Meet the candidates for State Senate District 25

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Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 10:04 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - As early voting for the Oct. 14 election fast approaches, state senate candidates from District 25 are still working to get their messages out to voters.

Josh Lewis and incumbent Mark Abraham are the two candidates on the ballot for the State Senate seat in District 25.

Republican Mark Abraham has held the title of state senate since 2019 and has an extensive background in business and accounting.

Democratic candidate Josh Lewis is newer to politics but says his life as a working-class citizen is all the experience he needs to serve the people.

We caught up with both candidates ahead of early voting to ask a few questions.

Why are you running for office?

Abraham: “People do not serve me, I serve the people, and that’s what I plan on continuing to do in this next term in the Louisiana Senate.”

Lewis: “We need to get rid of career politicians. We need working-class people to represent working people, that’s the most important part. How’s somebody going to take up for you if they’ve never lived your life?”

A popular topic among both candidates is the construction of the I-10 bridge.

Abraham: “The I-10 bridge is still a work-in-progress. We’ve been working on that bridge for a long time, but as a legislator, I worked on it for years in the House, for years in the Senate. It’s not completed yet, and hopefully we’ll come to some resolution on the I-10 bridge in this next session.”

Lewis: “So, I’m against the toll bridge, reason being our working people like you and I are gonna have to brunt this on the front and back end. I cross that bridge several times a day, so I’m about to pay for it there, then, on the other side, you got to pay for more expensive food, medicine, gasoline, cause all these things go across that bridge, right? It’s gonna affect you and I, the working people.”

What are some other issues that you plan on tackling if you are elected?

Abraham: We have to continue to make sure that we are the energy corridor of not only the state, but the nation. And we need to work with our ports, work with our LNG plants, make sure the ship channel is, is viable and dredged properly, and continue to maintain us as the energy corridor for the nation.”

“I think that education has to be improved. Teachers do have to receive more dollars, we put that as a one-year stipend in this past budget cycle, we need to make that permanent.”

“We have a fifteen billion dollar backlog in road infrastructure, and we need to find out a way that we can solve that. And I’m not advocating to have a gas tax, but what I am advocating for is we have to take a select amount of dollars that’s in the budget now, we need to commit to roads and infrastructure. If we don’t do that, Louisiana cannot grow.”

Lewis: “We have a lot of people here suffering with substance abuse, right? I want to tackle this fentanyl crisis by my bare hands, right; I’m coming for you fentanyl dealers, and I’m coming to help those that are on fentanyl, help them get off, those on substance abuse.”

“But we need to partner with veterans. Who else is able to provide discipline to the youth, but veterans? They served our country! They did their job, and a lot of them would love to do this, right? So we need to empower veterans to start businesses to coincide with juveniles, right, so that we can get them on the right track.”

“We’re tired of these shootings! We are tired of people overdosing on these drugs, right? Why not somebody that grew up in the environment to go back to the environment to speak to people, to lay down legislation to empower people on the right track?”

Both candidates agree when it comes to the job gap in the state of Louisiana, they wish to implement programs to keep local work local.

A reminder that early voting will begin on September 30th and end on October 7th.