, like Wayne Farmer, say they want to see economic improvements with new leadership.

“I guess to straighten the economy out the way it is now. Its a big mess right now,” Farmer says.

Stockley says the next governor that is elected needs to be a good negotiator and willing to work with the opposing party.

“Just because there are a majority of Republicans, doesn’t mean that Republicans in north Louisiana want the same as Republicans in south Louisiana, you know city versus country,” Stockley says.

Stockley says the role of governor is limited in the sense that the state’s House and Senate introduce legislation, but the governor has influence over what is heard and what issues to bring to the table.

“The governor is a powerful citizen, but he is still a citizen, but he is a powerful citizen that can still kind of influence the flavor of a legislative session or kind of set the tone for a legislative session, but he’s just one,” Stockley says.

Election day is set for November 18, 2023. Until then, candidates will continue campaigning across the state.