BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — State Rep. Edward “Ted” James has been appointed by President Biden as Regional Administrator for the SBA’s South Central Region.

“With his extraordinary dedication to public service and commitment to advancing communities, Ted’s leadership couldn’t come at a more crucial time for small businesses and innovative startups in our South Central region. Ted is an experienced and knowledgeable leader who will help advance the SBA’s programs – including our disaster portfolio. When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated his home state, he was among those on-the-ground helping Louisianans rebuild and recover,” said SBA Administrator Guzman. “Ted is joining a dynamic team of Regional Administrators as the SBA looks ahead to a year filled with new opportunities and new challenges. Together, we will continue to help our small businesses recover, pivot, and grow to power local economies and solve global problems such as climate change, as we build a better America for all of us.”

According to a news release from the U.S. Small Business Administration, in his new position, Rep. James will oversee SBA programs, offices, and operations in the SBA’s Central South region, serving Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

See local and state leaders’ reaction to Rep. James’ appointment:

On Wednesday evening, Governor John Bel Edwards offered his congratulations to Rep. James. He said:

“Congratulations to my friend Ted James, who has been a fierce advocate for the people of Louisiana during his years of service as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives.  He has been a leader on many issues, especially criminal justice reform. He has been a strong partner, and he has challenged me at times. Ted is never afraid to speak up for what is right and work hard for those he represents, and that is why he is an excellent choice for this position. I will miss having him as a confidant in the State Capitol, but President Biden picked an experienced and accomplished Louisiana leader when he selected Ted for this job.”

Louisiana House Speaker Clay Schexnayder issued the following statement:

“Congratulations to Representative Ted James on his appointment as the administrator of Region 6 of the federal Small Business Administration. We are happy for him and proud that one of our colleagues has been selected, but at the same time, we will deeply feel his loss in the House of Representatives. 

Ted brings experience and expertise in a number of areas that will be missed within our Legislative body. He has been an excellent chairman of the Administration of Criminal Justice Committee and an effective leader of the Legislative Black Caucus. Many years of experience in various roles and levels of state government have made Ted a valuable leader with a huge amount of knowledge that will be sorely missed by the House but will serve him greatly and benefit small businesses in the southern region as he moves into his new position. 

We will miss Ted as a fellow member and wish him the very best in his new journey. He and I will discuss the timing of his transition and I will then determine when to call a special election to fill his House seat.”

EBR Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome congratulated Rep. James in a tweet reading:

“Join me in congratulating @EdwardTedJames for his appointment as Regional Administrator for @SBAgov Region 6! Ted is an exemplary public servant, a fierce advocate for what is right, and a treasured friend. I know he will continue to serve us well, and make us proud.”