Angelle proud Cajun as he eyes mansion

Gubernatorial candidate Scott Angelle, right, meets with Eva Gonzalez before Wednesday morning’s Public Service Commission meeting. 

Lee Ball / The Daily Iberian

Scott Angelle started his political career with humble beginnings. 

Initially elected to the St. Martin Parish Police Jury, Angelle has worked his way into state politics and now is seeking to win the governorship.

The Breaux Bridge native is noted as the first parish president for St. Martin Parish, serving in 1999. Angelle later served under former governor and New Iberia native Kathleen Blanco as Secretary of the Department of National Resources. Angelle continued at that post under Gov. Bobby Jindal, served a short stint as interim lieutenant governor and was recently elected to the Louisiana Public Service Commission, where he serves as vice-chairman. 

Angelle said his upbringing in St. Martin Parish has meant a lot to him over the years. 

“I bring a little bit of my hometown and a little bit of Cajun country everywhere I go,” Angelle said. “I’m very proud of my heritage and don’t shy away from it. I’m very proud that the people from my area are bi-lingual. I appreciate the many contributions our area has made.”

Although Angelle isn’t fluent in Cajun French, he said he “knows enough to know when people are talking about me.”

If elected governor, Angelle said he wants to bring Louisiana’s tax and budget to the forefront of his administration. Fundamental flaws are present within Louisiana’s “fiscal house” that needs to be corrected. Angelle said the tax credit system as flawed, and said there is no procedure to monitor and regulate the ways that Louisiana invests in enterprises.

“Folks have studied this and said we have given money away where we’re not getting a return. I don’t view that any differently than a parish or city executing a contract for $1 million to get a road and then get half a million of a road,” he said.

Another issue near and dear to Angelle’s heart is the oil and gas industry. Angelle previously worked in petroleum land work, as well as risk management and strategic planning. The Port of Iberia, like all ports, has not been properly invested in by the state, he said.

“What’s happened in the state is our natural advantage with our infrastructure is beginning to erode. The state hasn’t spent near enough money to keep up with the infrastructure.

“No. 2 is as the offshore oil and gas industry have gone into deeper and deeper waters, it’s made it more challenging for our ports to be competitive and float out the kinds of things we fabricate here. We surely cannot lose that natural advantage that we have. In terms of the return we get on investing, it’s incredible what we get,” he said.

In terms of his campaign, Angelle said he is optimistic. Although he has a policy of not running negative campaigns, Angelle said he differentiated himself by his career and approach to government.

“I’d equate it (running for office) to farming. There are five steps to farming: plowing, planting, weeding, fertilizing and praying for rain. Four of those things I can control. After that, you pray for the right weather,” Angelle said.

When asked about the defining moment that made him decide to run for governor, Angelle didn’t point to a specific moment, but to how he was raised.

“I was raised in a family where my mom and dad said if you want to make a difference in your country or your church you had to get off the sidelines and you had to get in the playing field. You don’t have the right to complain about the plays being called if you were on the sidelines. Now, I think I can play quarterback,” he said.  

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