WEST BATON ROUGE — On Saturday, West Baton Rouge Parish voters elected a familiar face in a new role to lead the parish forward.
Jason Manola was elected West Baton Rouge President, beating out challenger Grover Harrison III 61% to 39%.
Manola replacces Riley “PeeWee” Berthelot Jr., who has served as the WBR Parish President since 2004.
“I was extremely excited about the results as they started coming in,” Manola said. “It was the closure to the campaign trail part of the process, which I enjoyed. I enjoyed going out and getting to know people in different parts of our parish. I enjoyed hearing their concerns and some of the things they liked going on in the parish.”
Who is Jason Manola?
Manola, a lifelong WBR parish resident, has been the parish’s chief of administration for the last 14 years. He was on the WBR school board from 2002-2022, serving as board president for 17 years. Manola is also the former CFO for Ports of America Gulf Region. Manola is a certified public accountant (CPA) by trade.
“I’ve always been involved in our community and will continue to be involved in the community,” he said. “My parents were big believers in you give back to the community that has given you so much, and that’s some of the same things that I’ve continued to do, whether it was through coaching youth sports or helping out with fundraisers for those in need. It is very key.”
First order of business
The Parish President-elect mentioned several projects that are underway or have advanced past the engineering phase. He named the LA1/415 connector project, water line improvements in Erwinville, and water well projects in Brusly and Addis.
He said the focus is to ensure those projects are completed on time.
“Just making sure we continue to have that sense of urgency to get these projects completed on time and within the budgetary constraints that we have,” Manola stated.
Manola said he asked for a chance to earn the trust of those who didn’t vote for him.
“I thank everyone that actually supported me during this campaign trail,” he said. “For those who may have supported my opponent, I ask you to give me an opportunity to earn your trust and your support over the next four years. My entire lifetime has been about our entire community, and I will continue to do what’s best for our entire parish.”