On Tuesday afternoon, Sulphur businessman and former state legislator Ronnie Johns announced that he will run for the Louisiana senate. He made the announcement at an event in the Lake Charles Civic Center.
Johns stated that he was drawn back into public service now because he felt that his experience would ensure effective representation in Baton Rouge for those people and communities that have meant a lot to him and his family. He further stated that he will draw upon life lessons of discipline, honesty and service as a legislator at such a crucial time for Louisiana.
"I'm going to serve you faithfully. I'm going to serve you honestly. I'm going to serve you with passion. I'm going to serve you with a lot of energy. And I'm going to serve you with integrity," said Johns at the event.
He spoke of the state's great challenges, most especially its difficult budgetary situation.
"Our government must live within its means and it should do so, like any family would, by tightening its belt and downsizing," said Johns.
In his opinion, Louisiana citizens need smarter, more efficient health care and better schools for their children. He said he will put decades of experience to work cutting waste and demanding better performance.
Having served three terms in the state house, Johns authored a statewide prescription monitoring program. Drawing on his experience in health care, Johns took aim at the problem of drug abuse, passing legislation to stop illegal doctor-shopping and pharmacy-shopping. In the first year of implementation, the number of deaths due to prescription drug abuse was cut by more than 50 percent.
Johns also authored legislation to help families through more secure adoption laws and enforcing court-ordered child support. He received the prestigious Russell B. Long Service Award for his work on behalf of families.
He also helped create the TOPS program and has received numerous legislative awards from across the state.
Sulphur resident Gerrit Lawrence commented on Johns' run for the senate seat, saying that he was the right man for the job.
"He's a good man and he gets things done. He really cares about the people," said Lawrence.
Johns and his wife Michelle, who is a retired teacher, have a daughter, Claire, who is a nursing student at McNeese State University. She is married to fellow McNeese student Alex Broussard and the two have one son.
The election is scheduled for October 22, 2011.