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Polar opposites vying for late Rep. Williams seat

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BATON ROUGE - Two women on the East Baton Rouge Metro Council going head-to-head for the late Representative Alfred Williams' District 61 House seat.

C. Denise Marcelle and Donna Collins Lewis, both Democrats, are considered polar opposites in their styles. Marcelle is known for taking strong stands on issues such as requiring police to wear body cameras and supporting anti-discrimination laws for the gay community. Some call her a lightning rod, a title Marcelle said she's ok with.

"Someone needs to stand up for those that don't have a voice," she told News 2.

Collins-Lewis, however, is known as a peace maker. She points to her efforts to build sidewalks on Florida Avenue as evidence her style works.

"Sometimes I think you get better results when you pull people together and work on efforts together," said Collins-Lewis.

Collins-Lewis' platform includes revitalizing housing for the poor and improving infrastructure. Marcelle's platform includes improving mental health care and economic development.

Some endorsements in the race have already been made. Councilman John Delgado is supporting Marcelle. Brandi Williams, widow of Rep. Williams, is endorsing Collins-Lewis.

District 61 roughly makes up the North East portion of Baton Rouge.

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