City councilman, state representative, district judge, practicing attorney - and now a run for mayor. Wilford Carter just doesn't stop.
"I know it was gonna come a time we were gonna get a second chance. And this is our second chance," he said.
Carter is talking about what he calls the "missed opportunity" - in the '50s when Lake Charles passed up the chance to be the oil center. Instead, Lafayette got the honors.
"At the time, we had about 72,000 people - 68,000 in Lafayette, and we lost the oil center to Lafayette," he said.
And he said Lake Charles has been lagging behind ever since. But Carter feels we can get our second wind.
"So we gonna be a boomtown 8-to-10 years and what we do with that - boomtown gonna indicate where Lake Charles' place will be, so that we can have that prosperity that Lafayette is enjoying now," Carter said.
Carter has been a controversial figure in politics - with a sometimes adversarial role during his time on the bench. But Carter doesn't apologize for his boldness. He feels it's what the city needs.
"I had planned to become mayor sometime ago, so I need to leave the judgeship behind," he said.
So he retired from the bench in 2013 and ran an unsuccessful campaign to return to the state legislature in 2015. And now he's come full circle for a shot at city government once again.
"We lack the leadership and aggression; for example, we study all the time, but we don't get it done," he said.
Carter said, if elected, he will take a proactive approach to drumming up business for the city and usher in a new era.
"I want to see Lake Charles become the number two destination in Louisiana," he said.
The election is March 25. If no mayoral candidate gets 50 percent of the vote plus one, then there will be a runoff on April 29.
Tune in Thursday at 10 p.m. on 7 News Nightcast, when KPLC will sit down with Lake Charles City Council member and mayoral candidate Dana Carl Jackson.
All eight mayoral candidates have agreed to participate in a forum, hosted by KPLC-TV, from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 15. It will be broadcast live on KPLC-TV, kplctv.com, the KPLC mobile app and the KPLC Facebook page. For more information, click HERE.
Got questions for the candidates? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may include them in our forum.
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