ASCENSION, LA. (BRPROUD) — Current Ascension Parish President, Clint Cointment and candidate Murphy J. Painter Sr. are running for the Ascension Parish President position.

Cointment and Murphy Sr. ran against each other in the 2019 elections for the same position, with Painter dropping out of the race. Resulting in an explosive defamation case between the two candidates.

Clint Cointment, Republican, Ascension Parish President; “They know what I’m about, they know I’m a very transparent person. I want to communicate with the public.”

Murphy J. Painter Sr., Independent, Candidate Ascension Parish President; “What I want to bring forward to the table is an honest open parish government.”

Clint Cointment, Republican, says his first term was a challenge dealing with COVID-19, a record number of storms and rainfall.

However, with the slower pace, Cointment believes it helped him become more acclimated even without all of his team.

“It did give us a little break, even though we had to adjust to the challenges of COVID,” says Cointment “It gave us some time to get acclimated to the job.”

Cointment says the parish brings in 20 billion dollars of investments each year, making it the Fastest-growing Parish in the state of Louisiana. He says the money goes towards large drainage projects or school programming. He plans on focusing on current projects, not building new ones. Believing that the current parish needs a more solid foundation before moving forward.

“I think I need to focus a little bit more on traffic, and some of our road projects,” says Cointment. “S,o that’s where I want to shift my focus.”

Sitting down with a former top official for the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, Murphy Painter Sr., an Independent, acknowledges this race won’t be easy, but wants to bring forward an “honest open parish government.”

“I’m the one struggling to get to the top,” says Painter Sr. “Fighting my way up through the mud and muck to try to get to the top. To do the right thing for the right reasons.”

BRPROUD has reported several news stories involving how the residents do not agree with the fast-growing parish. Painter believes that the simplicity of the parish is gone,

“That’s a Cinderella Story… Ok?” says Painter Sr. “If we want our kids to stay here, and provide for them, then you have to have some economic owners that create things growing.”

Painter says the parish should focus on a certain economic growth scale for success.

“Now you need smart growth, economic growth,” says Painter Sr. “Then you need smart growth and residual growth.”

Early voting for the Parish starts Oct. 7, Election day is Oct. 14th.