Down syndrome no barrier for one French candidate

(SOUNDBITE) (French) 34-YEAR-OLD HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT AND CANDIDATE TO MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS, ELEONORE LALOUX, SAYING:

"Vote 'Arras for you'!"

Eleonore Laloux may be one of the first women in France with Down's syndrome to win a seat on a town council.

She's running her hometown Arras, population 40,000, on a platform for a cleaner town and improve access for disabled people

(SOUNDBITE) (French) 34-YEAR-OLD HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT AND CANDIDATE TO MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS, ELEONORE LALOUX, TALKING TO LOCAL RESIDENT AND SAYING:

"I have loads of ideas in my head. I work on them every night and every day."

As a young girl, Laloux's parents refused to place her in a special needs school, which later helped her overcome bullies and secure a job as an administrator in a private hospital.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) 34-YEAR-OLD HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT AND CANDIDATE TO MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS, ELEONORE LALOUX, SAYING:

"I have been fighting to live with it (Down's Syndrome). And now -- I used to suffer from it, but today, I don't suffer anymore. I have now accepted to live with my Down Syndrome."

Laloux is running on the same ticket as the town's Mayor Frederic Leturque, who seems poised for reelection.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) INCUMBENT MAYOR OF ARRAS AND CANDIDATE FOR NEXT MANDATE, FREDERIC LETURQUE, SAYING:

"When she came to see me the second time around - because the first time, I had invited her to make the proposal for her to think about it - when she came back to give me her decision, she brought ten ideas with her. She's determined."