Mar 302017
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Although the race to replace now U.S. Senator John Kennedy as State Treasurer is just shaping up, two powerful women – both Republicans – have already emerged as candidates in what will be a big money race: Kenner State Rep. Julie Stokes and former Commissioner of Administration Angele Davis, wife of 19th Judicial District Judge Tim Kelley.

Davis headed Culture, Recreation and Tourism under Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu and served as Commissioner of Administration during Governor Bobby Jindal’s first two years in office as well as Deputy Commissioner of Administration under Governor Mike Foster. Now a Baton Rouge-based consultant, Davis addressed supporters at the Orpheum Theatre earlier this week.

Davis says she is “uniquely qualified” and that Louisiana needs more “great people at the helm” who are willing to work hard. “If you know me, you know I am all about getting things done. I am a solutions-oriented hard worker with a proven track record,” Davis said.

Davis cites her 13 years as a member of the State Bond Commission and her successful handling of three state budgets from inception to passage by the legislature. “I know how to build coalitions with Democrats and Republicans.” Davis says she will not use the state treasurer’s office as a stepping stone. “I seek no future office beyond State Treasurer. I don’t look at the State Treasurer as political but rather as the face of our state to Wall Street.”

Davis does not consider her working relationship with Governor Bobby Jindal as a negative because of Jindal’s many successes during his early years in office. While she is experienced in managing the state’s capital outlay process, Davis thinks it can be improved. Davis also favors advancing capital outlay projects that spur economic development.

When asked about the state’s controversial film tax credits, Davis responded that all tax credit programs should be prioritized and show a strong return on investment. Davis also questioned whether the state has a revenue problem or a priority problem.

Davis is supported by several prominent Republicans including Boysie Bollinger, Jimmy Maurin, Suzanne Mestayer, Don Randon, Gary Solomon Sr., Wilma Heaton, Suzanne and Steve Dumez, Mark Romig, Paul Pastorek, Peggy Wilson, Shelby Russ, Richard Roth and Orpheum Theatre owners Mary and Roland Von Kurnatowski.

Qualifying for State Treasurer will be held July 12 – 14.


Money is the mother’s milk of political campaigns and City Council-At-Large candidate Helena Moreno has quickly begun raising the dollars she needs to run a successful campaign. Moreno has scheduled her first major fundraiser since her recent announcement on Monday, April 3, at Commander’s Palace. Hosted by Ti Martin and Lally Brennan, this event is sure to draw an A-list crowd of heavy hitters.

The honorary hosts include more than a dozen current and former elected officials along with many of the city’s most power kingmakers such as Darryl Berger, Danny Conwill, Bob Merrick, Joe Jaeger, Gary Solomon Sr., Bill Hammack, and Jimmie Woods.

Moreno is also putting her consulting team in place including campaign manager Drew Prestridge as well as Todd Ragusa, Angele Wilson and others.


The New Orleans Coalition, one of the city’s earliest bi-racial political organizations, will roast long-time member and political activist Felicia Kahn on Monday, April 3, at Rosy’s Jazz Hall. The Coalition began hosting “jocular jousting” in 1973. Previous roasts included such political figures as Lindy Boggs, Moon Landrieu and the late State Rep Toni Morrison.

The New Orleans Coalition was formed in 1967 after the passage of the Voting Rights Act as a vehicle to turn around years of institutional racial discrimination by studying issues and advocating change. In its early years, the Coalition was dedicated to the areas of integrating public accommodations including schools, bars, neighborhoods and early childhood educational programs; reforming urban-renewal policies; police brutality; women’s rights; property tax reform; support of the California grape boycott; increased welfare support and electing progressive candidates.

The New Orleans Coalition considers their work to help elect Mayor Moon Landrieu as one of their major accomplishments. Many Coalition members were heavily involved including Allan Rosenzweig who providing complimentary polling and Tony Gagliano who was a chief strategist. Rosenzweig’s election week polling which predicted a win over Jimmy Fitzmorris was extremely accurate. Gagliano went on to become a member of Landrieu’s inner circle.

Roasters for the 50th Anniversary Bash include Errol and Peggy Laborde, Blake Jones, Oliver Thomas, Rosalind Cook and Jay Haikes.

Tickets are available online at the New Orleans Coalition website or by contacting Gail Gagliano at 482-2427.

Danae Columbus, who has had a 30-year career in politics and public relations, offers her opinions on Thursdays. Her career includes stints at City Hall, the Dock Board and the Orleans Parish School Board and work for City Council members Stacy Head and Jared Brossett, Foster Campbell, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, former Sheriff Charles Foti and former Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. Her current clients include judicial candidates Suzanne Montero and Paula Brown.

  4 Responses to “Danae Columbus: Can a woman be elected state treasurer?”

  1. RE: Headline “Can a Woman Be Elected State Treasurer?”
    Of course a woman can be elected state treasurer : remember Mary Landrieu? She was State Treasurer from 1988-1996

  2. Just a dumb title of the article. Blind agenda. Stirring stuff up for nothing.

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