UPDATE: A correction – the Paula Davis who works as a social worker for Catholic Charities is not the same Paula Davis who’s running for the House in District 69. The Hayride regrets the error.
We posted earlier this month that Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Ryan Heck was considering a run for the Louisiana House District 69 seat being vacated by Erich Ponti. Today it’s official. The race now has a legitimate conservative in it to go with Catholic Charities social worker Paula Davis, running as a Republican with Ponti’s support, and Democrat trial lawyer James Bullman.
Ryan Heck, conservative Republican and current Metropolitan Council member, has announced his candidacy for Louisiana House of Representatives, District 69.
In his announcement, Heck addressed what went wrong last legislative session and how he aims to resolve those issues should he be voted to the State Capitol.
“How do we get to a point where our state legislature thinks the only way to save higher education and health care is to raise a billion dollars in taxes?” Heck questioned.
“We got to this point because we lost sight of our conservative values, like lower taxes and less government. Just as I do in my business and I have on the metro-council, I focus on results, and we could use a few more results out of our State Capitol.”
Heck has represented District 11 on the Metropolitan Council since January 2013, covering areas of East Baton Rouge Parish. Heck is seeking a seat in District 69, which covers from Government Street and Jefferson Highway to Shenandoah.
As a council member, Heck is known for being fiscally conservative. His efforts to fight crony capitalism and corporate welfare on the metro-council led to continued reform and accountability.
Heck is a proponent of efficient transportation and reliable infrastructure. He was part of the shake up to reform the Capital Area Transit System Board of Directors and put them on a path of financial responsibility. He was also the driving force behind getting the services of the popular rideshare app, Uber, to Baton Rouge, embracing 21st Century solutions to transit issues.
Heck believes his ultimate responsibility as an elected official is to make sure taxpayers’ money is spent responsibly.
“If sent to the State Capitol, my focus will be on delivering results to the taxpayers,“ Heck said. “I’m ready to commit the time, creativity, energy and dedication they deserve.”
A bit of disclosure here – we’re going to be in Heck’s camp for this race. He’s the kind of thinking conservative we need a good four dozen more of in the legislature, and therefore we’re not going to be objective about this race.
We know next to nothing about Davis or Bullman, and we really don’t care. Bullman is a Democrat, and at this point given the intellectual and ideological state of the Louisiana Democrat Party any voluntary identification with that party ought to be disqualifying from any position of responsibility in Louisiana.
And frankly, given Ponti’s abrupt departure from the legislature in order to become the executive director of the Louisiana Asphalt Pavement Association – which looks an awful lot like an attempt to cash in on his status as a state legislator by becoming a lobbyist and therefore skirting the ethical rules against jumping directly from the legislature to the lobbying field, the fact he’s working to install Davis doesn’t look good for her. It looks like he tried to jump out of the legislature in an effort to get a special election called and thus clear the way for Davis to run in the fall as an incumbent, though that program was short-circuited when the special election was combined with the regular election and the line for the special election on the ballot thus made more or less irrelevant.
Ponti’s endorsement is worthless in any event due to his awful performance in this year’s legislative session. He voted for all 11 of the tax increases brought in the House, which obliterates any claim he could have had as a conservative. To get his endorsement is almost a negative at this point, particularly in a district as demonstrably conservative as District 69 is.
So Heck’s entry into the race might be the best news for conservatives in Louisiana in an otherwise atrocious month. It’s a nice way to put June to bed, and it’s an opportunity for the voters in District 69 to improve the Louisiana House of Representatives.