by John Settle
The invitation indicated that the event was a fundraiser for State Representative Patrick C. Williams, District 4. An impressive video presentation reflected Williams as an active legislator in both Baton Rouge and Shreveport. And Williams playfully teased the crowd by announcing that I am running, — and after a long pause — in the Susan B. Komen race on November 2, 2013.
But make no mistake about it, the well coordinated gathering on Thursday October 24th at the Shreveport Hilton was definitely a prequel to a formal announcement for the Mayors race. By any measure for success, this event earned high grades that definitely makes Williams the front runner in the 2014 election.
The fundraisers headliners included Caddo District Attorney Charles Scott, Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator, Former Shreveport Mayor Keith Hightower, and Willis Knighton Health System President and CEO James Elrod. Others listed included Shreveport Councilman Jeff Everson, State Representatives Jim Morris, Henry Burns, and Alan Seabaugh, State Senator Barrow Peacock, former Caddo District Attorney Paul Carmouche, and several Caddo Parish Commissioners. Pastors Dennis Everett, Harry Blake, and Joe Grant were also sponsors.
The turn out for the soiree was impressive. In addition to many of the headliners, Second Circuit Judge James Stewart, Public Commissioner Foster Campbell, former Shreveport Councilman Larry Ferdinand, and Kilpatrick Life Insurance executive Margaret Shehee were present. The diversity of the crowd, — both as to race and party affiliation– was clearly obvious, and very notable.
When asked about Republican endorsements (Prator, Barrow, Seabaugh, Morris, and Burns), Williams indicated that for the community to move forward, everyone needed to work together, — and that he appreciated the support of all elected officials. His views were reflected by Senator Peacock and Representative Seabaugh who were in attendance.
Williams raised in excess of $50,000 for his campaign account; these funds can be used for any political race he enters. It is a foregone conclusion that he will formally announce for the Mayors race, and this unofficial campaign kickoff was a good step towards this goal. It is expected that he will start a meet Patrick Williams roadshow” in coming months to build name recognition and support throughout Shreveport, and especially in the community.
Even State Representative Roy Burrell showed up as the event was winding down; Burrell ran unsuccessfully against Glover in 2010 and has said he will again seek the Mayors seat next year. Burrell indicated that he just wanted to see who showed up; he probably went home very disappointed. Evidently, some dreams die hard.
NOTE: Forward-Now is NOT endorsing any candidate in this race, and this article should NOT be seen as anything more than the musing of the author.