St. Tammany Parish GOP Endorses Kennedy, Wells

NEW ORLEANS – At its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 22, the Republican Parish Executive Committee (RPEC) of St. Tammany Parish voted to endorse State Treasurer John Kennedy in the race for United States Senate and Cdr. John Wells (USN, Ret.) as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

         The RPEC heard from most Republican candidates for the State Treasurer seat at its August meeting, and finding a number of well-qualified candidates declined to issue an endorsement. With the race narrowed to Kennedy and a lone Democrat, the RPEC revisited the issue last week and overwhelmingly voted to endorse Kennedy.

         "Quite a few good Republicans offered themselves for service in this seat in the November primary, and the voters gave a strong nod to Treasurer Kennedy," said RPEC Chair Larry Frieman. "Mr. Kennedy has a distinguished record of service to the people of Louisiana during his time in Baton Rouge, and we are fully confident in his dedication to the principles that reflect our party's values.  We know he will serve us well in Washington."

         Cdr. John Wells (USN, Ret.) is a Slidell-based attorney whose practice focuses on military and veterans issues, executive director of the non-profit Military-Veterans Advocacy and the District 9 representative on the RPEC. He’s also in the running for an appointment to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and has won the unanimous support of his colleagues.

         Following the election of Donald Trump earlier this month, a grassroots effort was mounted online to nominate Wells for the V.A. post.

         At its Nov. 22 meeting, the St. Tammany RPEC unanimously passed a resolution asking President-elect Trump to appoint Wells to this important Cabinet post.

         "John has an extraordinary record of service to our nation and to the military personnel and veterans who protect it," said RPEC Member At-Large James Hartman, who authored the resolution. "With the obvious need for significant reforms in the V.A., we believe John would be an outstanding choice for this position."

         "There's no doubt Cdr. Wells would represent the president-elect's vision and help fulfill Mr. Trump's promises of reform in the V.A.," said RPEC Chairman Larry Frieman. "Our servicemen and women and our veterans have given their best to the United States, and they need representation from someone like John to ensure we give our best back to them."

         Wells has the support of Sens. Bill Cassidy and David Vitter in seeking the appointment, and other members of Congress with whom he has worked on veterans-related legislation are also expected to lend their names to his nomination.

         The RPEC is a statutory body consisting of 19 members, with one from each Parish Council district and five At-Large. The current members were elected last March.

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