[Ed.’s Note: This is the first in a series profiling local Bossier races in the Nov. 6 election.]
Voters in Bossier Parish Police Jury District 4 will select a new permanent representative at the Nov. 6 election.
Residents in the district will select between Norman Craig and John “Ed” Jorden for the seat.
Craig is the interim representative for the district. He was selected by the jury to replace Sonny Cook after Cook resigned in March due to health concerns for his family and himself.
The Press-Tribune spoke with the candidates to find out more about their background and goals for the Jury.
Norman Craig is a “lifelong” resident of Bossier Parish. He is a veteran of the Marines and retired Bossier Sheriff’s deputy. He is also a former school resource officer and DARE officer, as well as former commanding officer of the Sheriff’s Young Marines program. He was selected in March to fill the remainder of the term of retiring jury member Sonny Cook.
Why did you want to run? I’ve been in Bossier 51 years and I have owned businesses, been involved in politics, and raised my children here. Bossier is my home. It’s one of the fastest growing parishes in Louisiana, and I just feel like it’s got a future that’s going to be extraordinary and i want to be part of it. After working for the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, I felt like it was a good way to wrap up my career and give back.
What is your goal? People ask me what I’m going to change. The answer is nothing. I don’t feel like anything needs to be changed. The 12 police jurors each have a specific skill that they bring and all of us work together. We are elected to represent Bossier Parish. We each have our own district, but we represent it as a group. I have been there since March and have not seen any disagreements. We get together and talk to each other. I have some things on my mind for District 4 that they need because that district is growing. I see as I travel and I have hunted in that area for 25 years, and I just see the growth coming. I would like to see some economic growth there and I hope to work with the new Plain Dealing administration to bring about that. I also want to be a part of the $50 million-plus wastewater system, $30 million expansion of Swan Lake Road, and the new east-west corridor the jury has done, is doing, and is looking to do.
What do you want voters to know about you? I am an honest, caring person. I care about everything in Bossier Parish because this is my home. I want to see people get along, be prosperous, for neighbors to know each other — I want to bring people together because we have an opportunity to be a leader in the state. We’ll have other people in other states looking at our progress and I think we can be an example.
How do you think you can impact the community? Working with the other jurors, we all have the same goal — to see Bossier grow in a well thought out way. In the past, people built here and there and now you have people trying to move into a business or home and sometimes you’ve got substandard conditions. I’d like to see us develop in a way that has some vision for the future. When you’re doing something, you should be doing it for years down the road.
Why should someone vote for you? I think I’ll make a good police juror, it’s that simple. I was working for the Sheriff Office and I had to resign to be a full time police juror. I have no other commitments and I am already interested in legislation, I have been to Baton Rouge, I have been to regional and local meetings, and I am trying to work with other agencies in the parish. I think it takes that to be a good juror. I sit on the jury and I admire several of those people up there who are knowledgable, extremely efficient, and extremely capable of leaders, and I’d like to copy them.
John “Ed” Jorden is a lifetime resident of Bossier Parish. With “deep roots,” saying he still lives on land settled by his great-great grandfather who came to the area in covered wagons. His uncle served on the Jury in the past and Jorden drove a school bus for the parish schools for around 30 years. Now he works in his own cattle and rodeo business.
Why did you want to run? I see a lot of stuff that needs changing. People in the district need a voice. I’ve been talking to a lot of people and they don’t feel like they get the representation they’re supposed to have. If you rode around and looked at these roads up you’ll see what they mean.
What is your goal? I would like to see the people up here have a voice and get some things done, like our roads to be better and our tax money to be spent wisely. People don’t realize how lucky they are to be from Bossier Parish and it needs to stay that way. We just need our roads fixed a little better and we’ll be top of the list. The road to Bodcau Dam, which is a tourist attraction, you just can’t drive down that road.
What do you want voters to know about you? I’m honest and I’m not a politician. I’m running for this and not going to to any further, I just want to be their police juror. I’ll speak for the people, rich or poor. I’ll always be there and answer the phone. I’m there for them, I’m not there for me.
How do you think you can impact the community? In the short term, I want to get some things the people want done. In the long term…To be honest, the people from Dist. 4 north of Hwy. 162 think they should be part of Arkansas and I’d like to get that changed. Bossier Parish is a great parish but everybody needs the same representation. Tax dollars need to be spent where they’re needed, not just in certain places.
Why should someone vote for you? I care about the people. It’s not just me, I care about what goes on in the community and I won’t be a “yes man” to anybody. I’m a self0made man and a firm believer that everyone should stand on their own two feet.