Jefferson Parish Council member Dominick Impastato said Tuesday he plans to run for an at-large council seat in 2023, setting up a potential clash with one of two incumbents who are both expected to seek re-election.
Impastato, a Republican who is term-limited from running again for his 4th District seat covering north Kenner and parts of west Metairie, said he will announce Wednesday which parishwide seat he plans to seek. The Division A member is Ricky Templet, and the Division B member is Scott Walker — both Republicans.
“I’m running to serve the parish in a way the parish deserves to be served,” Impastato said.
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His decision to vie for an at-large seat offers an early signal of the political maneuverings underway a year out from parishwide elections.
A trial lawyer who previously served on the Kenner City Council, Impastato is one of two Parish Council members who are term-limited in their current positions. Council member Jennifer Van Vrancken also may not run for re-election in the 5th District seat covering most of the rest of Metairie. She is expected to run for lieutenant governor.
While Impastato would not specify his at-large target, signs point to a matchup with Walker.
Historically one at-large council member is from the east bank, the other from the west bank. Impastato, like Walker, is from the east bank. Templet is from Gretna, and he said he plans to attend Impastato’s announcement, at 5 p.m. at Chateau Golf and Country Club in Kenner.
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Walker is a former New Orleans television news anchor who, as a political newcomer, won a convincing 55 percent of the vote against longtime politico Paul Johnston in 2019. He said Buisson’s advice to him was all about “clearing the way for Dominick.”
“I don’t play those games. I don’t take part in backroom deals,” Walker said.
Buisson scoffed at the notion that he tried to pressure Walker out of running for re-election and said he was simply offering advice, as requested.
It’s unclear who requested the meeting. Walker said Buisson approached him at Gretna Fest; Buisson said it was Walker asked to meet. In any case, the two men met Nov. 9 at The Larder in Metairie.
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During their conversation, Buisson recounted, Walker said “his ultimate goal” was someday to be parish president. Buisson said he advised Walker first to get experience in a district seat.
Walker said he isn’t ruling out a future bid for parish president, but for now his sights are set on running for a second term in his at-large seat. He said the suggestion from Buisson “was to move out of the way for Dominick because he needed somewhere to go.”
“I told him I don’t move out of the way for anyone,” Walker said.
Impastato said he had no knowledge of the meeting between Buisson and Walker, adding that he could care less what Walker decides to run for.
“We will run the same race regardless of who’s in it,” he said.