Mayor Arceneaux has annual day at the races

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief
A trophy is rushed to the winning jockey of the 2017 Jambalaya Classic, as Mayor Arceneaux and supporters await official photos in the winner's circle.

Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux was re-elected to his third term as mayor on January 2, 2017, but campaigning is a full-time job. 

Arceneaux said it takes about $80,000 to run for mayor of Gonzales. Television advertisements are by far the most expensive part.

"It depends on the opposition," Arceneaux said. "Some people run just to run, and really don't care about it. But I can't say that. My three terms I had decent people running against me."

In order to raise those funds, he holds annual fundraisers at the Fairgrounds Race Course in New Orleans. This year's fundraiser was held on St. Patrick's Day, March 17. Those wishing to support the mayor's campaign may do so by donating at three different tiers.

The fifth race was even called Mayor Barney Arceneaux's Jambalaya Classic.

"It was recommended to me to start doing this," Mayor Arceneaux said. "The mayor before me started doing this. Although I've tried to change it, everybody said 'We like to get out of town. Don't change it.'"

Each of these annual fundraisers brings in $15,000 to $30,000. Mayor Arceneaux said that this year's event held fewer people. That may be due to parish donators' struggles with the flood.

Mayor Arceneaux explained that he spent 28 years with the Gonzales Police Department.

"I worked my way through the ranks," Arceneaux said. "I was a seargent, then a lieutenant. I was an investigator, then assistant chief. By the end of it I got elected two terms as chief." 

The price for admission was $125 for couples.