Maxine Sarpy, a long time political activist, may be a mayoral candidate in 2014. Sarpy, who is 71, was a key player in Greg Tarver’s successful election against the incumbent state senator Lydia Jackson in 2010. Perhaps not surprising, Senator Tarver is a big supporter of Sarpy and he believes she is the best candidate in the unannounced but definitely interested field of candidates.
At the last count, there are at least two serious candidates who intend to run for mayor – State Representative Patrick Williams and Shreveport City Councilman Sam Jenkins. State Representative Roy Burrell is still kicking mayoral tires, and Shreveport City Councilman Jeff Everson has decided to seek re-election to the Council.
Sarpy was the first woman to serve on the Shreveport City Council, – filling the unexpired term
of Greg Tarver when he was first elected to the State Senate. Sarpy has served in many local boards, – Barnwell Art & Gardens, Mental Health Association of Northwest Louisiana, Caddo Council on Aging, Volunteers of America, National Conference of Christians and Jews, and many others. Sarpy is a former member of the Board of Directors of SWEPCO, Southern University System Board and the Southern Foundation, Shreveport Campus.
Sarpy served on the Caddo-Bossier Port Commission from 1993 to 2007 and has a street named after her.
She is a Registered Nurse licensed to practice in Texas and Louisiana. In the past she has been employed with Christus-Schumpert, where she was the Head Nurse over Psychiatric Division, and with the Community Action Agency as the Director of Health & Education and Louisiana Family Planning Program as the Area Director of eight parishes. Sarpy is the widow of Dr. Joseph Sarpy, who was a pioneer medical doctor in the black community with a very large practice at his death.
Sarpy is described by Senator Greg Tarver as aggressive, intellectual and motivated – an effective people person who can cross racial lines. Tarver says its time to rebuild Shreveport after the disastrous years of the Glover Administration which has lead to both black and white flight from Shreveport, – and Sarpy is the best candidate to do just that.
Sarpy could possibly get a significant white cross over vote from woman and open minded voters seeking a black candidate to elect. Her appeal would be much like that of former State Senator Lynda Jackson – who was more popular in many upper class white households than to the everyday working black voter. She basically is an unknown to the white community at large.
Many politicos question her commitment to a long arduous campaign that will undoubtedly be decided in a November 2014 run-off – when she will then be 72. Others question if Tarver is not posturing with Sarpy as a candidate to gain concessions from other likely mayoral candidates, especially Patrick Williams. Sarpy has yet to decide if she will enter the mayoral race.