The candidate field for south Lafourche's state representative seat will be open in October for the first time in over 10 years.

The seat is represented by Truck Gisclair, who has served the maximum three consecutive four-year terms allowed by state law. Gisclair is hoping to continue his public service and is one of five candidates running for the state Senate District 20 seat.

One of the candidates looking to fill his seat is Gisclair's son-in-law, Donny Lerille. Lafourche Parish official Reggie Bagala and former Lockport Police chief Ernest Boudreaux are also running for the office.

District 54 covers most of south and central Lafourche, along with Grand Isle in Jefferson Parish.

The election will be held Oct. 12, with early voting from Sept. 28 to Oct. 5.

Here are Bagala's answers to The Courier and Daily Comet’s campaign questionnaire. Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity. Boudreaux and Lerille did not submit responses.

What would be your top three legislative priorities if elected?

Bagala: Infrastructure improvement: La. 1 completion from Golden Meadow to Port Fourchon, then north to U.S. 90; protect the jobs and economy we currently have and our quality of life; education support from K-12 to Nicholls and Fletcher, a fully funded TOPS program, early-childhood initiatives and bringing our teachers up to and beyond the Southern average in pay. I also support school choice (where needed), private schools and the Scholarship Program.

Why would you be the best representative for your district?

Bagala: Our area needs a voice now. I have been preparing for this position my entire life. My experience is tested and we cannot afford to send someone to Baton Rouge who needs a learning curve. We need a loud and strong voice now, a person willing to fight for our area.

What are your views on tax reform? What would you like to see changed, if anything.

Bagala: I fully support lower taxes on both the personal and business sides. I support a simplified, indexed structure.

BP settlement money has supported much of the state's efforts for coastal restoration and protection. When that money runs out, how should the state pay for and address coastal issues, particularly those in Terrebonne and Lafourche?

Bagala: GOMESA and fighting for a greater revenue-sharing formula for Louisiana on the federal level.

How should the state address growing and costly infrastructure needs?

Bagala: Prioritize capital-outlay spending on roads and bridges. There must be a high priority associated with the economic benefit of each project. I oppose allowing legislators to add projects to the final transportation capital outlay list.

This legislature will have a chance to influence how the district boundaries are redrawn after the 2020 census. Would you propose or support any major changes to the current district lines?

Bagala: Yes, unify District 54 in the Mathews and Raceland area.

What is your position on proposed legislation to give fishermen the right to traverse private waterways in coastal marshes?

Bagala: I would support language in a proposed bill such as 2018's House Bill 381.