Heck to run for 6th congressional district

East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Councilman Ryan Heck said Wednesday that he plans to run for the 6th Congressional District seat being vacated after next year by U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge.

The first-term Republican councilman said he will file the necessary paperwork “real soon” to officially enter the race that is thus far filled primarily with young Republicans.

“I look forward to getting to work and meeting with the people of the district and understanding their issues,” said Heck, who described himself as a “pro-growth, pro-business conservative.”

Heck works at the Albemarle chemical company and holds a master’s degree in business administration from LSU. He was unopposed last year in winning election to the Metro Council.

At just 35 years old, Heck is actually the oldest of the announced Republicans in the race thus far.

State Sen. Rick Ward III, R-Maringouin, who is 31, entered the race earlier this month after switching to the Republican Party. In May, Baton Rouge business owner Paul Dietzel II, 27, who is the grandson of former LSU football coach Paul Dietzel, became the first Republican to formally declare for the race.

The only other formally declared candidate is Democratic real estate broker Richard Dean Lieberman, of LaPlace.

Cassidy is vacating the seat to challenge U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., for her spot in the U.S. Senate.

Cassidy’s recently redrawn 6th district lost some of north Baton Rouge and chunks of West Baton Rouge, Ascension and St. James parishes.

But the district now moves farther south to snatch up parts of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes because of redistricting.

The district also is shaped to lean more conservative than it did before. The district, with 358,555 registered voters, is 74 percent white and 33 percent Republican, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.