HHS grad sets sights on Baton Rouge council using pro-marijuana platform

Teen says he’s organizing campaign, volunteers to make a run

Despite “a lot of people” asking if he really stands a chance of being elected to the District 5 seat on the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council, Malcolm Dunn says “I told them straight up – yes I do.”

At age 19, the Hahnville High School graduate’s platform includes providing more low-cost assistance and/or programs to low- and middle-income families, as well as legalizing cannabis.

“It brings people together honestly and it would help the financial aspects,” said Dunn of why he supports decriminalizing marijuana. “I would put a 25 percent tax on it and it would bring in money that could be used for education.”

Describing government as “stagnated and piling on deficit,” the LSU marketing freshman also said the move is part of his effort to bring change to government, as well as one that would help lower crime in metropolitan areas.

“I see opposition, but overall I believe Louisiana would do better with it legalized,” Dunn said.

Although he said marketing fits his personality, Dunn also maintained that he is “extremely sincere” about his intentions for public service if he serves as District 5 councilman. He’s following the lead his father set as someone who always watched politics and helped him make the move to get involved.

“Politics is a good fit with marketing because it helps me spread the word,” he said.    

Dunn is recruiting volunteers and organizing staff in anticipation of his run for office.

“It’s going pretty well so far,” he said. “I could use a lot more resources, but it’s a start.”

Dunn is the only person to announce he will seek the seat at this time. Baton Rouge attorney Erika Green is filling the seat, which was previously held by John Delgado who announced his candidacy for mayor of Baton Rouge. Delgado is seeking to succeed term-limited Kip Holden. Mayor and council members are limited to three terms.

Dunn said the decision to run for council came during the summer.

“I looked around at what America was becoming and I decided someone needed to be bipartisan,” he said of Democrats and Republicans. “We need someone who can work with both groups of people.”

While he believes in business growth and particularly for the state’s rural areas as a Republican, Dunn also described himself as more of a Democrat because he also wants to expand the assistance programs, especially Food Stamps since he saw how many people used them while he worked at a grocery store.

Calling it a move based on inspiration and ambition, Dunn said he decided he could win public office in Baton Rouge “because anything’s possible when you set your mind to it.”

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