Mayor City of Lake Charles
A life-long resident of Lake Charles and small business owner, Nic Hunter was elected to the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury in 2011 and was in his second term when he was elected to the office of Mayor of Lake Charles on Saturday, April 29, 2017.
Early in life Mayor Hunter acquired his work ethic by bussing tables and washing dishes at his grandparents’ restaurant, Harlequin Steaks & Seafood, which they opened in 1956. With his grandmother’s blessing, he began running the restaurant full time at the age of 17. Today he is a partner in The Villa Harlequin restaurant.
Mayor Hunter graduated from St. Louis Catholic High School in 2002. In 2007, he received a Bachelor of Arts in History from McNeese State University. Mayor Hunter credits his experience at McNeese for sparking an interest in public service; and so he established an endowed scholarship through the McNeese State University Foundation, the Dr. Robert Forrest History Scholarship.
Since taking office on July 1, 2017, Mayor Hunter has successfully enacted a number of key initiatives, including increasing funding for drainage improvements by 93 percent. He launched the Partners in Parks Initiative in July 2018, securing more than $750,000 in private donations and grants. These funds have been used to transform several City parks and re-invigorate programming while inspiring various community and civic organizations to partner with the City. The Partners in Parks Initiative received a first place Community Achievement Award from the Louisiana Municipal Association in August 2019.
Since taking office, Mayor Hunter has had a steady focus on infrastructure and economic development.
Making good on his promise to “turn dirt on the lakefront,” Mayor Hunter announced the lakefront development project Port Wonder, a $20 million plus science and nature center and state of the art children’s museum. This historic project was made possible by securing dozens of public and private funding partners. An official groundbreaking ceremony took place at the site on June 30, 2021. Port Wonder was a catalyst for an additional lakefront announcement. The Crying Eagle Brewery development partners will be breaking ground on a restaurant and micro-brewery in the first quarter of 2022.
With a deep love for the community and a passion to give back to the City Mayor Hunter has always looked for ways to encourage philanthropy and the entrepreneurial spirit in others. Several efforts that he has focused on specifically have been children in need in SWLA, efforts to support active military and military veterans, and encouraging animal adoption. Working with United Way and the Community Foundation, Mayor Hunter has rallied hundreds of thousands of dollars for such efforts in his tenure as mayor.
Mayor Hunter has passionately led the community through a string of natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey (August 2017), the COVID-19 Pandemic (March 2020- Present), Hurricane Laura (August 2020), Hurricane Delta (October 2020), Winter Storm Uri (February 2021) and a 1,000 Year Rain Event/Flash Flood (May 2021). His tireless efforts have given citizens a voice as he has staunchly advocated for the needs of Southwest Louisiana at the local, state and federal levels.
Mayor Hunter has been married to his wife, Becky, an accomplished lawyer in Southwest Louisiana since 2015. They welcomed their first born, a son named Harrison, into the world in August 2017 and welcomed their second child, a daughter named Colette, in February 2020. Together, they have 3 rescue dogs: Humphrey and Jolene.
2008: Times of Southwest Louisiana’s “Up & Coming Under 40”
2011: Family & Youth Counseling Agency’s “Philanthropist of the Year Award”
2011: Mayor’s Armed Forces Committee’s “Patriot of the Year Award”
2011: Association of Fundraising Professionals Southwest Louisiana Chapter’s “Philanthropy Day 2011 Honoree”
2013: “The Louisiana Distinguished Civilian Service Medal,” presented by the Louisiana National Guard
2017-2018: Diocese of Lake Charles Citizen of the Year, presented by Msgr. Cramer's Assembly, Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus
2018: Alliance for Positive Growth Annual Awards Public Servant Elected Category
2018: Humanitarian of the Year, presented by Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Louisiana - 7th Masonic District PHA
2018: Voted Best Area Mayor by the readers of Lagniappe Magazine. Lagniappe Magazine readers also consistently voted Hunter “Best Police Juror” in Calcasieu Parish during his time of service as a Juror.
2020: Voted Best Area Mayor by the readers of Lagniappe Magazine.
2021: Shining Example Award for Governmental Tourism Leadership by the Southeast Tourism Society
2021: Voted Best Area Mayor by the readers of Lagniappe Magazine.
2022: Named Small Business Administration 2022 Phoenix Award Champion
2022: Recognized by Louisiana Housing Corporation as V. Jean Butler Housing Hero
2022: Awarded Louisiana Community and Technical College System Joe D. May Excellence in Public Policy