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Mayor-elect discusses his plans for city’s future

<i>WDSU</i><br/>Tyrin Truong
Tyrin Truong

By Shay O’Connor

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    BOGALUSA, Louisiana (WDSU) — There was a huge shakeup in the town of Bogalusa. A newcomer won the mayoral race. Tyrin Truong, 23, defeated the sitting Mayor Wendy Perrette on Tuesday night.

It was his first time running in a real election, aside from winning student body president at his university. Truong said he is now ready to get to work.

“I ran against a sitting mayor and a sitting councilmember at large. That lets me know people want someone in charge that will accurately represent them,” Truong said.

Truong said he just wanted to get right to work on the issues at the top of residents’ minds, like reducing crime through community policing, investing in the youth and bringing more business to the area.

“We have a high poverty rate. And we want to address that through opportunities,” Truong said.

The mayor-elect said his age should not play a factor in the work he will do in the community.

He graduated last year from Washington University in St. Louis, where he dabbled a bit in politics and said he won student body president.

Resident Joel Miller Sr. said he is hopeful Truong will make changes.

“A younger man with fresher ideas. Pulling people together,” Miller Sr. said.

It marks the entrance of a new generation into elections.

“Basically, what we are seeing is the introduction of Generation Z in the political realm and into political leadership,” political analyst Ed Chervenak said.

Chervenak said it will be a tough feat for the newcomer.

“He is fresh out of college. He is taking on huge responsibilities. My suggestion to him is to surround himself with a team he can trust. That will give him good advice,” Chervenak said.

Truong said all he needs is a chance to make the community where he’s from a better one.

“I am young, but I can get it done. Young people have fresh ideas and the ability to get it done. We just need a chance. I look forward to taking that chance and positively impacting my generation,” Truong said.

Truong also works at the Urban League of New Orleans doing community work in his spare time.

Perrette said her last day in office will be in January.

She declined to speak on camera with WDSU and released the following statement:

“I will look back on my years of service to all the citizens of Bogalusa as among the best in my life. We accomplished a lot and there is so much more to be done, but the people of this community have always risen to and overcome any challenge. I’m confident they will continue to do so.

“I wish the mayor-elect well, but young Tyrin has demonstrated repeatedly during this campaign that he lacks the skills necessary to lead and unite our city. I pray I am wrong. During the transition period, I will help any way that I can. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Bogalusa for the last 20 years, and I’ll continue to do what I can to make our community a better place.”

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