Garret Graves for Congress

FROM The Livingston Parish News, 11/14/14 Share Share

Today, the Livingston Parish News proudly endorses Garret Graves to represent the 6th District in Congress. On Nov. 4, voters singled him out from among a large field of more familiar faces to be their new voice in Washington. On Dec. 6 he will dispatch convicted felon former Gov. Edwin Edwards in a runoff, bringing down the curtain on that political farce and restoring some dignity to our state.

Graves easily led all eight Republicans in a field of 12 candidates, including two legislators, a respected businessman and the grandson of a famous LSU football coach. Republicans as a group garnered more than 64 percent of the vote and those voters should pull behind Graves now, sending him to Congress and sending a message to the world that we are focused on our bright future, not an ugly past.

It is our good fortune to have a standard bearer for that future who is highly knowledgeable and experienced in the nuts and bolts of public service. Graves, while still a young man at 42 with a wife and three young children, has worked for both Democratic Sen. John Breaux and Republican Rep. Billy Tauzin as well as Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal. He knows how government functions and how to work with people on both sides of the aisle.

Most recently he served for six years as Chair of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana, created to coordinate recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina and, five years later, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. His reputation for problem solving has won over respect and support from many quarters often at odds, such as oil and gas industries and environmentalists.

He took a unique route into elective politics, with on-the-job training first in government offices where he learned how things actually get done. Getting things done should resonate with many voters who are tired of politics as usual and the finger-pointing excuses that too often substitute for results.

Having grown up the son of a small businessman in Baton Rouge during the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, he’s experienced the highs and lows of life the way many of us have. He’s seen good times and bad. More, he comprehends why good times became bad ones and how government policies impact the economy in both directions.

His experiences molded him into a small government, free market, pro-business conservative, which is exactly what we need in Washington today. We have a chance to elect a representative who understands government, who is ready to hold it accountable, to oppose waste and excess and to fight for the needs of this district, particularly highways and flood control.

Garret Graves knows what our priorities are and knows how to address them with honest, realistic action rather than glib talk. We need him in Washington.