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State Rep. Ted James to resign, to take federal position

December 30, 2021 GMT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana state lawmaker is leaving office after being appointed by President Joe Biden to a federal position.

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Wednesday that state Rep. Ted James will take over as regional administrator for the agency’s South Central region. As Region VI administrator, James will oversee SBA programs, offices, and operations in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, WBRZ-TV reported.

“With his extraordinary dedication to public service and commitment to advancing communities, Ted’s leadership couldn’t come at a more crucial time for small businesses and innovative startups in our South Central region. Ted is an experienced and knowledgeable leader who will help advance the SBA’s programs – including our disaster portfolio. When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated his home state, he was among those on-the-ground helping Louisianans rebuild and recover,” said SBA Administrator Guzman.

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Gov. John Bel Edwards praised the appointment and called the lawmaker “a fierce advocate for the people of Louisiana,” The Advocate reported.

“He has been a leader on many issues, especially criminal justice reform,” Edwards said. “He has been a strong partner and he has challenged me at times. Ted is never afraid to speak up for what is right and work hard for those he represents and that is why he is an excellent choice for this position.”

James, a lawyer, is currently in his third term with the Louisiana House of Representatives.

James said Wednesday he enjoyed his time in Baton Rouge.

“It is bittersweet,” he said of the appointment. “I have thoroughly enjoyed the decade that I spent at the Legislature. The capitol has been my home. It was not an easy decision.”

He added, “But it is time to take my service to another level, still serving the people of Louisiana in another capacity.”

He plans to resign as a state representative in January.