Echols announces bid for State Rep. against Morris

Monroe resident and Bastrop native Michael Echols announces his candidacy today for State Representative, District 14. Echols, who is Director of Business Development for Affinity Health Group and Vantage Health Plan and a Monroe City councilman, will campaign for the seat now held by Rep. Jay Morris. District 14 encompasses a large part of Morehouse Parish, Swartz, Sterlington, north Monroe and parts of northwest

Echols, who has a well-established record of public service as both a city council member
and private citizen, has successfully led multiple development and improvement efforts that have revitalized Monroe’s downtown and improved the quality of life in Morehouse and Ouachita parishes. As a civic leader and city council member, Echols has demonstrated the ability and willingness to work constructively with others through accountability and transparency in bringing a solutions-based approach to solving problems.

“Our area is at an important crossroads where our economy, revitalization and job creation
are concerned,” Echols said. “Our next representative in Baton Rouge must do more than debate partisan politics. It is time we refocus our priorities and efforts to actively secure the funding and support we need to attract manufacturing, train our workforce for jobs, help our farmers and strategically begin improving our roads and other infrastructure.”

Echols, 42, is a registered financial consultant and a licensed commercial contractor and
holds MBA and BA degrees from ULM. He has been recognized for his hands-on, highly visible and assessable approach to public service. Monroe residents in his council district are accustomed to seeing him working in flood waters, helping with crime issues, and responding personally and quickly when asked for assistance by his constituents. He has spent significant time in Baton Rouge the past decade, working to develop meaningful economic development legislation, creating a positive business environment, sponsoring workforce initiatives and being an advocate for the arts and historical preservation.
Echols recognizes and appreciates the diversity, challenges and opportunities of the northeast Louisiana area and has met with residents and civic leaders throughout the parish in an effort to solve issues related to crime, poverty, homelessness and economic development.

“My agenda in the Legislature will focus on the challenges and opportunities we face in our
part of the state, and that will be my priority. I look forward to working closely and
collaboratively with our delegation to achieve a better quality of life and further economic
development in northeast Louisiana for all,” Echols said.

Echols is married to Christie Jones Echols and they have two daughters: Everly and Amelia.
His memberships in business and civic organizations include:

Monroe City Councilman – District 1 Councilman, Past Chairman, Finance Committee
Top 20 Under 40 – Monroe Chamber of Commerce

Jim Shipp Young Business Leader Award – Monroe Chamber of Commerce

Passion for Culture Award – Lt. Governor State of Louisiana

I-20 Economic Development Board – Board Member

Louisiana State Arts Council – Past Chairman

LABI – Louisiana Association of Business & Industry – Board Member

LA Association of Health Plans – Board Member

Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation – Past Chairman

Northeast Louisiana Arts Council – Past Chairman

Community Arts Advisory Board (CAAB) – Past Chairman

Commissioner of Historic Preservation – Past Vice Chairman – City of Monroe

Garden District Neighborhood Alliance – Past President

Leadership Louisiana Graduate – CABL sponsored statewide leadership program

Monroe Kiwanis Club – Past President
Twin City Art Foundation – Former Board Member

Downtown Monroe Renaissance – Past Chair

Monroe Symphony Orchestra – Past President

Monroe Symphony Orchestra Endowment – Founding Board Member

Monroe Chamber of Commerce – Past Board Member

Monroe Rotary – Current President

Center for Children & Families of Northeast Louisiana – Founding Board Member

Northeast Louisiana CASA – Former Board Member

Member of Mu Kappa Tau – National Honorary Marketing Society

PSE National Education Foundation – Past Vice Chairman