District 8 candidate Robbie Gatti addresses budget and 'Blackface' photo

Gatti hopes to fill vacant seat for La House of Representatives

Bossier, La. - Four candidates want your vote to become the District Eight Representative for the Louisiana House. 

Robbie Gatti says he's Bossier native who will support religious freedom. 

"I'm the best qualified for that because I've done ministry all over the world," Gatti said.

He's an ordained minister, served in the National Guard and owned a physical therapy practice for twenty years. 

"Those are the lenses I look  through and I've always served. I've always been a servant," Gatti said.

He's said he's a fiscal conservative ready to reduce the size of government by cutting costs and taxes. 

"Owning my own business for 20 years I know what it means to have a balanced budget. Those departments in the state will have to look at that and say where can I trim the fat because there is no money," Gatti said.

He supports lowering the state's sales and income tax and exemptions for big businesses and wants to tackle the TOPS scholarship by possibly reworking its criteria or asking colleges to reduce costs. 

"I also believe if a student goes to a college and the first semester he figures out he's not college material that maybe he ought to have pay that back," Gatti said.

His other big issues include, bringing federal aid for flooding from south Louisiana up to the northwest and supporting public school special education teachers. 

His candidacy is not without controversy. A picture surfaced of Gatti attending a church function while in 'Blackface'. He said he went to the event dressed as Tiger Woods. 

"Do you regret dressing up in 'Blackface?' Oh absolutely. I'll never do it again. I've learned so much about that. But absolutely. They tried to paint me as a racist. I'm not a racist," Gatti said.

Gatti said the photo was taken fifteen years ago and the fact that it came out now, is nothing more than a political attack. 

"You see an attack on me personally down to the core. This has resulted in hundreds of death threats. That attack was done by my opponents. There's no one else who could have benefited from that. I mean the cropping of that picture, there were two African American women in the picture with me," Gatti said.

Gatti said it was wrong but hopes to focus on the issues and encourages anyone to contact him with questions. 

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