KENNER, LA (WVUE) - Kenner Representative Julie Stokes-R will no longer seek the position of State Treasurer after being diagnosed with breast cancer. A spokesman with her office said Stokes will undergo chemotherapy treatments for the next five months.
Stokes, a Certified Public Accountant, was elected in 2013 to represent District 79 in Jefferson Parish.
She has lead the effort to reform the state's sales tax system and is the vice chair of the Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus.
During her time in the House, Stokes has been at the forefront of equal pay and women's rights issues.
Last year, Stokes scolded her fellow lawmakers on the House floor after some of her male colleagues tossed $1 bills into a pile during a heated debate over a bill to protect sex-trafficking victims.
"They were laughing. They were throwing one dollar bills up at the table," Kenner Rep. Julie Stokes said last year. "It wasn't appropriate."
Before her announcement, Stokes wrote on Facebook Wednesday "So excited to be part of this race and eager to help Louisiana find a bright future!"
Stokes is also a member of the Health and Welfare Committee, Ways and Means Committee and House Executive Committee.
She released the following statement Thursday:
To my dear friends and supporters,
While my colleagues will be qualifying for the election to become Louisiana's next State Treasurer next week, I will be starting an unexpected journey of my own.
I have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
My team of doctors has determined that I will begin at least 5 months of chemotherapy treatment. So, instead of running for State Treasurer to help get our state's fiscal house in order, I will focus on fighting and winning my battle against cancer and spending quality time with my loving family who mean the world to me.
As State Representative for District 79, I will continue to work on our budget, tax policy, and reforms to find ways to grow our economy. My passion to lead our state through this fiscal crisis remains healthy, true and undeterred.
By the time of the 2018 Legislative session, I will be energized, focused and ready to roll up my sleeves and help lead our state out of its current slump.
Finally, I deeply appreciate the kind words and support that I have received thus far and especially want to thank those who have personally struggled with and conquered breast cancer for their encouragement. I look forward to talking with more of you as soon as we return from a much-needed family vacation.
As this new chapter in the story of my life begins, I know that by placing my faith in our Lord, I will conquer cancer and gain strength from facing down all the twists and turns it will present. Thank you always for your love and support.