One of the challengers for Terrebonne Parish President has withdrawn from the race.
Michel Claudet announced today that he will no longer challenge for the seat he once held from 2008-2016, a decision confirmed by his campaign to The Times on Thursday morning, then re-affirmed by a press release sent to our news desk.
The Times asked for a comment from Claudet via telephone, but he said he would not offer any thoughts on his decision aside from what was in his press release.
In it, Claudet said the decision to pull out of the race was difficult, but he added that the "timing" was not right for his run.
Claudet's campaign website is down and under construction. He had not posted on his Facebook page since Sept. 2018.
"After thoughtful consideration and a lot of soul searching, I have decided not to seek the office of Terrebonne Parish President. This is not a decision I have made lightly. I care very deeply about the future of Terrebonne Parish, but the timing for this run is not right for me. I sincerely appreciate the many people who have encouraged me to run over this past year.
"Serving as Terrebonne’s Parish President from 2008-2016 was the greatest honor of my life," he continued. "And I am proud of what we were able to accomplish over my tenure. I still believe Terrebonne’s brightest days are ahead, and I plan to remain an active member of our community."
Claudet said he was retired from politics after his second term in office in 2016, then announced in Sept. 2018 that he intended to run again, saying that he had a renewed passion and that he believed he was the best person to lead Terrebonne Parish into the future.
Claudet was expected to be the most serious challenger to incumbent Gordon Dove, who has led the office since the initial retirement in 2016.
Also in the race is David McCormick, a school teacher and football coach, who is running on a platform to help the parish's "common man" regain its voice.
Dove has maintained throughout the race that progress has been made since his inauguration, pointing to storm protection and other areas where Terrebonne is now better off than they were before.
This past weekend was a test of those storm protection improvements and Terrebonne fare mostly well against Hurricane Barry, minus flooding in low-lying areas, a common occurrence in our area during storm events.