Caroline Fayard, senate candidate running against the status quo

Clayton Mistich, Contributor

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Caroline Fayard, former candidate for Louisiana secretary of state, hopes to capture a seat in the United States senate following incumbent David Vitter’s decision to retire. Fayard is competing against 24 other candidates in a race some say will likely fall Republican.

Fayard said her candidacy was inspired by not feeling represented in Louisiana politics. “I think Louisiana has a chance to make a fresh start with a new kind of leadership. When I looked at who was running, I didn’t see anyone I could connect to. We can do better; we have to do better.”

According to Fayard, what distinguishes her from other candidates is her strong progressive platform, which she refuses to compromise in attempt to win over to non-progressive voters.

“Besides David Duke, we have the most name recognition out of any candidate. This is because I refuse to pander to voters or remain silent on the issues that are most important to me. I’m not interested in sharing voters with him; instead, I want to educate people on why his rhetoric is wrong.”

Rhetoric is an important aspect of this election season. A mere week ago, Republican candidate for president, Donald Trump, faced national backlash for tapes released in which he talked of forcing himself on women and grabbing female genitalia. He dismissed the comments as “locker room talk.”

“I want to work with colleges and universities to make sure there is a quality of access for all, and to make sure that people, regardless of gender, feel as though they are in a safe and supportive environment.”

Fayard wants to provide universities with adequate sexual assault programs focused on education and prevention, as well as on appropriate response when sexual assaults do occur.

“My other opponents, including Democratic candidates, are so quick to dismiss it, to just sweep it under the rug. I’m here say we must have the courage to stand up and say that rhetoric like this is not okay.”

On education, Fayard stated, “At a state level, we could be doing a lot better. We have to keep fighting the fight to raise the standard, and that’s at all levels.” Her plans to reform education include policy to reform and refinance student loans, as well as making tuition more affordable. “The goal should be everyone having the option to go to college.”

For Fayard, a huge issue in this race is economic inequality. “In Louisiana, our female workforce is the worst paid in the nation, earning 65 cents for every dollar a man makes. Consequently, Louisiana families are losing nearly $11 billion a year in what they would otherwise be earning. This isn’t about ego, this is about eating.”

“It’s even worse for women of minority groups. In states where women don’t do well, the states themselves don’t do well. We need equal pay for equal work.”

Fayard goes a step further with this particular issue, promising to donate 35 cents of every dollar earned to Louisiana-based women’s charities until the pay equity act is passed.

Early voting in Louisiana begins October 25, and ends on November 1.