Charles W. DeWitt, Jr.
|Charles W. DeWitt, Jr.|
|Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 25 (Rapides and Vernon parishes)|
March 1980 – January 2008
|Preceded by||Wilbur Dyer|
|Succeeded by||Chris Roy, Jr.|
|Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives|
|Preceded by||Hunt Downer|
|Succeeded by||Joe Salter|
February 4, 1947 |
Alexandria, Rapides Parish
|Spouse(s)||Patricia "Dale" Riddick DeWitt|
|Children||Dr. Chance DeWitt
Renée DeWitt Verma
|Alma mater||Bolton High School|
Charles W. DeWitt, Jr., known as Charlie DeWitt (born February 4, 1947), is a Democratic former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, having served from District 25 (Rapides and Vernon parishes) from 1980 to 2008. He was the Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 2000 to 2004 during the second term of Republican Governor Murphy James "Mike" Foster, Jr. In Louisiana, the governor plays a major role in selecting the House speaker despite the separation of powers.
In 2004, DeWitt was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.
DeWitt was born to the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. DeWitt, Sr. He graduated from Bolton High School in Alexandria in 1965. One of his classmates was another future Louisiana state legislator, Jock Scott, of District 27. The two were also House colleagues from 1980 to 1988, but Scott switched to the GOP in 1985.
DeWitt is married to the former Patricia "Dale" Riddick. A farm-ranch operative, DeWitt is a member of the Cattleman's Association and the coproducer of a rodeo company. Their mailing address is in Lecompte (pronounced LE COUNT) in southern Rapides Parish.
Prior to his legislative service, DeWitt was a member of the Rapides Parish Police Jury, the parish's governing board, akin to the county commission in other states, from 1972 to 1980. He was the jury vice president from 1976 to 1978, having served under the president, L. B. Henry of Pineville. He is a member of the Amicus Club and serves on the advisory board of the Alexandria Area Child Protection Agency. He is on the board of directors of the Farm Bureau. He was chairman of the Heart Fund and a former member of the Rapides Parish Stormwater Management and Drainage District.
Early in 2007, DeWitt was diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent treatment. The disease was found in an examination conducted by his son, the Alexandria physician Dr. Chance DeWitt. Both of his parents were cancer victims. The recovery rate based on early detection of the cancer is considered very good.
DeWitt was term-limited from seeking a seventh term in the state House in the October 20, 2007 nonpartisan blanket primary. His successor was fellow Democrat Christopher Roy, Jr., brother of Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy. Roy defeated Republican Lance Maxwell in the November 17 general election. Maxwell had led in the primary with 6,226 votes (41 percent) to Roy's 5,282 ballots (35 percent). A third candidate, former Alexandria Police Chief Glen Beard, a Democrat, trailed with 3,538 votes (24 percent).
In 2014, DeWitt came out of political retirement to run for Alexandria city marshal, which serves Wards 1, 2, and 8 of Rapides Parish. He faces opposition from incumbent Terence Grines, Edward Butler Jr., Steve Edwards, and Beau Meynard.
Huntington B. Downer
|Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives
Charles W. "Charlie" DeWitt, Jr.
|Louisiana House of Representatives|
|Louisiana State Representative from District 25 (Rapides and Vernon parishes)
Charles W. "Charlie" DeWitt, Jr.
Chris Roy, Jr.