Jeff Landry

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Jeff Landry
Press Pic.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Charlie Melancon
Succeeded by Charles Boustany
Personal details
Born Jeffrey Martin Landry
(1970-12-23) December 23, 1970 (age 43)
St. Martinville, Louisiana, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sharon LeBlanc
Children 1 son
Alma mater University of Louisiana, Lafayette
Loyola University, New Orleans
Religion Roman Catholicism
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1987–1998
Rank Army-USA-OR-05.svg Sergeant
Unit Louisiana National Guard
Awards Army Achievement Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Louisiana War Cross

Jeffrey Martin Landry, known as Jeff Landry (born December 23, 1970), is the former U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 3rd congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party and the Tea Party Caucus.

Landry is an announced candidate for Attorney General of Louisiana in the 2015 primary election. The position is currently held by another Republican, Buddy Caldwell, who has not indicated if he will seek a third term.[1]

Early life, education, and military service[edit]

Landry's mother is a religion school teacher at Trinity Catholic School in St. Martinville, the seat of St. Martin Parish. His father is an architect and businessman. Jeff Landry received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (then known as the University of Southwestern Louisiana) in environmental and sustainable resources, with a minor in biology. He earned a JD degree from Loyola University New Orleans Law School.[2]

He served at Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas, during Operation Desert Storm. After eleven years of service in the Louisiana National Guard, he was discharged at the rank of sergeant. His military commendations include the Army Achievement and Army Commendation medals, National Defense and Overseas Training ribbons, and the Louisiana War Cross.[2][3]

Pre-political career[edit]

Landry is a former St. Martin Parish sheriff's deputy and a former police officer in Parks. He was formerly employed by the St. Martin Economic Development Authority. Just out of high school, he worked in the sugar cane fields. He is an attorney and small businessman in New Iberia.[2]

2007 State senate election[edit]

In the 2007 general election, he ran for Louisiana's 22nd Senate District when incumbent Republican State Senator Craig Romero was term-limited. In the general election, he faced Democrat Troy Hebert of Jeanerette in Iberia Parish. Hebert later declared himself an Independent. Hebert defeated Landry 51-49 percent.[4] At the time the district had a 3-1 Democratic majority.[2]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2010

A lifelong Republican,[2] Landry jumped into the race after Democratic incumbent Charlie Melancon relinquished the seat to make an unsuccessful run for the Senate against David Vitter. Landry won his party's congressional nomination in a runoff election held on October 2, 2010. He defeated former Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives Hunt Downer of Houma, 19,657 votes to 10,549 votes (65-35 percent). He won every parish in the district except for Downer's Terrebonne Parish.[5]

Landry participated in 2010 in Louisiana Tea Party movement rallies and carries the endorsement of that organization. The Third District voted 61-37 for U.S. Senator John S. McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. [6]The Tea Party ran a "Down with Downer" campaign and referred to him as a Democrat (Downer had been a Democrat until 2001). Downer accused Landry of compensating a Tea Party organizer in return for the endorsement of the group. Downer ran advertising which accused Landry of misleading voters about Downer's position on abortion.[6]

Landry nearly won the GOP nomination outright in the August 28 closed primary, but he fell .9 of 1 percent short of the 50 percent plus one-vote threshold required for nomination in Louisiana. Therefore he and Downer entered the runoff contest. In the showdown, Landry won 79 percent in his own Iberia Parish, while Downer was held to 61 percent in Terrebonne. Landry polled more than 70 percent in the runoff in St. Mary, St. Martin, St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, and St. James parishes.[5]

Landry soundly defeated his Democratic opponent, Ravi Kishan Sangisetty, an attorney from Houma, 108,957 votes (64%) to 61,909 (36%). He won all but two smaller parishes in the district, St. James and St. John the Baptist. He won Sangisetty's own Terrebonne Parish.[7] He became the second freshman Republican to represent the 3rd District since Reconstruction. Both candidates had pledged to reject congressional perks for themselves, including retirement and health care benefits. Landry said that Sangisetty's "choice of party affiliation and alliance with his Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, proves he supports the Washington Democrat's liberal agenda of increased taxes, government takeovers of private industry and dramatically liberal values."[8]

2012

Louisiana lost a congressional district due to out-migration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Landry's district was dismantled, and its territory split among three neighboring districts.[6] Landry was drawn into the same district as fellow Republican Charles Boustany of the neighboring 7th District. The new district retained Landry's district number--the 3rd--but geographically and demographically is more Boustany's district. Boustany is the choice of establishment Republicans, while the freshman Landry will be a grassroots tea party candidate. Landry was endorsed by Citizens United. Landry led Boustany in third-quarter 2011 fundraising, $251,000 to $218,000. According to Federal Election Commission, Boustany led in cash-on-hand lead, $1.1 million-$402,000.[9] Landry carried the endorsement of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum political action committee.[10]

In the November 6 election, Landry trailed Boustany by 45,596 votes. Boustany led the five-candidate field with 139,123 votes (44.7 percent); Landry received 93,527 votes (30 percent). The Democrat Ron Richard procured the critical 67,070 votes (21.5 percent). The remaining 7,908 votes (2.5 percent) and 3,765 ballots (1.2 percent) were cast, respectively, for Republican Bryan Barrilleaux and the Libertarian Jim Stark. Because none of the five candidates received a majority, Boustany and Landry went into a runoff contest held on December 8.[11]

With 58,820 votes (60.9 percent), Boustany defeated Landry, who polled 37,764 ballots (39.1 percent). Landy prevailed in only three of the ten parishes in the revised district, all of which he then represented, including his home parish of St. Martin, his residence of Iberia, and St. Mary Parish.[12]His margin in those three parishes, however, was 30 percentage points over Boustany.[13]

Tenure[edit]

During his short tenure in congress, Landry has been known as a staunch advocate for the Oil and Natural Gas industry. He has heavily criticized President Obama saying, "Republicans continue to criticize the president for being anti-oil. He says that's not true, but his actions don’t match his rhetoric."[14]

Landry made national headlines by holding up a sign saying Drilling=jobs during Obama's national jobs plan speech in September 2011.[15][16] Regarding the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Landry opposed the liability cap on BP while supporting the Gulf Hurricane Protection Project.[17]

On June 4, 2012, Landry, in a radio program produced by the American Center for Law and Justice, said that the Obama administration was "granting special status or waivers to Muslims as they go through TSA screenings."[18] The Transportation Security Administration does not grant any religious exemptions to Muslims.

In July 2012, Landry made local headlines when he declared his opposition to the establishment of a minor field in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He wrote to the university's president, Dr. Joe Savoie, saying, "As our nation continues to struggle with high unemployment, higher education's primary mission should be ensuring current and future students have the tools necessary to compete in the 21st century economy." Landry also criticized the new minor as an unnecessary use of taxpayer money.[19] Savoie refused to drop the course.

In a blog post, he said that the program "did not require budgetary allocations or divert resources from other areas." Savoie also explained, "Our desired posture is to be neither advocate nor adversary on controversial social issues of the day. Rather, our responsibility is to provide in an impartial manner an opportunity for investigation, analysis and understanding."[20]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Landry and his wife, the former Sharon LeBlanc, have one son, J. T. Landry (born 2004). Landry kept an apartment in Washington, D.C., while his wife and son resided in the district.[13]

Affiliations[edit]

Landry is a member of the Knights of Columbus, American Legion, American Bar Association, Iberia Parish Republican Executive Committee, Ducks Unlimited and the National Rifle Association.[2]

Political future[edit]

As he departed Washington, D.C., Landry said that his greatest disappointment is the failure of his party leadership to use effectively the House margin that it had received in the 2010 mid-term elections: "We missed some great opportunities and did not take advantage of the gift that the American people gave Republicans."[13]

Landry was critical of Speaker John Boehner of Ohio for the failure to lower the debt and reduce government spending: "The responsibility for doing that was solely on the shoulders of the Speaker of the House. ... We went in under his guidance, under his words that we were not going to kick the can down the road anymore. I think we're finding out that we're running out of road to kick a can down."[13]Landry urged Boehner to reject any "fiscal cliff" proposals that would increase taxes.[13]

Landry also said that he will not in any way miss the wrangling over taxes and spending that has occurred in recent years at the end of each congressional session: "It's ridiculous. Every year that I've been here, there's a crisis at the end of the year. Basically, Congress and this administration have given the American people a crisis every Christmas now for the last three, four, five years." He said he has not ruled out anything in regard to a future role in politics: "I've learned that when I try to decide what doors are opened and closed without allowing the good Lord to do it — that becomes a train wreck. I believe that when one door closes, another door opens. You have to have a little grace and faith and find out where they are."[13]

On February 24, 2014, Landry announced he would challenge incumbent Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell -- a Republican who was first elected to that office while a Democrat -- in the 2015 election.[21]

Landry's long-term impact may center on the insertion of language into a bill that would increase oil revenues to the Gulf Coast region.[13][clarification needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Former congressman gets in Louisiana attorney general's race, February 24, 2014". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Meet Jeff". landryforlouisina.com. Retrieved October 8, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Congressional GOP race hits boiling point". Daily Comet. 
  4. ^ "Louisiana general election returns, November 17, 2007". electionresults.sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Louisiana congressional election returns, October 2, 2010". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved October 8, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c "Alex Isenstadt, "Jeff Landry wins Louisiana House runoff", October 2, 2010". politico.com. Retrieved October 8, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Louisiana general election returns, November 2, 2010". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Jeremy Alford, "Lacking primary challenge, Sangisetty campaigns on ideas"". houmatoday.com. September 28, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2010. 
  9. ^ http://www.politico.com/blogs/davidcatanese/1111/Citizens_United_goes_all_in_for_Landry_.html?showall
  10. ^ "Candidates endorsed by Eagle Forum PAC, October 31, 2012". eagleforum.org. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Louisiana election returns, November 6, 2012". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Louisiana general election returns, December 8, 2012". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g "Jeff Landry plans returns to Louisiana, December 23, 2012". Shreveport Times. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  14. ^ Landry criticizes President Obama as "anti-oil", thehayride.com; accessed March 1, 2014.
  15. ^ Shahid, Aliyah (September 9, 2011). "President Obama's jobs speech: GOP Rep. Jeff Landry of Louisiana holds sign 'drilling equals jobs'". Daily News (New York). 
  16. ^ "Jeff Landry makes national headlines", landry.house.gov; September 9, 2011.
  17. ^ Kamen, Al (December 27, 2011). "Jeffrey M. Landry (R-La.)". The Washington Post. 
  18. ^ American Center for Law and Justice speech
  19. ^ "Congressman Landry asks UL Lafayette president to remove new LGBT minor". KATC-TV. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Noisemaker: UL prez addresses LGBT studies minor". theind.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  21. ^ [1], wdsu.com; accessed March 1, 2014.

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charlie Melancon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 3rd congressional district

2011–2013
Succeeded by
Charles Boustany
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Raúl Labrador
United States Representatives by seniority
392nd
Succeeded by
James Lankford