Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler has announced that she will seek a second term as mayor. She indicated that any formal announcement will be after the April 28 vote on “new” ad valorem taxes.
Tyler refers to the tax initiatives as “renewals.” Since the millages expired on December 31 of last year, her classification is technically incorrect.
The tax vote gives Tyler ample opportunities to meet with Shreveport voters and tout her accomplishments during her three years of service. It could also be a referendum on her Administration.
Tyler’s 2017 candidate’s report indicates a fund balance at year end of $33,386.62.
Tyler has held three low key fundraising events. Big Os Catfish, Silver Star Grill and the Petroleum Club were paid almost $7,000 for events in September and December of last year.
The maximum contribution per year for mayor’s race is $2,500.
Those stepping to the plate with the big bucks were Caddo Commissioner John Atkins, Roy Griggs, Rickey Hall, Shreveport bond attorneys Joshua Williams and Jackie Scott, Fred Kent and his wife Melinda Kent (total of $5,000), and Ronald Wicker.
CDM Smith, a Cambridge, Massachsetts engineering firm, paid $2,500 as a portion of the Petroleum Club catering bill.
Wimbley Construction contributed $2,000. Williams Creative Group, which is owned by Judy Williams, made in kind contributions of $1,675 for the fundraiser invitations. Jerry Acree, husband of Tyler staffer Arlena Acree, kicked in $1,500 as did KSA, a Longview engineering firm.
The $1,000 club of donors included Abrams & Larfargue law firm, Barrett Investment Group of Bossier City, Linda Biernacki, Busada and Associates, Al Childs, Lydia Jackson, and Judy Williams.
Two engineering firms also contributed $1,000. These were EJES and Integrated Management Services who both have Shreveport satellite offices.
There is an old adage in politics that one should “just follow the money.” This is especially true when reviewing contributions to political campaigns.
Roy Griggs was appointed by Tyler to the Port of Shreveport Bossier Board. Griggs was a major player in Tyler’s 2013 campaign for mayor.
Attorneys Williams and Scott are paid big bucks by Shreveport’s bond counsel.
Fred Kent is an insurance broker who has been writing the City’s insurance business since the Hightower days.
Ronald Wicker is a principal in Wicker Construction. This company has several contracts with the City.
CDM Smith also benefits from city dollars with its engineering services. The other engineering firms (KSA, EJES, and Integrated Management Services) have been awarded city contracts.
Adams & Lafargue provide legal services for Shreveport.
Linda Biernacki, who is a major Tyler supporter, had been on the City’s Architectural and Engineering Committee for many years until Tuesday, February 27. Many critics have said this position substantially benefitted her fire protection company.
There is no doubt that an incumbent has a substantial advantage in an election campaign. This is especially true in a mayors race when it comes to raising campaign funds. Tyler’s recent filing is certainly proof of this.