Leesville native Charles “Chuck” Owen has announced his intention to run for the Louisiana House of Representatives District 30 seat that will be vacant this fall.
A twenty year veteran of the US Air Force, Owen and his family moved back to Leesville in 2014 where he continues to work as a defense contractor, and his wife, Carolyn, is a special education teacher in Vernon Parish.
For the last three years, Owen has been a member of the Republican State Central Committee, a group that decides party policy and what efforts to support that will better Louisiana.
Owen has three primary areas of interest that he is basing his campaign on.
He wants to remove barriers to business. He believes that Louisiana is hostile to businesses from the self-employed man trying to hang a shingle all the way to big corporations.
One specific barrier that Owen sees is excessive Worker’s Compensation rates and fees, particularly for small businesses. Another problem area he sees is there are to many requirements for some small businesses to get a license without stringent rules and requirements.
Owen says there are too many businesses leaving the state because of the restrictions and excessive fees.
“We need to make it easier for businesses to stay here,” Owen said.
He is passionate about education and training reform and believes that there is a
Owen feels that the great schools of Vernon and Beauregard Parishes have educators and administrators who are strapped with the requirements put on them from Baton Rouge and Washington and he wants to be the voice they need to effect a change for the better.
He also feels that kids graduating from high school need another option leading to the workforce for trade careers.
Owen said that college is useless in a lot of ways for those who choose a trade. He believes that students need to be exposed to welders, pipe fitters, electricians, etc and counselors who can tell them what to expect from that kind of career.
Owen credits his career path because he had a counselor who was able to convince him that the Air Force was a good career for him.
Owen’s third platform is infrastructure.
Owen says that it is difficult to fix Louisiana’s infrastructure without fixing the barriers to business first. If it is easier for businesses to start and operate in Louisiana, there will be more revenue generated that can be used to fix the crumbling infrastructure.
“We cannot fix these roads without putting more money in the coffers in Baton Rouge, and I do not think that taxes are the way to put money in the coffers,” Owen said.
His solution to adding money to the coffers is to generate economic activity.
Owen is planning to hold a few meet-and-greets throughout the district in the near future. Voters are encouraged to attend and ask him questions before the October 12, 2019 election.