SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Baton Rouge Democrat who made national news recently for smoking marijuana in a campaign ad says he has more to offer voters than that single issue in his bid to unseat Republican Sen. John Kennedy and represent Louisiana in Washington, D.C.
“I’m going to be the person who cares most about them that’s on the ballot in November,” Gary Chambers, Jr. said in an interview with KTAL/KMSS Thursday. “The person who has demonstrated through action that they’re going to show up in the community, that they’re going to be active, and that they can actually change policies.”
Chambers said he cares about the “forgotten communities,” one of the reasons those in Northwest Louisiana should vote for him.
“I’m from North Baton Rouge, the side of town that is often ignored. I know what that feels like, and we’re not going to ignore Northwest Louisiana, we’re going to show up for them especially when they show up for us. We believe they will.”
Chambers said although the marijuana smoking campaign ad caused a nationwide frenzy and gained him over six million views on Twitter, he has other priorities, like the state’s economy.
“How do we make that economy work for working-class people? The minimum wage: how do we make sure people got a livable wage?”
Chambers isn’t the only Democrat challenging Kennedy. Bunkie native Luke Mixon is seeking to unseat the junior U.S. Senator. But Chambers says his community activism sets him apart.
“I am a community organizer and advocate that has transcended through the conversations to push issues to get results done for people in forgotten communities,” Chambers said. “And in North Baton Rouge, we’ve helped get emergency rooms open, keep the zoos there; hundreds and millions of dollars investment police reform; and bringing forth equity and accountability, a host of different areas. So, we believe that message will resonate with voters all over the state.”
He also picked up a key endorsement Wednesday from Louisiana Dist. 110 Rep. Ted James (D). Rep. James is the first elected official in the state to endorse Chambers.
“We are the only Democrat in this race that somebody has actually endorsed that is a sitting elected official, so we’re excited about that,” said Chambers. “We’re building momentum; we’re going to reach out to all over the state and continue to get endorsements.”
This election is Chambers’ second time running for federal office. He ran for Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district last year but missed the runoff by just one percent, losing the bid for the House seat to Rep. Troy Carter.
This time, Chambers is hoping his message reaches all corners of the state.
“I have every intention to get all over the state of Louisiana to do what we can to win.”