David Tatman
David Tatman

David Tatman announces he will not run for EBR mayor-president

David Tatman and his family

BATON ROUGE —- A name that had been tossed around as a Republican candidate for East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President has just quashed the idea.

David Tatman tells UWK, “After careful consideration and extensive discussions with my supporters, friends, and family, I have decided not to seek the office of Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish in the upcoming election.”

Tatman is a government relations professional and businessman who owns Tatman Group, an association and government relations firm. He also owns a real estate management company and a small film production company. In 2011, Tatman was elected to the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board and served as president in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2019, and 2022.

He says this decision has been one of the toughest he’s had to make.

“I was approached by a number of community leaders who are frustrated with the lack of results in Baton Rouge. Our community has two major universities, state government, and some of the largest investment in industrial corridor in our state. Our city and parish should be one of the bright shining stars in Louisiana. Yet we have rampant crime, public distrust of government and a lack of leadership from key elected officials,” Tatman tells UWK.

“I know that I could have provided the kind of leadership that would’ve changed the narrative about East Baton Rouge Parish. I would’ve put the right people in place to get the job done. I would’ve worked with the entire community in order to make real positive change and make Baton Rouge a place where people wanna move to not away from. I just can’t win the race,” he added.

Had he run for the office, David Tatman would have been on a ballot with two Democrats, former state Representative Ted James, who announced his mayoral candidacy in Feb. 2024 and incumbent Sharon Weston Broome announced she would be seeking a third term.

“I have taken a lot of bumps and bruises for this community to fix the foundation of our city so that we can now accelerate and deliver big and bold ideas,” Broome said in Jan. 2024. “It is because of this work to ensure that our foundation is strong that I am content I want to see the work completed. So, if you will have me, and I hope you will, I’ll be around for another four years.”

“Over the past two years, I’ve traveled, and I’ve watched what effective government is doing to raise the quality of life in places that don’t have a smidgeon of the resources we have in my beloved Baton Rouge,” said James at his announcement. “I am running to create that culture of excellence that I’ve watched all across the country for the past two years. Baton Rouge, we can’t just hope for it. We’ve got to vote for it.”

David Tatman
David Tatman

Tatman tells UWK that if he runs, polls show he would split the vote between Ted James and himself.

“The rumor has been that I was working with Sharon to keep Ted out of the runoff, which is absolutely false,” said Tatman. “Our campaign has demonstrated a strong ability to make it to the runoff, but given the current deep divisions within our community, we are less confident in our ability to prevail in a runoff election. The unity of our community is essential for progress, and these divisions present significant obstacles.”

Tatman says the polls he and his team conducted show concerns for public safety and a ‘deep mistrust’ of the government. Those were some of the main reasons he wanted to run.

“This mistrust must be addressed for our community to move forward effectively. I believe we need to critically examine our form of government and consider moving towards deconsolidation, similar to the majority of other parishes in Louisiana. The right to self-determination is fundamental to our republic, and it is imperative that our residents have a government structure that truly represents their needs and desires,” added Tatman.

Tatman went on to say, “Promoting a vibrant economy and creating quality jobs is also crucial. We must prioritize attracting new businesses, supporting local entrepreneurs, and creating quality job opportunities for our citizens. We must diversify our local economy to ensure a prosperous future for all residents.

While I will not be pursuing the title of Mayor-President, I am dedicated to continuing my work to make East Baton Rouge Parish all that it can be. Titles are not necessary for making a difference. My efforts will be focused on fostering unity, enhancing public safety, advocating for government reform, and promoting a vibrant economy that benefits all.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this journey. Your encouragement and belief in our shared vision for a better Baton Rouge have been invaluable.”

The deadline to file with the state to run for EBR mayor-president is July 19, 2024. The election is Nov. 5, 2024 with a runoff in December, if needed.

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