NEW IBERIA, La. (AP) — An old political hand with oil and gas experience could soon be helping the Port of Iberia grow business for its energy sector tenants who need a deeper waterway to the Gulf of Mexico in order to compete for lucrative contracts.

The Advocate reports Craig Romero, a 60-year-old former state senator and parish president from New Iberia, has expressed his interest in taking over the executive director position that was held for the last 17 years by Roy Pontiff. Pontiff recently retired and was appointed as one of the port's seven commissioners.

On Sept. 23, port commissioners authorized board President Mark Doré and attorney Raymond Allain to start negotiations with Romero to take over as executive director of the port.

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