Duplessis Pledges To Create a Safer, Healthier and More Prosperous Community

Photo credit: Courtesy of Royce Duplessis’ Facebook page

State Representative Royce Duplessis, who threw his hat in the ring this week for the open State Senate District 5 seat that was vacated recently by Karen Carter Peterson, will rely on his years of experience and keen understanding of the problems voters face. In the middle of his second term representing House District 93 at the Louisiana Legislature, Duplessis is known to be an astute servant leader who gets things done. He was first elected to the legislature in 2018.

“I am running for Senate District 5 because people are in pain, the concerns of this district are vast, and I have the necessary track record of building coalitions around diverse needs and delivering for my constituents,” Duplessis said in a prepared statement. Duplessis is a fighter who is willing to help solve the significant challenges faced by everyday working people and business owners. “We are at a critical point, and it’s time for less rhetoric and more results to help people thrive. We must continue to take action on increasing public safety, creating more jobs with living wages, investing in streets and drainage, protecting women’s health, advocating for our vulnerable LGBTQ+ youth, and so much more,” he explained.

Duplessis says he did not announce his intentions earlier because he was determined to complete the people’s work at the 2022 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature, which ended on Monday, June 5. Duplessis had another successful session and has passed more than 70 legislative instruments during his five years in office including several bills supporting criminal justice reform, additional economic development, expanded access to health care and improved early literacy. He is also an advocate of fair and affordable housing. Perhaps Duplessis’ signature legislation this year was HB 729, which involved limiting the release of mugshots prior to conviction.

Senate District 5 includes the French Quarter, Central Business and Warehouse District and much of uptown New Orleans. At the Louisiana Legislature’s 2011 redistricting session, the boundaries of Senate District 5 were drawn to favor a Black legislator to reflect the findings from the most recent Census at the time. During the last decade, however, with the district experiencing significant gentrification, white voters became the majority in the district. Earlier in 2022, due to the shifting demographics, the Louisiana Legislature redrew Senate District 5 boundaries to again create a majority Black district by adding Black precincts from the Westbank of Jefferson Parish. The candidates looking to fill the final year of Peterson’s term will run in the current district. All legislators are up for re-election in 2023 and will run in the newly drawn districts including Senate District 5.

State Rep. Mandie Landry has already announced her candidacy for Senate District 5. State Rep. Aimee Freeman and former City Councilmember Jay Banks have yet to make a final decision on whether to enter the race. Some believe Banks will stay out because Duplessis has always had a cordial relationship with the BOLD political organization, where Banks has played a leadership role, and with Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

A husband, father and native of New Orleans, Duplessis graduated from St Augustine High School, Xavier University of Louisiana and Howard University School of Law. Duplessis previously served as Chief of Staff to former City Councilmember James Carter, law clerk for Washington, D.C. based Judge Thomas Motley, and special counsel to the Louisiana Supreme Court.  He also chaired the New Orleans City Planning Commission and is past president of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society. 

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