SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins is campaigning for a spot in the U.S. Senate.
Perkins is running for the seat held by Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy.
Perkins is a U.S. Army veteran and graduate of West Point Academy who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning the the rank of captain and the bronze star.
Following his stint in the Army, he graduated from Harvard Law School. Perkins was elected as Shreveport’s mayor in December 2018.
“After leaving the Army and graduating Harvard Law School, I had several lucrative offers at big city law firms, but home was calling,” reads Perkins’s bio on his campaign website. “I returned to my hometown of Shreveport, where it’s been my honor to serve as Mayor. In my first year on the job, we balanced the budget, lowered crime, and brought new jobs and economic opportunities for our residents.”
Some fellow democrats, while surprised, also said they understand this is a response to what's happening across the country - with everything from civil unrest to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That includes local activists like Dr. Eileen Velez.
"The situation in our country is so dire. And our state in particular we can't afford this continued failure in leadership."
Mayor Perkins' sometimes acrimonious relationship with the Shreveport City Council is well known over his first 20 months in office.
Councilman Jerry Bowman told us he too was surprised about word of Perkins' senate run; followed soon after by another reaction.
"I'm excited about for him. I'm happy for him. And, you know, he has the right to run, of course anyone does. I guess I could say I wish him well as I would probably anybody else. I wish him well."
What Bowman does not want the public to do is worry what this could mean for the city moving forward.
"We have a good council this, right now. And, we all should focus on, I know I am, I"m going to focus on continuing to be the best councilman that I can be."
We reached out to Mayor Perkins' campaign, but were told he was not available for an interview on this announcement day.
And he's expected to be in Baton Rouge Thursday morning, July 23, to qualify for the senate race.
This native son of Shreveport has said he felt the calling to come back to his hometown to serve as mayor.
But less than two years later he's applying for a new job.
If you're the head of the Caddo Parish Republican Party, like Louis Avallone, the view from where he and his party stand looks a whole lot different.
"It is all hat. I mean, there is no substance here. And what really has got me worked up is that there are people in the city of Shreveport who believed in him."
Avallone pointed to many of the promises Perkins made during the mayoral campaign; promises Avallone contends have not been kept.
Yet, even after just 100 days of Mayor Perkins' term, he sat down with us to assess what he and his administration had already accomplished.
At that time he was already touting what was, at the time, a 9 percent drop in crime, along with several companies either coming to Shreveport or expanding.
But now in 2020 comes this latest surge in violence, and a deadly pandemic, leading to closures, layoffs and a health crisis.
So, the timing of Perkins' senate announcement, according to Avallone and others, is not seen as ideal.
“By Mayor Perkins’ own words, ‘Shreveport is in the greatest crisis, the struggle of its lifetime with this coronavirus. And in the midst of that battle where is Mayor Perkins going: On the campaign trail.”