Smiley announces candidacy for Ascension Parish Assessor

Staff reports
Mert Smiley

Republican State Representative M.J. “Mert” Smiley Jr. has officially announced that he is running for

Ascension Parish Assessor.  “I have been privileged and honored to represent the people of District 88.  However,

after much consideration and speaking with hundreds of citizens of Ascension Parish, I have decided to announce

my candidacy for Assessor.  I believe that as Assessor, I can offer the fair, transparent, and pro-business approach

that Ascension Parish voters deserve. ” 

Elected in 2003 to serve the people of House District 88, Smiley quickly earned the reputation as a fiscal

conservative by cutting over 125 boards and commissions, opposing the Stelly Tax increase and consistently voted

against raising taxes on Louisiana families.  While in the Legislature, Smiley also championed the needs of small

business owners, receiving high ratings from businesses groups such as the Louisiana Association of Business and

Industry and the National Federation of Independent Business.

Rep. Mert Smiley continued by saying Ascension needs an Assessor’s office that is transparent and fair in its

property assessments.  “It’s no secret that the population in Ascension parish has exploded.  This recent boom

caused by Katrina and Gustav, the national economic downturn, and the expanded FEMA flood map has resulted in

a housing market that has changed wildly in the past four years.  A lack of flexibility on the part of the Assessor’s

office has left homeowners struggling to keep up.”

Smiley continued, “We also need an Assessor that understands the importance of joining with our parish leadership

in promoting economic development. I will put my business background to work as Assessor.”

Born and raised in Ascension Parish, Mert Smiley attended East Ascension high school, graduating in 1969 and has

been married to his wife, the former Ina Hedberg, for 38 years.  Mert and Ina live in St. Amant where they both

attend Holy Rosary Catholic Church.

Smiley is a founding member of the Rotary Club of East Ascension, and chosen Rotarian of the Year. He was also

recognized as an “Outstanding Family Advocate” by the Louisiana Family Forum and received a 100% rating by the

Louisiana Right to Life Federation.  Smiley is a member of the Knights of Columbus, St. Amant Booster Club, East

Ascension Sportsman League, National Rifle Association, CCA, TriParish Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited,

National Federation of Independent Business, Harley Owners Group, ABATE of Louisiana and MAC.