Rep. Julie Stokes, Republican State Legislator from Kenner and candidate for Louisiana Secretary of State, is a force to be reckoned with. On a recent visit to Lafayette where she was speaking to the annual convention of the Louisiana Clerks of Court Association, we had a chance to catch up and talk about the 2018 race for Secretary of State.
A Certified Public Accountant, Julie was the first in her family to graduate from college having attended UNO on a scholarship. Elected in 2013 to represent District 79 in the Louisiana House of Representatives, she jumped right in and assumed various leadership positions at the state and national level.
She serves on the executive committee of the National Conference of State Legislators and is on a first-name basis with analysts at the Tax Foundation, the nation’s leading independent tax policy research center. She chairs the Sales Tax Streamlining & Modernization Commission, which seeks to reform Louisiana’s sales tax system.
She was recognized nationally as one of a handful of state “Tax Legislators of the Year” by State Tax Notes for her work on sales tax reform.
Stokes is the vice chair of the Legislative Audit Advisory Committee and serves on the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget. She also serves on the House Executive Committee, Ways & Means, Health & Welfare, and Joint Legislative Committee on Capital Outlay. She has been recognized one of the most knowledgeable Louisiana legislators in the field of Louisiana’s fiscal environment.
Julie withdrew her candidacy from the 2017 State treasurer’s race, where she was thought to be the frontrunner after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In January 2018, after aggressive treatments, Julie was able to announce that she was cancer free. She has moved forward, continues to serve in our State Legislature, and is an active, healthy and viable candidate for the open Secretary of State position.
During the interview, I asked if Julie had advice for women candidates for elected office. She stated, “Fight for what you believe in and fight for yourself, because honestly, if you have deeply held beliefs and conviction about something and you want to change the world, then you’ve got to advocate for yourself. Because the only way to get into a position where you can change the world is to do that.” She further stated, ‘If you want to change the world as an elected official, you have to raise money, which is super awkward when you’re told your whole childhood by your mom to never show up at anybody’s house unannounced and never ask anybody for money every day. And that’s exactly the name of the game! But you know it is very important.”
Julie Stokes loves Louisiana. As we talked about how Louisiana should be first on the list for quality of life, business, etc., she stated, “We have too many assets. We have too many resources and we’re abundant in culture and music, and rivers and ports. We’re the gateway to the Americas. We’ve got so much going on.” How true, and let’s own that assessment as we move forward and move Louisiana forward!
www.votejuliestokes.com is the site to visit for more information on Rep. Julie Stokes’ run for Secretary of State.