Campaign finance reform, health care among Methvin’s goals

Alexandria native one of several challenging Higgins in Nov. 6 election

Mildred “Mimi” Methvin

Removing money’s corrupting influence on politics, providing access to affordable health care, and protecting the state’s coastline are three goals Democrat Mildred “Mimi” Methvin is pushing for in her bid for Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District seat.

A native of Alexandria, Methvin is one of several candidates challenging U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre, in the Nov. 6 primary election. She served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge from 1983 to 2009.

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One big problem in politics is the “corrupting influence of money,” Methvin told the American Press editorial board on Monday. She said she will not accept any contributions from corporations or political action committees. If elected, Methvin said she will push for campaign finance reform to open up the field for anyone interested in public service.

The current 50-year state coastal master plan calls for at least $50 billion in funding for critical projects. Methvin said she wants the federal government to provide $100 billion, or 0.34 percent of the country’s military budget. During a recent town hall meeting in Delcambre, she said many residents spoke of the need for coastal protection.

“We have a real issue,” Methvin said. “We have flooding and hurricane exposure. Sea level rise is affecting so many communities.”

Methvin said residents have the right to access affordable health care. She said the U.S. faces a challenge because many residents can’t afford healthier foods or don’t live healthy lifestyles.

While she doesn’t have a specific solution, Methvin said replacing the Interstate 10 bridge is a “very critical issue that has to be addressed.”

Methvin — who has owned a handgun and a concealed carry permit — said she “wouldn’t oppose any reasonable effort” to protect students from gun violence. Putting more guns in schools is “the solution of gun manufacturers,” she said.

“That is not a solution I think parents like,” Methvin said. “It makes no sense.”

Methvin said she “is not a ‘take your guns away’ person.”

“There’s no reasonable gun safety steps that involve going after any law-abiding citizens’ guns,” she said.

Methvin said the U.S. needs “effective border policies,” and that “no one is advocating open borders.” She said laws or regulations should be better enforced on employers that hire immigrants. A “more flexible visa system” would reduce illegal immigration, she said.

“We get the workers that we need; they are not taking away American jobs,” Methvin said. “These are jobs that are unfilled if we don’t rely on immigrants.”

Methvin said one of her strengths is being a mediator. During her time as a judge, she said she helped many cases get settled.

The big challenge in the election, Methvin said, is getting voters excited enough to vote on election day. She said the district isn’t red or blue, but rather a “non-voting district.”

Other Democratic candidates include Verone Thomas and Rob Anderson. Josh Guillory and Higgins are on the Republican ticket, and Dave Langlinais is running as an independent. Phillip Conner, a Lake Charles physician and a Democrat, announced last week that he was withdrawing from the race.

Candidates have until July 20 to file for the Nov. 6 election. The runoff is set for Dec. 8.

Democrat Mildred “Mimi” Methvin said she will not accept any contributions from corporations or political action committees.