KAPLAN, La. (KLFY) — An oilfield worker and Army veteran with Acadiana roots is running for governor as an independent.

Jeffery Istre, 56, grew up in Lafayette and graduated in Kaplan in 1984, according to a press release announcing his candidacy.

Istre, who described himself as “a hard working, family man just like most of the people in Louisiana,” said “it’s time for a true person of the people to take office.”

“The affluent elite have controlled the power of this state for too long and have used that office for their own advancement and/or profit for friends and major campaign donors,” Istre said.

According to the release, Istre has worked in the oilfield for 15 years for Island Operating, and also started Acadian Search and Rescue, a non-profit dedicated to bringing missing persons home, in 2013. His past employment includes over-the-road and local truck driving for 12 years and serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Army in the 1st Calvary Division from 1984-1992, serving as squad leader in Desert Storm.

Istre is running as an independent candidate, saying “the two party system has gotten out of hand and they are fighting each other more than they are governing, which is what they are being paid to do.”

One of his stated priorities is bringing oilfield production levels back up.

“This is good for the state and the nation by becoming energy independent again,” he said.

He also listed education and investing in “our low income sectors to help the people help themselves” as goals for his administration.

“Our teachers are one of our best resources in the state, we need to make sure they are taken care of, for they are teaching our future leaders.” he said. “Louisiana has the highest poverty rate in the nation. We are 47th in the nation in median income. This issue has been ignored for generations.”

Istre described himself as “a family man with Christian values.” His family includes his wife Angie, 8 children and 11 grandchildren.

The Louisiana gubernatorial primary will be held Oct. 14. If no candidate secures a majroity in the primary, a runoff will be held Nov. 18.