CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The Caddo Parish Commission has appointed Jerald Bowman to fill the District 5 seat left vacant by the death of his mother, Joyce Bowman.
Elected to the seat in 2012, Bowman's term was set to expire in 2015, but she died on Memorial Day weekend at the age of 60.
On Wednesday afternoon, commissioners voted unanimously to appoint Jerald Bowman to serve on the commission until an election can occur within the next year.
Bowman was one of seven candidates who submitted their names for consideration for the seat, including Gwendolyn Rogers, who served on the Caddo Parish School board for 19 years. Earnestine Coleman boasted 30 years experience as a community advocate in public planning and policy, as well as membership in the Caddo Parish Democratic Executive Committee. She was also President of the Fair Park College Prep Academy PTSA and of the Caddo/Bossier Federation of Democratic Women. Bonita Douzart (not pictured), an educator with more than 35 years experience, was also interested in the seat.
The remaining three interested candidates were disqualified because they don't live in the district.
After he was sworn in on Wednesday afternoon, Jerald Bowman told KSLA News 12 that "It's quite an honor, but it's also bittersweet. If I were initially would do something like this I would rather for her be by my side, but the blessing is I feel that she's actually my angel."
"I probably would never be able to fill her shoes, but I'm wearing my own shoes and walking in the integrity and respect and service that she had for District 5."
Bowman says he is not a "lame duck." Among his plans, a cleanup of each area in District 5, as well as a "neighborhood watch"-type party to give constituents a chance to get to know him and share their concerns.
Bowman wants to bring a job fair to the district and health screenings for seniors.
While he says he is a person of action, more than of words, he says one thing he does have in common with is mother is that "I will be out and I will be getting down and dirty, making sure I'm representing for the people."