Concordia Parish mayors bullish on Gov. Blanco

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 31, 2004

New Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco took office Monday, and local officials are optimistic she will work for Concordia Parish.

Both Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin and Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said they have worked with the governor before, while she was lieutenant governor for the state. Both mayors served as Blanco’s campaign coordinators for Concordia Parish.

&uot;We are looking forward to working with new administration,&uot; Copeland said.

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Sixty-four percent of parish voters chose Blanco versus Republican opponent Bobby Jindal in the November runoff.

&uot;The future looks bright for us,&uot; Copeland said.

Blanco visited Concordia Parish while lieutenant governor numerous times, helping with projects like the Vidalia Riverwalk.

&uot;At least she knows us and we know her,&uot; McGlothin said. She is &uot;well aware of where Concordia Parish is.&uot;

Copeland and McGlothin are confident in Blanco’s platforms for the state, ones that will benefit rural parishes like Concordia.

&uot;The governor has stressed economic development, education and health &045;&045; those are the things we need here in rural parishes,&uot; Copeland said.

McGlothin agreed that economic development and education are important in Concordia Parish and they tie together, he said. &uot;It is all one plank as far as I’m concerned,&uot; McGlothin said.

McGlothin said the people Blanco is surrounding herself with, many people from the previous administration and others who have experience, are people who know what they are doing.

McGlothin said this is particularly encouraging because these people can &uot;hit the ground running.&uot;

&uot;This ain’t their first rodeo,&uot; McGlothin said. &uot;And we can work with them because we know them anyway.&uot;

Also, the Lt. Gov, Mitch Landrieu has worked closely with parish officials as well.

Copeland said he will talk with the new governor soon, hoping to work with her on parish projects.

&uot;I hope in the next few weeks to go to the governor, sit down, tell her what our projects are and get her to work with them,&uot; Copeland said.

McGlothin and Copeland also are encouraged by strong, state leadership in the legislature with Rep. Bryant Hammett, D-Ferriday, who will serve as chairman of the Ways and Means committee and Sen. Noble Ellington, D-Winnsboro.