As the new administration plans to take over on January 11, the transition team is officially in place. John Bel Edwards has assigned a handful of people to assist him with transitioning into the highest office in the state. It has been announced that his Chief of Staff will be Senator Ben Nevers, who is a term limited democratic senator from Bogalusa. I have met Senator Nevers many times in the state legislature and he has always struck me as an old school democrat. He has a (D) behind his name, but votes in a sensible and admirable manner. Known for his soft voice and kind personality, Nevers said farewell to the senate this past session. I spoke with him the week the session wrapped up and I knew he supported John Bel for governor. I must admit, after speaking with Senator Nevers, he opened my eyes to Edwards and the kind of man he is. I had a feeling then that if Ben Nevers was backing him, he couldn’t be as bad as people were saying he was! Considering the November 21 election, it appears that approximately 646,000 Louisiana folks agreed.
With Nevers leading the way, Governor-elect Edwards placed six people on his transition team. They include Laura Leach of Lake Charles, Jamie Mayo or Monroe, Sharon Weston Broome of Baton Rouge, Newell Normand of Jefferson Parish, Richard Lipsey of Baton Rouge and Natchitoches’ very own, Taylor Townsend. This team of a lawyer, sheriff, former mayor, businessman, businesswoman and state legislator were selected as Edward’s closest confidants leading up to his inauguration. Though I am not an expert, I have to commend the governor-elect for choosing these six who are, at least, geographically different. As governor, it is important to remember that you govern the entire state, which is a fact that has appeared to be overlooked in past administrations. The new team brings the different regions of the state into one place and, particularly, one office on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge.
The next few weeks leading up to the inauguration of John Bel Edwards will be crucial in preparing our state for a new era. It will certainly be different, but different is not necessarily a bad thing. I am looking forward to seeing changes made throughout our state and the transition team will indeed assist in these changes.
Ruth Wisher graduated from Northwestern State University with a degree in Journalism. After graduating in 2011, she worked as the Policy Coordinator for Governor Bobby Jindal. She left the governor’s office in 2014 to become the Louisiana State Director for a pro-life PAC, designed to reveal Mary Landrieu’s pro-abortion voting record and to help get a pro-life senator elected. Upon pro-life candidate Bill Cassidy’s victory, Ruth started her own consulting firm, Wisher Strategies. For fun, she enjoys running, weight lifting and triathlon training. She recently completed a half ironman 70.3 mile triathlon. Ruth lives in Baton Rouge.