|Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
from the 53 district
January 9, 2012
|Preceded by||Damon Baldone|
|Born||February 1959 (age 55)
Houma, Terrebonne Parish
|Alma mater||Nicholls State University|
Lenar Marie Ledet Whitney (born February 1959) is a businesswoman from her native Houma, Louisiana, who is a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 53 in Terrebonne Parish.Whitney is a candidate in the November 4 nonpartisan blanket primary for Louisiana's 6th congressional district seat being vacated by the physician Bill Cassidy, who is instead challenging Mary Landrieu for the United States Senate. Two of her intraparty opponents are Paul Dietzel, II, grandson of a Louisiana State University football coach and athletic director, and attorney Dan Claitor of Baton Rouge, who in 2009 succeeded Cassidy in the Louisiana State Senate. A Democratic candidate in the running is former Governor Edwin Edwards.
Whitney graduated from Vanderbilt High School in Houma and obtained an associate degree in business from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Since she was sixteen, she has operated a small business. She claims to have sales experience in oil field fabrication, repair and maintenance, and the media and telecommunications. Her husband, Lee Whitney, operates Whitney Signs Company in Houma. He was reared in Houma and Upper Caillou and established a lifelong friendship with the politically connected Chabert family. Whitney traces her family tree on the Ledet and Boquet side directly to the Bourg/Montegut’s families. Whitney has two children; both are graduates of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
In 2011, Whitney won the right to succeed the term-limited Democrat Damon Baldone by defeating fellow Republican Billy Hebert, a member of the Terrebonne Parish Council, 3,709 (59 percent) to 2,552 (41 percent). District 53 encompasses the Oakshire, Broadmoor, Park Avenue, Bayou Blue, Cocodrie, Montegut, Bourg, and Pointe-aux-Chenes sections of Houma, the parish seat of Terrebonne Parish. Whitney is the first woman to represent Terrebonne in the legislature and the first Republican to hold the District 53 seat.
On June 25, 2014, Lenar Whitney stated in a campaign video that human-caused climate change is "the greatest deception in the history of mankind." Dismissing evidence of global warming presented in Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth and the consensus of scientific opinion that Earth's climate is being affected by human activities, Whitney claimed that in the past ten years the planet "has done nothing but get colder each year." As evidence, Whitney stated "any 10-year-old can invalidate [the theses of climate scientists] with one of the simplest scientific devices known to man: a thermometer." Fact checker website PolitiFact.com ruled that, "There is an overwhelming consensus among respected scientists that human-caused global warming is real, and Whitney’s supporting evidence falls flat. We rate this claim Pants on Fire."
Whitney further stated in her campaign video that she attributes the phasing out of high-energy light bulbs in the United States to "progressives" instead of U.S. President George W. Bush, who signed that law. Whitney also stated that she believes that "many Middle East countries" want to "blow the United States off the face of the Earth," using funds from selling petroleum to the United States, citing no evidence.
Nonpartisan analyst David Wasserman of The Cook Political Report called Whitney "the most frightening candidate I've met in seven years interviewing congressional hopefuls." Wasserman reported that while interviewing her on July 23, 2014, he asked Whitney for the source of her claim that the earth is getting colder. "She froze and was unable to cite a single scientist, journal, or news source to back up her beliefs." When Whitney was asked if she doubted the Hawaiian birthplace of U.S. President Barack Obama, her campaign consultants pulled her from the interview, later calling Wasserman's attitude "belittling". Wasserman said, "It was the first time in hundreds of Cook Political Report meetings that a candidate has fled the room." Whitney later claimed that Wasserman attacked her: "It was obvious, from the onset of the interview, that Wasserman had planned to jump me simply because I am a conservative woman ... liberal shills like [him] want to destroy us." Steve Benen, producer of The Rachel Maddow Show, commented, "A tip for candidates everywhere: if you literally run away from questions, you’re doing it wrong."
- "About Lenar Whitney". LenarWhitney.com. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- Alford, Jeremy (31 May 2014). "State Lawmaker from Houma Announces Congressional Bid". The Houma Courier (Houma, Louisiana). Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- Blum, Jordan (24 January 2014). "Washington Watch: Handicapping the 6th District Race". The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana). Retrieved February 5, 2014.
- Hunt, Albert R. (19 February 2014). "Ex-Con Ex-Governor Running for Congress". Bloomberg News (New York City). Retrieved 20 February 20 2014.
- Monroe, Nate (22 November 2011). "Terrebonne elections yield historic results". The Houma Courier (Houma, Louisiana). Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- Oreskes, Naomi (3 December 2004). "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change". Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science). Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- Whitney, Lenar (1 July 2014). "Global Warming is a Hoax". YouTube.com. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
- Graef, Aileen (1 July 2014). "Lenar Whitney: Climate change is the biggest 'deception'". UPI. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
- Ashtari, Shadee (1 July 2014). "GOP Lawmaker Says Climate Change Is 'The Greatest Deception In The History Of Mankind'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
- "Global Warming is a Hoax, says Louisiana Congressional Hopeful Lenar Whitney". PolitiFact.com, Tampa Bay Times. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- Robertson, Lori (25 January 2012). "Refereeing the Republican Response". FactCheck.org. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- Billups, Andrea (31 December 2013). "Incandescent Light Bulb Ban Ushered in With New Year". NewsMax. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
- McKay, Scott (30 July 2014). "And Then There's Lenar Whitney...". The Hayride. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Wasserman, David (30 July 2014). "The most frightening candidate I've met in seven years interviewing congressional hopefuls". The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.). Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Campbell, Colin (30 July 2014). "Louisiana Republican Flees Interview When Asked About Obama's Birthplace". Business Insider. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Benen, Steve (31 July 2014). "When Politicians Literally Run Away From Questions". The Rachel Maddow Show / The MaddowBlog (MSNBC). Retrieved 31 July 2014.
|Louisiana House of Representatives|
|Louisiana State Representative from District 53 (Terrebonne Parish)
Lenar Ledet Whitney