Lawler attempting ouster of Chase Melancon as council lines redrawn

District 7 Councilman Aaron Lawler

Ascension Parish Council district lines must be redrawn since the latest decennial census numbers were revealed for 2020.  Slithering snake that he is, Councilman Aaron Lawler is urging colleagues to vote for a new map placing current District 6 Councilman Chase Melancon’s residence in District 2.  Joel Robert is the District 2 incumbent, and a formidable one who, we believe, would prevail (even against a challenger as impressive as Chase Melancon).

We do not believe Robert could go into St. Amant and beat Melancon either.

Lawler’s purported argument, a red herring, is against gerrymandering.  At November’s redistricting workshop eight members participated in redrawing the lines, configuring boundaries so as to maintain members in current districts with Melancon’s District 6 giving up acreage to accommodate others.  Any gerrymandering focused on other seats.

Council tinkers with new district boundaries

One council member, who would only speak on the condition of anonymity for understandable reasons, concluded that Lawler’s reptilian machinations target Robert.  We disagree.  Placing Melancon in the District 2 incumbent’s electoral path is aimed at Melancon’s ouster.

Lawler, out of the blue, attempted to drag your writer into his plot.  At 9:58 p.m. on Saturday (an hour after your writer’s normal bed time, as it happens) Lawler sent a text which awakened me (I sleep long, but sleep light).  A cryptic opening…

Lawler (text surrounded in grey border) revealed his cards without much prodding…

Context:  In the 2019 election cycle Pelican Post sold advertising and related services to both candidates; Joel Robert bested incumbent, Bill Dawson, in District 2 while Chase Melancon won the District 6 seat without opposition when Randy Clouatre did not seek a fourth term.  We continue to provide a forum for both to express whatever they care to as it relates to local governance, as we do for any elected official in Ascension Parish.

For the record, in our view Chase Melancon has performed admirably in his two years on the Parish Council.  We did not “support” either of Aaron Lawler’s candidacies (and he is delusional if he believes otherwise) though he may have purchased advertising in 2015’s five-man race for District 7.  We sold advertising to multiple of his opponents as well.

Shameless solicitation: Business being business, we would sell Lawler’s campaign advertising in future elections.  The exorbitant rate quoted will, in all probability, not fit within his campaign budget (unlike his opponent).

NOTE:  Having spoken to multiple of his colleagues previously, I already knew what Lawler was referencing but decided to string him along to elicit juicy screenshots to publish.  Wide awake now, I figured Lawler would be easy to bait given his infamous social media rants and raves.

(In the interest of full disclosure) Pelican Post has sold advertising, very reasonably priced advertising, to numerous business interests with participants who are involved in local politics.  The practice, fortunately, long predates any affiliation with Chase Melancon or Joel Robert.

Gotta give it to him, Lawler is persistent.

Resorting to insults, having difficulty texting, the hook was set.

This was almost too easy.

Interestingly enough, if the latest council district map is adopted I would be a voter in District 2 (instead of District 10 where John Cagnolatti is my current representative).  If ever my ballot included a contest between Joel Robert and Chase Melancon it would be a difficult choice, indeed.

Obviously frustrated now, how to keep stringing Lawler along?

That was easy enough.

It took Lawler a while to process, but a little prodding elicited his last salvo…

Sounding a lot like that other disgrace of a Prairieville councilman.  He meant to text “wasted” potential.

What Lawler hoped to gain, engaging until nearly midnight on a Saturday, is anyone’s guess.  Hopefully, his colleagues will refuse to indulge his attempt to pit Joel Robert and Chase Melancon against one another in 2023.