Page Cortez

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Patrick Page Cortez
Louisiana State Senator from District 23 (Lafayette Parish)
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 9, 2012
Preceded by Michael J. Michot
Louisiana State Representative from District 43 (Lafayette Parish)
In office
January 14, 2008 – January 9, 2012
Preceded by Ernie Alexander
Succeeded by Stuart Bishop
Personal details
Born (1961-08-25) August 25, 1961 (age 53)
Lafayette, Lafayette Parish
Louisiana, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Angela Stoma Cortez
Children Matthew and Maria Cortez
Occupation Businessman; former educator
Cortez gained vital name recognition in his 2007 race for the Louisiana House of Representatives through his furniture advertising on television and his earlier service as a high school coach.

Patrick Page Cortez, known as Page Cortez (born August 25, 1961), is a businessman from Lafayette, Louisiana, who is a Republican member of the Louisiana State Senate from District 23. He is also the former District 43 member of the Louisiana House of Representatives.

Career[edit]

Background[edit]

Cortez succeeded Senator Michael J. Michot, who was term-limited in the position. After Jerry Luke LeBlanc, the former commissioner of administration under Governor Kathleen Blanco and an Independent, declined to run for the seat that Michot vacated, Cortez was elected without opposition in the primary election held on October 22, 2011.

Cortez was succeeded in the House by Stuart Bishop, a Lafayette businessman without previous political experience. Bishop also ran unopposed in the primary. So did a third Republican, former state Representative Ronnie Johns of Sulphur in Calcasieu Parish, who succeeded the term-limited Willie Landry Mount in the District 27 seat in the state Senate.[1]

Cortez is a co-owner and operator of La-Z-Boy Furniture and Stoma's (his wife’s maiden name) Furniture and Interiors in Lafayette.[2] He gained name identification in the community through his furniture advertising on local television channels and his earlier profile as a high school coach.[3]

In the 2007 House primary, Cortez defeated fellow Republican Patrick LeBlanc, no relation to Jerry Luke LeBlanc and the president of the architectural firm, The LeBlanc Group, and the owner of the private-prison company LCS Corrections Services. Cortez received 7,742 votes (55.5 percent) in the twenty-three precincts, compared to LeBlanc’s 6,218 ballots (44.5 percent).[4] Less than five months after the election, LeBlanc (1954–2008) and his pilot died in a small-craft airplane crash near Abbeville in Vermilion Parish.[5]

Legislative race[edit]

Cortez had entered the legislative race when Republican Ernie Alexander was contemplating seeking a third term. Cortez has been allied with Senator Michot, a former Democrat and Cortez’s fraternity brother at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and with Independent (since Republican) District 45 State Representative Joel Robideaux, both of whom actively supported Cortez in the race against LeBlanc through an organization called "Leadership for Louisiana”.

Ernie Alexander and U.S. Representative Charles Boustany, M.D., also of Lafayette, endorsed LeBlanc. Boustany and LeBlanc endorsed the failed candidacy of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the American presidency. Michot and Cortez questioned LeBlanc’s business activities regarding controversies which surfaced over the building of prisons in Bastrop in Morehouse Parish in north Louisiana, and in San Antonio, Texas. No charges were ever brought against LeBlanc.[6]

Personal life[edit]

A Lafayette native, Cortez graduated from Lafayette High School and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, from which he received two bachelor’s degrees in education and general studies. A former classroom teacher and coach,[7] he is a former member of the Lafayette Parks and Recreation Commission. Cortez is married to the former Angela Stoma (born c. 1964), and they have two children, Matthew and Maria Cortez. He was assigned as a House member to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget,[8] the House Committee on Appropriations, the House Committee on Insurance, the House Committee on Retirement, and the Energy Council.[9]

Measures[edit]

Among early votes that Cortez cast in the legislature were successful measures to restrict gifts to elected officials, banning public funds for human cloning, and prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving. He opposed the “Anti-Bullying” bill rejected by the state House in April 2008.[10] Cortez also supported a failed measure in 2008 which would make it easier for juvenile offenders who commit heinous crimes to become eligible for parole, a position counter to his ally Robideaux.[11] However, Cortez played an instrumental role in helping victims' rights supporters to defeat the same legislation in committee in 2009.[12]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ernie Alexander
Louisiana State Representative from District 43 (Lafayette Parish)

Patrick Page Cortez
2008 – 2012

Succeeded by
Stuart Bishop
Louisiana Senate
Preceded by
Michael J. Michot
Louisiana State Senator from District 23 (Lafayette Parish)

Patrick Page Cortez
2012 –

Succeeded by
Incumbent