Woodruff unopposed for House District 87 seat

Ebony Woodruff, a Democratic lawyer and former teacher from Woodmere, will represent District 87 in the state House of Representatives after being the only person to declare her candidacy for the vacant seat before qualifying ended Friday afternoon for a Nov. 16 election, which is no longer needed.

Woodruff, who is 33 and spent several months this year as an assistant parish attorney in Jefferson Parish, will officially take over next week for former Harvey lawmaker Girod Jackson, who resigned in August after being charged with federal tax fraud.

Although it is unusual for open legislative seats to draw only one candidate, Woodruff had the announced support of the Jefferson Parish Council’s West Bank members, and other potential candidates may have decided it was pointless to get into the race.

The term runs through 2015 and for Woodruff will count as the first of the three terms that representatives are limited to serving.

Woodruff said she intends to run in subsequent elections, focusing on education and crime to “make sure Jefferson Parish is a safe place to live.”

Woodruff said her youth and energy will be assets in the House, and that public service fulfills her desire to “be the change you want to see in the world.”

A Harvey native, Woodruff graduated from John Ehret High School in 1998 and attended LSU, graduating with a degree in business administration.

She taught special education at L.H. Marrero Middle School in 2003-04 before attending Southern University Law Center.

After getting her law degree in 2007, Woodruff started a private civil law practice before being hired as an assistant parish attorney in the contracts unit. She resigned from that position to seek Jackson’s House seat.

Jackson, who resigned amid the scandal surrounding his contracting company, Diversified Ventures, is expected to plead guilty in federal court this month.

District 87 includes much of Marrero and Harvey and is about 60 percent black.