Baker candidates share endorsements

Harold Rideau

City leadership to become majority Black

BAKER, La.–Baker mayoral candidates Harold Rideau and Donald Kyer have received endorsements from community leaders and former candidates as they head towards a runoff election Saturday, April 21.

Incumbent mayor Rideau, who is seeking a third term, said he has been endorsed by the Louisiana AFLCIO, the Reverend Larry Washington, the city’s Deputy Marshall Lester Cavalier, and police chief Michael Knapps.

“I’m glad that they volunteered to endorse me, and I didn’t go out seeking them,” said Rideau. “But, the voters will really make the decision.” Rideau received 46 percent of the votes during the primary election and faces Kyer in the runoff this week.

Kyer, who is planning director for the city, received endorsements from former opponents Monteic Sizer and Leroy Davis. “I am endorsing Donald Kyer primarily because he has adopted the issues that I advocated while in the campaign. He’s running on reducing the utility rates, water rates, and focusing on economic development issues that I ran on in the primary,” said Davis former opponent.

Davis, who was mayor of Baker for three years, said he is talking with voters on Kyer’s behalf and is “willing to do whatever he asks of me in this campaign.” Kyer has received endorsements from Baker Improvement Organization, said vice president Trini Gibson.

“My strong point is bringing people together and you can see it (with) Davis and Sizer,” said Kyer.

Donald Kyer and Monteic Sizer

As a result of the primary election last month, the city of Baker will have a majority Black city council for the first time in the city’s history, even with voters having to select three additional representatives on Saturday’s ballot.

In the council races, Norman “Pete” Heine faces Yolanda Vessell, for district 2; John Givens challenges incumbent representative Fred Russell Jr.; Robert Young and Darnell Waites, for District 4.

Former District 3 opponent Darryl Robertson has endorsed Givens and mailed a letter of support to voters. Waites said he has been endorsed by the AFLCIO. Calls to the other candidates were not returned by deadline.

Residents will also vote on a property tax increase to pay for bus transportation from Baton Rouge Capital Area Transit System. If the tax fails in Baker and passes in Baton Rouge, Baker residents will receive limited bus service. However, if the tax fails in Baton Rouge, the bus system could likely discontinue as early as fall this year.

By Candace J. Semien
Jozef Syndicate reporter

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