Loar to focus on planning bid for Ascension Parish president

Chris Loar
Chris Loar

Ascension Parish Councilman Chris Loar, announcing his candidacy for parish president in the 2015 fall elections, said Tuesday that the parish’s current economic boom requires leadership for the parish’s future.

“I think everyone knows we are at a crisis point in the history of Ascension Parish” with its tremendous growth in industry, said Loar, 38.

It’s a time, he said, that requires “clear planning.”

Now in his second term as a councilman and in his third year as chairman of the council, Loar said he announced his candidacy early to give others time to consider running for the council seat for his district, District 7.

Loar said he’ll be stepping down from his role as chairman of the Parish Council in the near future, to focus more fully on his campaign for parish president.

The election is Oct. 24, 2015.

Loar, who has an undergraduate degree in business management and a master’s degree in information systems, both from LSU, is the director of business information systems for the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.

His wife, Jodi Loar, owns with her family the Color Wheel Learning Centers, with two locations of the child care facility in Ascension Parish and one in Baton Rouge. The Loars have two daughters, Evangeline Claire, 9, and Sinclair Elizabeth, 4.

On hand at the announcement, held at a Gonzales restaurant, were several local elected officials, including current Parish President Tommy Martinez, who has said he will not be seeking re-election when his fourth term in the office ends.

“He is going to be a great candidate. I think Mr. Loar would be a fine president,” Martinez said before the event began. “He’s got experience and knowledge, a good education and political savvy.”

Loar’s candidacy brings the candidate field to two so far. Clint Cointment, a Gonzales-area surveyor, previously announced his candidacy for the job. Both men are Republicans.

Longtime Gonzales City councilman Kenny Matassa, a former Democrat who recently switched to no party, has said he’s considering running for parish president, after he was approached by several people.