Previous Cawthorne challenger, 3 others apply for interim Caddo Dist. 6 seat

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CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Four people have submitted applications to fill the Caddo Parish District 6 seat until a special election can be held to replace Commissioner Lynn Cawthorne, who resigned earlier this month after pleading guilty to federal wire fraud charges.

According to Caddo Parish Communications Manager Krystle Beauchamp, Ernest Baylor, Steffon Jones, Hersy Jones, and Jasmine Clinton filed resumes to be considered by the parish before the Friday deadline.

Steffon Jones, the Director of Diesel Driving Academy in Shreveport, unsuccessfully challenged Cawthorne for the seat in November, running on a platform of juvenile justice reform, economic and community development, and support for the homeless.

Cedar Grove native Hersy Jones attended Harvard Law and is a community activist who ran unsuccessfully against Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator in the November election.

Jasmine Clinton is a local business owner and member of the North Louisiana STEM Alliance.

Ernest Baylor is a former Caddo/Bossier Port Commissioner and previously served as a Representative in the Louisiana Legislature.

All are Democrats.

The Caddo Commission voted Thursday to approve the process for selecting the interim commissioner. A special meeting is set for Nov. 29 to appoint an interim commissioner. The commission will then vote to call a special election to set a date to fill the position permanently.

Cawthorne announced his resignation on Nov. 8 following his guilty plea on charges of wire fraud in connection with his involvement in a scheme to defraud the Food and Nutrition Service that administers the summer Child Nutrition Programs. Cawthorne and his sister, Belena C. Turner, stole more than $536,000 from the program through several means. He first appeared in court in May of 2008, but there were several trial delays before he pled guilty on Nov. 5.

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