State Sen. Sharon Hewitt said she probably won’t decide for months whether she’ll run for governor next year.
If she does, she could make history: Louisiana has never had a female Republican governor.
Kathleen Blanco, who was governor from 2004-08, was a Democrat.
Hewitt, who lives in Slidell, said she would highlight her efforts to improve childhood literacy, noting that 60% of Louisiana’s third graders cannot read at grade level.
Hewitt passed Senate Bill 222 last year, which requires each public school to administer a literacy assessment to each K-3rd grade child each year to better identify how to improve reading levels overall.
This year, Hewitt is sponsoring Senate Bill 203, which would allow parents whose children are not reading at grade level in second or third grade in a public school to take the state portion of their public school dollars, about $5,500, to pay for private or home schooling.
If she becomes a gubernatorial candidate, Hewitt also said she would highlight her efforts to encourage more students to pursue studies in math and sciences.
That goal stems from Hewitt’s background as an LSU graduate in mechanical engineering who was one of the first women to work on an offshore drilling rig when she started out with Shell. Hewitt moved up to bigger jobs but quit after 20 years to focus on raising her two sons.
When they had graduated from college, she ran for the state Senate in 2015 and won, even though, Hewitt said, “no one in my family has been involved in politics.”
She won re-election in 2019.
Last year, Hewitt passed Senate Bill 124, which requires the playing of the National Anthem at athletic events held at venues at least partially financed by state or local governments.
This year, Hewitt sponsored the map passed by the Legislature to create five Republican-majority congressional districts and one Democratic district. Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed the legislation because he favored a four-to-two split. The Legislature overrode his veto. A federal court will decide who’s right.
“I’ve proven to be effective in delivering results,” said Hewitt, whose district also includes a slice of Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes. “I am pro-life, pro-gun, pro-business, pro-family. I have a conservative track record.”
Hewitt, 63, was asked how she views her possible historic bid.
“I’ve spent a lifetime working in male-dominated fields,” she said. “I never wanted special consideration because I’m a female. I always wanted to be judged on my performance. I feel the same way about elected office. Let’s choose the best person."
Still, she noted, “It’s a good time to be a female candidate. My experiences will be different than many of my male colleagues.”
April 15, 2022 - Source - The Advocate - by Tyler Bridges