IBERVILLE PARISH- Current Iberville Parish School Board member Chris Daigle said he took a big chance when he decided to qualify for the Parish President’s race on the last day.
That chance paid off Saturday night when he was elected Iberville Parish President, unseating incumbent Mitchell Ourso, who had been in the role for 26 years.
Daigle won the race by a 53 to 44 margin.
“It was a big commitment and a big decision,” Daigle said. “We felt it was the best decision for me and Iberville Parish because after 26 years, I just felt it was time for change.”
Who is Chris Daigle?
Daigle is a lifelong Iberville Parish resident and a White Castle High resident. He graduated from Nicholls State University before returning to the community to open Daigle’s Market in 2006.
He was elected to his third term as the District G school board member in November 2022. Daigle said he plans to resign from the school board before he is inaugurated as Parish President.
“It’s a big step, but it’s a big step in the right direction for Iberville Parish because after 26 years of leadership, certain things are overlooked,” Daigle said. “It’s going to give us a new perspective.”
Plan to unify the parish
“My administration is going to have a six-month, a one-month, a future plan to build Iberville Parish,” Daigle said. “We are going to meet with all of our local municipalities, and we’re going to go into their communities with my local council members, and I’m going to prove that we’re going to be a united parish under my administration.”
Daigle said the plan is to visit all the communities and let them know their concerns will be heard.
Thoughts on the proposed new bridge
Daigle said he supports the new Mississippi River bridge plan in Iberville Parish.
He said he believes it’s something his community needs.
“Right now, it’s just a long, exhausting traveling route for members of the St. Gabriel community who are coming to Iberville and the Plaquemine community,” he said. “I know there’s some concerns about a cypress Grove in one of the routes on the northern end of Shintec and Westlake. So, you know, I’m hearing the concerns of those community members, and we’re going to look at all available options. We have three plans that are crossings for the bridge, and we will keep all of those concerns in mind and move us forward.”
First order of business
The president-elect said it’s imperative to meet with the administration.
“During the campaign, I sent a letter on behalf of myself to every employee of the Iberville parish council,” Daigle explained. “I sent that letter to them to let them know that I’m going to be an open leader coming in. I’m going to hear your voices.”
Daigle said he also promised the Iberville Parish community that if he were elected, he’d establish term limits. He said 12 years should be the maximum time a parish president should serve. He said positions such as sheriff and clerk of court don’t fall under the parish home-rule charter, so the council could not change that.
“So moving forward, I’m going to request that the parish council send it to the voters, and I’m going to be out there knocking on doors myself, and it’s not going to be at a minor, low election, like in March, it’s gonna be at a big election,” he said. We’ll have the Iberville Parish people speak on this topic. And if they want term limits, it’s going to be up to the voters ultimately.”
Message to outgoing President Mitchell Ourso
Daigle complimented Ourso on his time as Parish President and said he expects a smooth transition into office.
“Mr. Ourso has done a phenomenal job,” he said. “He’s been in office for 26 years. He has a great resume. He has done so many great things for Iberville Parish. I thank Mr. Ourso for his service and look forward to working with him on a smooth transition.”