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Reynolds resigning from office

by David Specht

State Rep. leaving to take administration job

After nearly two terms in office, State Rep. Gene Reynolds, D-Minden, is moving out of the legislature. He made the announcement via Facebook Tuesday night.

“I will be leaving the Legislature on June 4 to take the job of Director and Assistant Secretary in charge of state parks and historical areas,” Reynolds said.

“I feel that this job will match my skills in science, education, and administration.”

In an interview with the Press-Herald Wednesday morning, Reynolds said the decision to change jobs has been months in the making.

“About two months ago, the guy that had the job, Robert Barham, quit,” Reynolds said. “I had some people ask me if I would be interested in that job.”

Reynolds began contemplating whether or not a move in that direction was the right move for him and the state. “The more I thought about it, the more it looked like something that might would fit me as far as going to the parks and becoming involved in the educational and new programs,” he said. “That’s kind of what I do.”

The interest in the position led to a meeting with Lt. Gov. Billy Nungessor, and the deal was all but sealed.

“I talked to the Lt. Governor about it, and he and I hit it off pretty well and seemed to be on the same page,” Reynolds said.

“I just came to the conclusion that’s what I needed to do. I talked to my family about two weeks ago, and they were all in agreement that they supported me on it. That’s what it came down to.”

Reynolds will leave the legislature on June 4 and start the new position June 5. He is expecting to hit the ground running.

“One of the things Billy (Lt. Gov.) was very interested in was me getting out to all 22 parks and 18 historical sites,” Reynolds said.

When he’s not on the road, Reynolds will be in Baton Rouge. “Down here, I’ll handle some PR things and have a staff of about 10 beneath me here at the capitol,” he said.

Not to be tied to a desk, Reynolds said he will be on the road a lot this summer. “I will probably spend a lot of time out here with the parks, and all the people that work out there,” he said. “All summer, I’ll be around.”

Reynolds said the areas close to home will be his starting point. “Lake Bistineau will be a big priority for me,” he said. “I’m going to start there, work my way across north Louisiana, and then go down south.”

Reynolds’ June 4 resignation date coincides with the last possible date for the Special Session called by Gov. John Bel Edwards to conclude.

Moving forward, a special election will be called to fulfill the unexpired term of Reynolds, which will most likely occur in November.

“This is short notice. Candidates will have to raise their money quickly to run,” Reynolds said. “And then they will have to run again in a year.”

Reynolds shared his appreciation for his district over his nearly two terms in office. “I appreciate the people of the district 10 and the support you have displayed for me and my family,” he said in his Facebook post. “I will continue to support our area in my new position and will always be available for your input.”

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