Ready for more politics? How about Nickie vs. Bill in 2011

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 24, 2008

Does politics get any more interesting than here in the River Region?

I thought it was fairly interesting when I was in St. Tammany Parish, but I have to admit that I’ve had more fun than I could imagine since I’ve covered several elections here.

When Tom Daley was elected the new district attorney for St. John Parish just a month ago, I figured we could at least put the interesting politics behind us for a while.

I mean, there aren’t any real elections of note until the parish races return again in three years.

Or are there?

Don’t look now, but there is already something brewing for the parish president’s race that will occur in—get this—2011.

Sure, I know that Bill Hubbard seemed like he beat Natalie Robottom only yesterday in the very hotly-contested parish president’s race. But believe it or not that race was a year ago.

Hubbard has been hard at work, making sure to prove his slogan of “businessman with a plan” as he has operated St. John government in what I consider a most efficient manner.

There is no way you could say he hasn’t been getting a lot done, starting with the animal shelter approval on day one of his term, and followed with a multitude of other things since then. Just Thursday I was covering Hubbard operating a backhoe in Garyville as he tore into an abandoned house, vowing to clean up all the blighted houses in St. John Parish—or at least the worst of them.

Yea, I don’t think anyone could correctly say Hubbard hasn’t been a man of action, and for most folks, I think they like that.

But recently I began to hear some comments from different people telling me that former Parish President Nickie Monica is already gearing up for a run at parish president again when 2011 rolls around.


Nickie had success in his own way as the eight-year parish president who left office only due to term limits, but made sure to ride his popularity to an easy victory as state representative. He is currently serving that term in the Louisiana Legislature and seems to be enjoying it.

But I know Nickie loved the popularity he enjoyed in St. John Parish, and let’s face it, even Nickie would admit that he has gone to being a little fish in a big pond now, whereas he used to be the very biggest fish in the St. John pond.

So what about this talk Nickie is already considering a run for parish president?

I made sure to go right to the representative’s mouth for the answer this week and asked him if it was true, and whether he was already holding fundraisers for the parish president’s race.

Nickie seemed to enjoy the attention already.

“What?” he said with his trademark smile. “I would never commit to entering an election this far in advance.”

But did he say he wasn’t considering a run? No, he didn’t. He only told me that he would never make a decision that certain three years in advance and we would just have to wait until it all got closer to see.

Nickie said that he continually has people come to him and ask if he will be running again. He said that people have always, just naturally, liked his personality and style, and he knows he has a lot of support.

For that matter, he said that he believes the reason he has an advantage over Bill is that Mr. Hubbard has not made a point to be everyone’s favorite son. Instead, Bill is a guy who just goes out and gets things done, rather than worrying about his public image.

“People want to like their politicians,” Nickie said, and went on to suggest that Hubbard has not done much to become the popular guy that he had become before leaving office.

Nickie even suggested that he wondered if Bill would even run again, since the job was far from what he was used to in the construction business.

That sent me to Hubbard’s number one P.R. guy, Buddy Boe, who made it very clear whether Hubbard was, indeed, intending to seek re-election.

Buddy said that Bill is clearly enjoying the job, loves the new challenges, and has lots of energy for this new position.

“No doubt Bill will be running for parish president again. 100 percent sure,” Buddy said.

So get ready folks. I didn’t think we could have a race as interesting as the Hubbard vs. Robottom one, but if it is Hubbard vs. Monica, then I think we just might top.

Both guys have pluses and minuses in their corner, and I believe it would be a heckuva race if Nickie enters it.

And from this corner, I’m already putting my money on that very thing happening. Nickie loved being parish president and I do believe he misses being the number one guy in St. John Parish. Looks to me like he plans on trying to get that title back again.

Kevin Chiri is Publisher of L’Observateur and can be reached at (985) 652-9545 or at