Local artist and educator Paul Schexnayder has announced his candidacy for New Iberia’s mayor pro tem during this fall’s election. 

A native of New Iberia, Schexnayder is best known as a talented local artist who has been involved in many cultural projects and activities in New Iberia and beyond.

According to a prepared statement, Schexnayder has been a visual arts teacher for more than 25 years and has impacted the lives of many children.

“In working with the youth in our area I understand the challenges they face,” Schexnayder said in the statement. “I’d like to see more opportunities to develop their talents and help them succeed.”

Schexnayder, the owner of A&E Gallery, said that he helps to promote the works of many local artists as a small business owner. 

“New Iberia has such a diverse mix of talent that needs to continue to be nurtured,” he said. 

Schexnayder added that he has experienced leadership that is focused on the betterment of the community, and he has volunteered often to preserve culture and history in the area. 

He is the co-founder of the Bayou Teche Museum, New Iberia Art Walk and El Festival Espanol de Nueva Iberia. He is also the creator of the George Rodrigue pocket park in downtown New Iberia. His work with local and state officials on funding helped some of these projects become a reality, according to the statement. 

“I’d like the opportunity to represent the city of New Iberia as your mayor pro tem,” Schexnayder said. “My leadership, determination and creativity will bring people together to continue the great progress of New Iberia.”

Schexnayder, and his wife, the former Lee Himel, have three children. Election day is Nov. 3. 


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