As the youngest member of the State Legislature, I have many things that I wish to accomplish in my own life—including starting my own business venture in the private sector and improving my health. I am committed to following through with these critical goals. At some point in the future, I plan on returning to public service to offer myself to Louisiana voters as a major office candidate. Serving the public provided me with the best opportunity to improve the quality of life for my constituents. I will continue to devote much of my free time towards helping my community and staying civically active.
As I temporarily leave public service at 27 years old, I reflect on some of my greatest and most challenging moments serving in the Legislature. Throughout my four years, but in particular in my first and last years, I earned a reputation for authoring numerous bills to curtail the influence of special interest lobbyists over elected officials. To this day, I believe all bodies of government must pass a complete ban on the ability of lobbyists to wine, dine, and entertain elected officials in order to build a personal relationship intended to engender favors in return. Moreover, campaign finance reform needs to go further and greatly increase transparency with respect to contributions to elected officials by registered lobbyists (and the companies they represent). These initiatives are imperative for Louisiana to move forward, recruit new businesses and residents to the State, and reduce the size and scope of government.
I ran for State Representative in 2007 to bring decisive, courageous, and uncompromising leadership on ethics reform and good government initiatives. I am proud to leave with my integrity and a clear conscience. Although there is still much that I hope to accomplish for the citizens of Louisiana, there is a time and place for everything.
During my short time campaigning for Secretary of State, I earned tremendous support (financial and otherwise) from prominent Republicans, Democrats, and Independents from all corners of Louisiana. I was honored to have many of Louisiana's leading businesspeople and civic leaders support my candidacy.
As I prepare to return to the private sector, I will continue to build bridges, reject the partisan tone of politics, challenge conventional political discourse, and always seek the truth. Although serving in public office took a personal and professional toll on me, my family, and friends, there was no greater privilege and honor in my life than to serve, help, and inspire others. It was an experience from which I learned a great deal and that I will never regret. I look forward to the day when I am again able to serve the people of our State.