Luling resident John Cornwell announced his candidacy in this year’s race for St. Charles parish president with a float rolling in Saturday’s Krewe of Lul parade.
“A lot of people asked me ‘you’re retired, you can do anything you want to do, why do you want to do this?’ and I said that’s exactly right, I can do anything I want to do, and this is what I want to do,” Cornwell said.
Cornwell worked for 22 years with the Louisiana State Police before working for the Sheriff’s Office for another 18 years. Cornwell retired last year and has since been active as a member of the Rotary Club, among other roles. Cornwell characterizes his as a life “dedicated to public service.”Cornwell said that in an era where “people are quick to criticize” the government, he felt it was his obligation to run for president.
Cornwell cites a Ghandi quote as the proposed slogan for his campaign: “Actions express priorities.” When asked about priorities, Cornwell offered no specific proposals, noting only a general desire to improve and maintain the quality of life in St. Charles.
“My priorities are very simple: you, your family and your quality of life,” Cornwell said. “Can it be that simple? I think it can be that simple, I think it is that simple, and if I’m elected parish president, I will make it that simple.”
Cornwell praised the presence of opponents, Councilwoman-at-large Carolyn Schexnaydre and District 5 Councilman Larry Cochran. Cornwell said that the presence of multiple qualified candidates will mean good things for the parish. Regardless of the outcome, he said, “maybe we won’t have to criticize the government.”
“Everyone has things that they like to do that aren’t easy, that make them sweat, that frustrate ‘em, but when they do them they’re the most satisfying things you can do in life,” Cornwell said. “I look at this new career as one of those things.”
The primary will be held on Oct. 24 with a general election following on Nov. 21. Current President V.J. St. Pierre is in his second term, and cannot seek re-election.