LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A high-profile election for the City of Lafayette is the race for City Court Judge Division A.

Three candidates are vying for a job once held by Michelle Odinet who resigned after a video surfaced that showed racial slurs being used in her home.

Candidate Toby Aguillard considers himself to be the only conservative in the race and believes that’s what Lafayette is looking for.  

His motto: “Proven Leadership for Lafayette.”

Born in Lake Charles, Aguillard grew up in Grand Lake.

“I grew up in the marshes of Cameron Parish.  It is a very rural community that is a lot like Mayberry,” Aguillard said.

After high school, he says he was called into the ministry and entered the seminary for four years before graduating.

“It was during that time that I got commissioned and sworn in as a deputy sheriff for Cameron Parish.”

He says the Cameron Parish sheriff’s office is where his public service career officially began.

“With my summers off and winter break, I would go on patrol and work the highways of Cameron Parish as a sheriff’s deputy.  I got the opportunity to study God’s Law and Man’s Law.  I suppose at an early age the law was always on my mind.”

With a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from St. Joseph’s Seminary College, Aguillard attended the Southern University Law Center.  

After law school, he served as Assistant District Attorney felony prosecutor in Cameron Parish and in 2000, moved to the Attorney General’s office where he is one of the founding members of their high-technology crime unit.

“While I was at the AG’s office my focus was on prosecuting and investigating online solicitation of minors, protecting Louisiana’s children,” Aguillard adds.

Another proud moment, he says, was becoming Lafayette’s police chief in 2016. He calls that his proven leadership.

“If you liked me as being your chief, you will love me as your judge. I bring to the table years of administrative experience, 35 years of experience in law enforcement, criminal justice, and the practice of law. I’m ready to get started and continue working in the city and for the city that I love, Lafayette.”

If elected, Aguillard says he will help with some of the administrative challenges facing city court.

“A tremendous backlog created by the covid crisis as well as the sudden ​judicial vacancy.  I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and help Judge Saloom get things back on track in city court.”