Russ Wise seeks seat in the Louisiana Legislature

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 28, 2023

After lots of prayerful thinking, I’ve decided to run for a seat in the Louisiana Legislature.

But I don’t expect to win.

First of all, I’m an Independent (called “No Party” in Louisiana), so I can’t expect support from either of the big Parties or from die-hard Party voters.

I’m also a Moderate, which makes me able to support both Conservative and Liberal ideas – but not automatically latching on to one side or the other. And some folks won’t like that.

So, I’m essentially running because of issues that I think need to be brought up. Stay tuned on that.

It’s not my first rodeo. I ran for the Legislature once before, and finished in second place behind a man who has represented us honorably and well.

Before that, I spent nearly 20 years on the local school board and served as president of the Louisiana School Boards Association. I travelled a lot, testifying before Congress and the Legislature. (I always paid my own airline and hotel bills, and for meals and stuff. I’m rich enough to do that, and I saw no reason to saddle our taxpayers for those expenses.)

While I was on the School Board, I spent a few years as chairman of its Finance Committee. During those years our school district had the highest bond rating in the state. So, I know how to manage budgets – something the current Legislature doesn’t seem to be able to handle very well.

I lead the effort to make a Louisiana Principal of the Year into our Superintendent of Schools. While she was in office, our school district reached its highest scores ever on statewide mandatory tests.

I also partnered with VH-1 Save the Music Foundation and others to raise $150,000 to buy musical instruments for every public elementary school in St. John Parish. For the first time ever, we had music education in every school. And several kids went on to receive music scholarships for college.

I’ll soon be listing issues I think are important for future legislatures to consider.

But – and this is important – I’m not saying they’re graven in stone. I’m happy to listen to anybody’s possible changes…no matter which party they’re in.