Article from Bayou Brief, written by Lamar White, Jr. on October 14, 2018
Loranger, Louisiana is an unincorporated town in Tangipahoa Parish, about fifteen minutes north of Hammond and an hour east of Baton Rouge. Its most notable “sightseeing” attraction, according to Facebook, is the Methodist Church, which had been listed on the National Register of Historic Places until its building was torn down and replaced three years ago. The Southern Baptists own a small summer camp there, Living Waters, on the banks of the Tangipahoa River.
There’s a local donut shop and a Dollar General, which both earn a mention on the town’s Wikipedia.
This place is tiny.
It’s also the hometown of Jessee Carlton Fleenor, the 34-year-old Democrat challenging Ralph Abraham, a two-term Republican congressman from Alto, another tiny town on the other end of Louisiana’s vast Fifth District.
Since qualifying, Fleenor has put thousands of miles on his old Dodge pickup truck, visiting all 24 of its parishes and the small towns that dominate its landscape.
Fleenor is a vegetable farmer. He grows lettuce, bell peppers, corn, broccoli, and cucumbers, among other things. It’s seasonal work, 12 weeks in the spring and 12 weeks in the fall. For the past few years, he’s operated what he calls a “farm to door” program, delivering bags of 8-10 items, including a small selection of fruit and flowers, every week to customers across the region. In the fall, he includes organic eggs and fresh bread as well.
He’s not in it to make a fortune. Most years, he says, he earns between $20,000 to $30,000; the average household income in the district is slightly more than $37,000 a year