- Associated Press - Thursday, July 6, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A Louisiana state lawmaker said Thursday that she’s dropping out of the state treasurer’s race because she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Rep. Julie Stokes, a Jefferson Parish Republican, announced her decision and her diagnosis with a statement posted to her campaign website. Stokes, an accountant in her second House term, said she’ll have at least five 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,” Stokes said in the statement.

The state lawmaker said she is not resigning her legislative seat and expects to be energized and focused for next year’s legislative session.

The sign-up period for the treasurer’s race on the Oct. 14 ballot is next week. The seat is open because Republican John Kennedy was elected to the U.S. Senate. Ron Henson, Kennedy’s top assistant, is interim state treasurer until someone is elected to the position.

Announced candidates for the race include Republican state Sen. Neil Riser, of Caldwell Parish; Republican former state Rep. John Schroder, from St. Tammany Parish; and Democrat Derrick Edwards, a lawyer from the New Orleans area.

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