Rep. Ted James headed an early list of names circulating in the local legal community from which the next attorney general in the area could be chosen.
James, a Democrat from Baton Rouge, says he sent a letter and résumé to the Biden administration.
Others named as potential candidates for the US attorney position for the Baton Rouge-based Middle District of Louisiana include 18th District Assistant Attorney Ronald Gathe Jr .; Executive Advisor to the State Department of Transport and Development Deidre Deculus Robert; and DeCuir, Clark & Adams legal partner Michael Adams.
Brandon Fremin, a Republican representative for former President Donald Trump, remains the U.S. attorney in Baton Rouge. However, when a new president of another party is elected, it is common for that administration to appoint a new group of US lawyers from the same party.
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President Joe Biden is a Democrat.
James, 39, has been a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives since 2012 and chaired the House Criminal Justice Committee and the Legislative Black Caucus.
James said he had a direct relationship with Vice President Kamala Harris and had discussions with her after the election about how he would serve the Biden administration.
“If asked to do so, I would be more than willing to serve in the administration,” James said on Wednesday. “Just wait somehow.”
Gathe, 46, served as the assistant district attorney in the East Baton Rouge community for 20 years before joining the 18th law firm last month as litigation chief.
“It is an honor to be considered,” he said. “I enjoy serving this great community in my capacity as a public speaker, litigator, and mentor to young lawyers. It really is my passion.”
Gathe, Associate Professor at the Southern University Law Center, is vice president of membership for the National Black Prosecutors Association. He was previously the group’s national treasurer and regional director, and founded the association’s Louisiana chapter.
Robert, 46, spent a total of 11 years with the Baton Rouge City Attorney’s Office and the East Baton Rouge Attorney’s Office, half a dozen years with the Attorney General and two years as General Counsel for the Southern University system before ending up as DOTD Executive Counsel.
She said she received a call from a colleague in the Democratic Party leadership to gauge her interest in the US legal position.
“I was just totally honored and humbled,” said Robert. “These types of calls are very humble.”
Adams, 56, said he was not officially or unofficially contacted about the position but was aware that his name had been spread in legal circles.
“I am grateful that people think highly of me,” he said. “I am sure the President will appoint a very skilled and competent US attorney.”
Adams is a former assistant attorney general and sits on the board of 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge.
He is also an attorney for Alton Sterling’s three youngest children and their mother on a lawsuit filed by the Sterling family of unlawful death after a White Baton Rouge police officer encountered blacks outside a supermarket in North Foster Drive in 2016 had fatally shot.
Tony Clayton, the newly elected lawyer for the 18th judiciary, said while James and Gathe are being considered as U.S. attorneys, he wished Fremin could stay in that position.
“I mean that with all my heart,” he said, adding that Fremin is fair and did a great job.
Fremin refrained from commenting on Friday.
The central district of Louisiana includes the parishes of Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.
Candidates for US attorney positions must be approved by the Senate.