Education board president says he won't run again for seat

By Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 9, 2015 at 4:51 p.m.

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The president of Louisiana's top school board has decided he won't run for re-election to a third term.

Chas Roemer announced Wednesday that he won't be on the Oct. 24 ballot seeking to return to his seat on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education representing the Baton Rouge area.

Roemer announced his decision on the second day of the election registration period in a statement that touted his support for greater educational choice for parents, the establishment of letter grades for schools and the improvement of high school graduation rates.

In an interview, he said his children and his investment management business need more of his attention and he felt confident with the direction of the education board without him.

"It really just came down to my responsibilities that I have right now with my family and work. My kids, I have a seventh-grader and a high-schooler. I just feel like they need me around more. And my business is growing a great deal," Roemer said. "I feel confident that we have a good set of members who generally supported reform who are running again."

He added: "I never intended to be a career politician or a lifelong BESE member."

The son of a former governor, Roemer has been a close ally of Education Superintendent John White on contentious issues, particularly in the ongoing dispute over whether Louisiana should continue to use the Common Core education standards. White and Roemer support Common Core.

Three candidates have signed up to run for the BESE seat currently held by Roemer: Kathy Edmonston, a Republican from Gonzales; Jason France, a Libertarian from Baton Rouge; and Laree LeJeune Taylor, a Republican from Baton Rouge.

Without issuing an official endorsement, Roemer said he thought Taylor, a Port Allen middle school principal, would do a good job on the education board.

Asked whether he'd return to politics in the future, Roemer said, "I don't have a political roadmap written down. I wouldn't be surprised if I run again, but I don't have any plans right now."

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Melinda Deslatte


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