The crowd at Beausoleil Restaurant was happy early on Saturday night.
From the first results of the early voting period on, District 48 candidate Beau Beaullieu led the returns easily. By the time all 30 precincts in the district were counted, Beaullieu had clinched a 14-point victory over his opponent, former Iberia Parish Councilman Ricky Gonsoulin, 57 percent to 43 percent. Beaullieu pulled in 9,586 votes to Gonsoulin’s 7,229 votes.
Beaullieu announced his candidacy far later than Gonsoulin, but had been working behind the scenes to raise funds and construct a campaign structure. The New Iberia businessman ran an efficient and focused campaign, touting his business acumen, community service and family values.
As he celebrated his victory with his family, friends and supporters, he put the credit for the win squarely on their backs.
“My name might be on the ballot, but this was a broad team effort,” Beaullieu said. “There was a lot of sweat, time and hard work that went into this. It was a total team effort.”
Beaullieu said he believes his win is the result of the campaign’s focus on the economy and bringing jobs back to the Teche Area.
“Our emphasis was on our workers and focusing on jobs,” he said. “It is bringing back jobs that I campaigned on, and with every vote that comes to me, I will be looking to see how they will affect our businesses and working people.”
Beaullieu has the resumé to back up his business talk. He graduated from LSU with a degree in finance and received his MBA from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is a managing partner of CoSource Financial Group, a financial service firm which specializes in corporate retirement plans. He was one of Louisiana’s first financial advisors to receive the certified 401(k) professional designation and is also an accredited investment fiduciary.
So yes, Beau knows business. But he has also been active in the community, working with myriad charities, non-profits and social efforts. He was selected as the Kiwanian of the Year in 2017 and the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce Civic Leader of the Year in 2018.
He said that when he was dating his wife, Kaci, they had talked about a political race in the future and, with their children grown, it seemed like the District 48 race was the right one. The seat was vacant after former Speaker of the House Taylor Barras was term limited out, making the race easier with no incumbent to battle.
“We passed on some opportunities earlier, but this seemed like the right time,” he said, smiling with Kaci at his side. “I had budgeted four or five meltdowns for the campaign, but surprisingly there weren’t any.”