2017 Lake Charles mayor's race: Meet Gary Monbelly - FOX29 Lake Charles

2017 Lake Charles mayor's race: Meet Gary Monbelly

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(Source:KPLC) (Source:KPLC)

"Who's gonna listen to a kid?" Those are the words straight from the mouth of mayoral candidate Gary Monbelly, but it's not stopping him from running for mayor. He's only 24 years old and the youngest of the candidates.

And he wants to shake things up!

"I feel like I'm fighting a righteous fight and I'll take on anybody," he said.

Any day of the week, you'll find Monbelly hard at work in the men's department at J.C. Penney, but don't let his soft-spoken demeanor fool you. This 24-year-old wants to become your next mayor.  

"When I tell people my plan, the initial reaction is shock and awe," he said.

Shock and awe is right! Monbelly has some very different ideas about how things should be done.

"I plan on making our government smaller. And one of the things is getting rid of the police jury," he said.

What he's talking about is a consolidated city/ parish type of arrangement, similar to the one Lafayette uses. He's also troubled by our taxes.

"We lean too much on the sales tax. That's at 10.75. If they would have the occupational tax a little bit better, the taxes wouldn't be so high," Monbelly said.

He admits he's got a steep hill to climb. But he said he's not worried about the naysayers or his opponents.

And Monbelly said the other candidates don't intimidate him.

"The reason is because I think a lot of them - they're just running cause they think it's their time.But your idea has to be on point," he said.

Whichever way the election goes, Monbelly said he will have tried.

"My mother told me she's proud of me. She says  I won in her eyes," he said.

The election is March 25, but early voting begins March 11 and runs through March 18. Want to see KPLC's profiles of all eight candidates? Click HERE.

All eight mayoral candidates have agreed to participate in a forum, hosted by KPLC-TV, from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, and will be broadcast live on KPLC-TV, kplctv.com, the KPLC mobile app and the KPLC Facebook page.  For more information, click HERE.

Want to see KPLC's profiles of all eight candidates? Click HERE.

Got questions for the candidates? Send your questions to news@kplctv.com and we may include them in our forum.

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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