BATON ROUGE — Republicans Dr. Trey Baucum, Oliver Jenkins and Rick John, as well as Democrat Marshall Jones, all from Shreveport, were among six candidates to qualify for the 4th Congressional District seat here Wednesday.

Qualifying for the Nov. 8 election continues Wednesday and Thursday.

Incumbent Congressman John Fleming, R-Minden, is giving up his seat to run for the U.S. Senate.

Baucum, emphasizing his credentials as a doctor, said, “America needs a second opinion.”

“I’m a true outsider, and I think especially this year that is resonating with voters,” Baucum said.

Jenkins, an oil and gas businessman, retired U.S. Marine pilot and member of the Shreveport City Council, said his experience is suited to what he considers the top issues facing American — the economy and national defense.

Jenkins said he believes interest will grow in the election following qualifying, but he said “the issues facing our communities in Baton Rouge and other cities has appropriately been the focus of the news now. That’s where the attention needs to be,” he said.

John, an attorney, said it’s “time to refresh our government.”

“Our government has grown too large in size and scope,” said John, who said he would simplify the tax code, among other priorities. “People tell me they have a disdain for politics, and I’m frustrated too. I’m no politician but I have the resolve to serve the people.”

Jones, an attorney, was the only Democrat to qualify for the race Wednesday.

“We all have more in common than not in the 4th District regardless of party,” said Jones, describing himself as “pro-life, pro-gun and pro-military.”

“I’m staking my flag in the center ground,” he said. “What I sense is most people are sick of politics and partisanship.”

Kenneth J. Krefft of Shreveport, who is perhaps best known for his Declaration of Independence recitations while channeling Thomas Jefferson in colonial garb, also qualified with no party affiliation. Krefft said he left the Republican party after he was refused an invitation to the GOP Convention because he supported John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, for governor.

Mark David Halverson of Shreveport, who also has no party affiliation, also qualified on the first day.

by Greg Kilburn
via the News Star