Stéphane Ravacley, the “humanist baker” of Besançon, has carved out national stature since he obtained the regularization of his Guinean apprentice, at the cost of a ten-day hunger strike, and organized a spectacular humanitarian convoy for Ukraine.
On the small Sunday market in downtown Besançon, at the foot of the imposing Citadel and a stone’s throw from his bakery and the birthplace of Victor Hugo, he distributed for the first time leaflets from the New Popular Ecological Union and social (Nupes) in his effigy.
A black car stops and the driver challenges it. “Your fight has moved us all, keep your motivation, we all need people like you!” Says Rachid Berdi, a 48-year-old specialist educator.
Stéphane Ravacley gives him an appointment in the afternoon, always quick to enlist those he crosses paths with.
Bob cut and sunglasses on the nose, Gisèle Lagier wonders. “I usually vote for the right but sometimes a person can make you change. Stéphane Ravacley is my baker, I know him well, he has great ideas and above all, a big heart”, she observes.
– “Afraid of nothing” –
The person concerned, however, keeps a cool head: “You are never king in your neighborhood …”
Because he knows it well, it will be necessary to convince skeptics like Maurice Jimenez, a modest retiree who is “wary”. “I hope it’s not an opportunist, it’s serious and sincere,” grumbles the former tiler.
A merchant, local elected official who prefers to remain anonymous, continues: “On a human, relational level, he is very good” but “up to him to prove himself” in politics.
Stéphane Ravacley also has no illusions about these left-wing forces that have invested him because he is no longer a simple “quidam” but a candidate courted by the national media.
It will take that to get ahead of the outgoing Renaissance deputy, Eric Alauzet, candidate for his own re-election and still crowned with his title of “best elected deputy” of Franche-Comté with more than 62% of the votes in the second round of 2017.
“I’m not afraid of anything”, however assures the baker who entered politics with the faith of the coalman. Will he win? The answer burst out: “of course, otherwise, I would not go, whatever the fight, I left without thinking of defeat, whether it was the hunger strike or Ukraine”.
When the 53-year-old candidate with a plump figure talks about his election, the conditional is not in order. He already imagines himself back in his “circo” with “the desire to fight to represent people who, like me, are waiting for a renewal”.
– “A baker at the Assembly” –
On its leaflets, figure the program of Nupes. But he is already drawing his roadmap with two priorities: continuing his fight in favor of young people, foreign apprentices threatened with expulsion or from child welfare, and promoting a “practical and pragmatic” ecology.
The third is his “freedom of speech and action” which he promises never to give up, stressing that he is not “insert”, even if he will sit on the benches of EELV in the Assembly s’ he is elected.
For Anthony Poulin, deputy mayor EELV in Besançon, who tows alongside him, he is happy that the left-wing parties “have agreed to send a baker to the Assembly”, with this “freshness and another way to tackle the fights” which “appeal to young people and those who no longer have confidence in politics”.
Nabia Hakkar-Boyer, PS regional councilor, designated substitute, does not say anything else: “I who have been an activist for a number of years, I had never seen this, so many citizens who get involved in a campaign” .
And she too has no doubt: “We are going to win”.