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Contributing Writer

Sunset Mayor Charles James has waited this long for the vice-president of the United States to visit his town, so what’s another few days?

That’s the way James is viewing a series of delayed appearances in Sunset by Kamala Harris, who is scheduled to visit Sunset sometime Monday morning.

If she does arrive in the St. Landry Parish town during the next three days, it will be Harris’ third attempt at visiting Sunset for what James and Parish president Jessie Bellard say illustrates the Biden administration’s desire to lay more broadband capital in south Louisiana.

“A lot of the Acadiana are has no broadband. Getting that in the parish and the Sunset area will really help us out. The students in school and the elderly are especially affected. Also I think more broadband access will help bring more businesses and activities into our area,” James said during a Thursday interview.

Bellard already has received the federal money that will be distributed to St. Landry, Evangeline and Acadia parishes for providing broadband. Harris though is keeping her previous promise to possibly land in Lafayette and then travel to Sunset to acknowledge the administration’s commitment to improving rural broadband access.

Like some, James initially wondered why Harris is visiting Sunset rather than a larger area.

“When I was contacted by some members of (Harris’) staff, I asked them why Sunset?” James said.

“I think the answer to that is Sunset is representative of a lot of other small towns in rural areas in the attempt to gain more broadband. This is really a huge deal for the Sunset citizens and also all of Louisiana,” James said.

Sunset town officials James added have made sure the town will be prepared for a vice-presidential visit. James said he has consulted often with members of Harris’ staff and that her security teams have already toured the area frequently since the visit was announced.

At this point James expects Harris to visit the Sunset Community Center with perhaps a brief stop at the Sunset Community Library.

However James admits that he is also uncertain about the exact details of Harris’ total itinerary.

James said he understands that Harris’ latest delay in visiting Acadiana came last week when her husband, Douglas Emhoff, tested positive for COVID. The other postponement occurred due to the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, James said.