White to serve in state House

Published 8:32 am Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Malinda White said she believed it was her community service that put her over the top in Saturday’s race for State Representative, District 75.

White, who is in her first term as the Bogalusa City Council member representing District D, defeated 16-year Washington Parish Council member Chuck Nassauer for the seat currently held by Harold Ritchie. Ritchie, a Democrat, did not run because of term limits. Both White and Nassauer ran as Democrats.

White received 5,906 votes, or 55 percent, of the votes cast in the district. Nassauer received 4,868 votes, or 45 percent. About 46.0 percent of the district’s eligible voters cast ballots in the election.

District 75 includes the eastern portion of Washington Parish, and a small portion of northeastern St. Tammany Parish.

Western Washington Parish is located in District 74, which is represented by Scott Simon of Abita Springs, a Republican. Simon ran unopposed for re-election this year.

White works with a number of children’s advocacy programs, including Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). She said working with various children’s programs helped the public become familiar with her character.

“I’m really humbled and honored by the votes and confidence in me to represent District 75 in Baton Rouge,” White said. “I’m looking forward to helping move the state forward. I’m looking forward to working with all the people who were elected.”

White said she intends to represent everyone in Baton Rouge.

“I’m also here to represent those people who didn’t vote for me. I want them to think they have someone they can come to and ask for help,” White said.

White takes her seat next January when the new governor is sworn in. She said she thought the state’s financial budget would be a priority.

“The state’s finances are in serious trouble right now,” White said. “I’m hearing a special session will be called in January. The financial situation will affect other areas, like infrastructure and education. We’ll look at ways to bring industry back into our state.”

White said she thought long and hard about running for state representative, since she hasn’t served on Bogalusa City Council all that long.

“I felt a calm with my decision to run. I give everybody everything I’ve got to try and lift this community,” White said. “Why wouldn’t I consider a position to help us all and not just Bogalusa? I felt it was the right time to do it. I had more to bring to the table.

“I had confidence in myself to go to that next level. This is not a career thing for me. I’m in it to help the people of this parish. That’s my agenda.”

Nassauer wished White well and said he would support her.

“I was disappointed because I didn’t make it,” he said. “I had a lot of people working for me. I have to respect the will of the people. I will do everything I can to support the new state representative.

“I want to congratulate her and wish her the best in Baton Rouge.”