Three vying to be next Westlake mayor in November election

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Westlake residents will head to the polls this November to vote for mayor.

The contenders in the race for mayor are: Current Mayor Pro Tem Dan Racca, Councilman Michael Bergeron, and businessman and Hal McMillin, who is a former councilman and Calcasieu police juror.

Whoever wins the race, they’ll have big shoes to fill after two-term Mayor Bob Hardy passed away in January of this year.

7 News spoke to each of the candidates.

Hal McMillin: “My plans were not to run for mayor when we lost our former mayor. Bob Hardy was a lifelong friend of mine, and I felt that I’m the guy that needed to pick up the torch to keep his fire lit. He was a tremendous asset for the city of Westlake. I want to move those plans forward to help Westlake.”

Dan Racca: “I would like to tell the citizens that we appreciate them, and we love the city of Westlake. We’re going to do everything possible, and we don’t mind them calling us because we’ll do what we can. I’d like you to know that we are having a hard time with this debris problem and the drainage problem, but we are working on it, and we are also working on the sewage problem.”

Michael Bergeron: “I hear the citizens of Westlake say they are ready for a change. They are ready for a new vision and what it’s going to take to make that happen is someone to come in that has leadership experience but hasn’t been in politics for 20 years.”

When asked what sets them apart from the other candidates vying for the post:

Michael Bergeron: “I not only have a decade of military experience where I earned the title of sergeant and led soldiers, but I’m also raising a family right here in Westlake. So, I understand the struggles for young families in today’s economy and just trying to make it.”

Hal McMillin: “I have proven leadership, and I also have experience of 25 years. I have five years on the council and 22 years on the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. I’m also the guy who answers all phone calls; I try to solve problems, and I’m going to be there when somebody calls.”

Dan Racca: “I’ve been running the city of the last year and when the Mayor Hardy got sick and passed away, I became mayor pro tem and I’ve been on the city council for 20 years. Before that I was a retired school principal and involved with community and the people.”

When asked what their number one goal is for Westlake if they’re elected, they all concurred that cleaning up the city and trying to get things back to normal after the wrath of Hurricane Laura is crucial.

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