Three vie for District 32 seat

Published 11:51 pm Thursday, October 18, 2007

VIDALIA — Three men are in the running for the 32nd Senatorial District’s seat.

The district covers all of Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, LaSalle and West Feliciana Parishes, as well as parts of Avoyelles, Concordia, Ouachita and Rapides parishes.

Bryant Hammett

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A Democrat, 51-year-old Bryant Hammett said he decided to run for the office to make sure the area isn’t overlooked in Baton Rouge.

“I have worked in Baton Rouge for the last year and I have seen how much attention is being directed to rebuilding south Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” he said. “My goal is to hopefully not divert the focus off of south Louisiana but to make sure north Louisiana is not forgotten.”

One of his goals is to bring economic development to the district, Hammett said.

“I think that job creation is huge for this area,” he said. “With that goes job training and education.”

Hammett is the former representative for house District 21, and was appointed the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in November 2006, a term that expires Jan. 15. He is also an engineer and land surveyor.

“I’ve worked well as a public servant and want to be able to serve this area,” he said.

Neil Riser

Republican Neil Riser, 45, said his decision to run for the office came after he contemplated the future of the state.

“I have two girls, ages 19 and 14,” he said. “I looked at the way Louisiana is right now, and I decided to run so they would have a place to come back to.”

Riser said he is concerned with corruption.

“I think it’s wrong for the state legislature to do business with the state,” he said.

Bringing new jobs to the area and healthcare reform are also issues he cares about, Riser said.

“We need to manage our costs the most effective way possible and make sure our children don’t go uninsured,” he said. “I want to work for tax incentives for businesses.

Riser is pro-life and a member of the National Rifle Association, he said.

He is the owner of Riser Funeral Home.

Michael Trent

Democrat Michael Trent is an instructor for Correction Corporation of America.

He also served as a Caldwell Parish Police Juror from 1992 through 1996.

Trent could not be reached for comment.