Chris John

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Christopher Charles John
Chrisjohn.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 7th district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Jimmy Hayes
Succeeded by Charles Boustany
Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
from the 42nd district
In office
1988–1996
Preceded by Donald Thibodeaux
Succeeded by Gil Pinac
Personal details
Born (1960-01-05) January 5, 1960 (age 54)
Crowley, Louisiana in Acadia Parish
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Payton Smith John
Religion Roman Catholic

Christopher Charles "Chris" John (born January 5, 1960) is American politician who was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 to 2005, representing Louisiana's 7th congressional district.

Early life[edit]

John was born in Crowley, the seat of Acadia Parish, one of six children, and reared as a Roman Catholic. He is of Lebanese, French, and German extraction. He attended Notre Dame Catholic High School and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He was a house page while his father, John N. John, Jr., was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. He later was elected to and served on the Crowley City Council in the early 1980s.

State politics[edit]

Chris John first became a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives before he entered the U.S. House. In what was considered a major upset at the time, John defeated the state House incumbent, the former director of the Louisiana State Police, Donald Thibodeaux, in October 1987, by 54-46 percent.

Thibodeaux had won a full term in 1983 after having won a special election the year before to fill the unexpired term of John's father, who died in an automobile accident.

Chris John served in the state house until 1996, when he finished third with 15 percent of the statewide vote in the 1995 race for lieutenant governor behind the eventual winner (and, who, eight years later, in 2003, became Louisiana's first distaff chief executive) Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. John narrowly lost the general election berth against Blanco to a fellow state representative, Republican Suzanne Mayfield Krieger of Slidell in St. Tammany Parish.

Terms in Congress: Representative, and run for Senate[edit]

In 1996, John was elected to Congress. He defeated fellow Democrat Hunter Lundy in a runoff.

In 2004, John surrendered his "safe" House seat to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by popular Democrat and fellow Crowley native John Breaux, who endorsed him.

Despite the endorsement of Breaux, the most prolific vote-getter in the history of Louisiana, Chris John was defeated by Republican David Vitter of the New Orleans suburbs in the primary, Vitter garnering 51 percent of the vote, compared to only 29 percent for John. The remainder of the ballots was split between State Treasurer John Neely Kennedy and then-state senator Arthur Morrell, both Democrats. Additionally, John's seat in the House fell into Republican hands, as Charles Boustany won the 7th district with 55% of the vote against Democrat Willie Mount.[1]

Post-political career[edit]

John is married to Payton Smith of Leesville, whose father, John Smith, was a member of the Louisiana legislature. They have two sons, twin boys. John has worked as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C since his defeat, making his home in Lafayette, Louisiana, while commuting to Washington. In August 2007, Chris John made public his acceptance of the top lobbying job with The Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, allowing him to move permanently back to Louisiana (Morning Advocate).[citation needed]

In 2009, John was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.[2]

Electoral history[edit]

Louisiana's 7th congressional district: Results 1996–2002[1]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct Other Party Votes Pct
1996 Christopher John 128,449 53% (no candidate) Hunter Lundy Democratic 113,351 47%
1998 Christopher John * (no candidate)
2000 Christopher John 152,796 83% (no candidate) Michael P. Harris Libertarian 30,687 17%
2002 Christopher John 138,659 87% (no candidate) Roberto Valletta Libertarian 21,051 13%
*No vote totals were recorded in 1998. Section 511 of Title 18 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes, as amended, provides that a candidate who is unopposed is declared elected by the people and his/her name shall not appear on the ballot in either the Primary or General Election.
Louisiana Senator (Class III): 2004 results[1]
Year Democrats Votes Pct Republicans Votes Pct Other Votes Pct
2004 Christopher John 542,150 29% David Vitter 943,014 51% Richard M. Fontanesi 15,097 1%
John Neely Kennedy 275,821 15% R. A. “Skip” Galan 12,463 1%
Arthur A. Morrell 47,222 3%
Sam Houston Melton, Jr. 12,289 1%

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  2. ^ "Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame". cityofwinnfield.com. Retrieved August 22, 2009. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jimmy Hayes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 7th congressional district

1997–2005
Succeeded by
Charles Boustany