Bob Hensgens

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Craig Robert "Bob" Hensgens
Louisiana State Representative from District 47 (Vermilion and Cameron parishes)
Assumed office
May 2011
Preceded by Jonathan Perry
Mayor of Gueydan, Louisiana
In office
October 30, 2007 – May 2011
Preceded by Charlotte Venable-Hartwell
Succeeded by David Dupuis
Personal details
Born (1965-01-26) January 26, 1965 (age 52)
Cameron Parish, Louisiana
Political party Democrat-turned-Republican
Spouse(s) Nancy LeJeune Hensgens (married ca. 2002)

Allison Chapman Istre
Beau Istre

Bobbie Jo LeJeune
Residence Gueydan, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana
Alma mater

Vermilion Catholic High School

University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Occupation Businessman
Religion Roman Catholic

Craig Robert Hensgens, known as Bob Hensgens (born January 26, 1955), is a Republican state representative from House District 47 in Vermilion and Cameron parishes in far southwestern Louisiana.


Originally from Cameron Parish, Hensgens graduated from Vermilion Catholic High School in Abbeville, the parish seat of Vermilion Parish. He attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge but dropped out after his father was killed in a farm accident.[1] He thereafter received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is a former director of the Vermilion Parish hospital service district and since 2006 a managing partner in the health care company MH3F. Hensgens is also a former president of the Gueydan Chamber of Commerce.[2]

Hensgens is Roman Catholic. He is married to the former Nancy LeJeune and has three children, Allison Chapman Istre, Beau Istre and Bobbie Jo LeJeune. Hensgens is the proud grandfather of four granddaughters.[2]

Legislative election[edit]

Through his victory in a special election held on April 30, 2011, Hensgens became the 55th member of his party to serve in the 105-member Louisiana House. No Democrat filed for the seat though the district had cast two thirds of its votes in 2003 for the successful Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Lafayette.[3]

In his statement of candidacy, Hensgens said that Louisiana is "struggling to pay the bills for promises that should have never been made. ... somewhere along the line our promise of a safety net has been transformed into a hammock and that is not sustainable. Government, like you and me, needs to live within its means."[4]

As a legislator, he succeeds State Representative Jonathan Perry, who narrowly won a special election for the Louisiana State Senate held on February 19, 2011. Hensgens defeated fellow Republican Linda A. Hardee (born January 20, 1948), an educator and a former mayor of Kaplan in Vermilion Parish, who carried the endorsement of the Louisiana Association of Educators.[5] Oddly, Hensgens lent Hardee $200 so that she could pay cash for a portion of her filing fee. They both came to the Vermilion Parish clerk of court's office to register for the race at the same time, and she was short of the required $450 in cash.[6]

Hensgens narrowly prevailed, 3,477 (52.35 percent) to 3,165 (47.65 percent). He narrowly lost his home parish; his victory came from a 2-1 margin in the thirteen precincts in Cameron Parish.[7] Hardee won the bulk of the African American electorate.[3] Hensgens, however, carried the backing of the Tea Party of Louisiana.[8] Hensgens balanced the town budget in Gueydan by cutting spending, rather than raising taxes, and he reduced his own salary to give the police officers a raise.[1][9]

Both candidates described themselves as "pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, family-oriented, and fiscally-responsible."[10]

Hensgens was sworn in as representative by his friend and predecessor in the office, Senator Jonathan Perry. This was the first time in Louisiana history in which a state senator swore in a representative.[11]

Prior to his election to the House, Hensgens, as a Democrat,[12] served nearly four years as the mayor of Gueydan, a town near Abbeville. Acting Mayor David Dupuis succeeded Hengens and served until the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 22, 2011.[13]


  1. ^ a b ""Hensgens Endorsed by Tea Party of Lafayette: Hensgens Campaign Picking up Momentum," April 15, 2011" (PDF). Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Bob Hensgens State Representative". Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Louisiana Legislative Special Elections: Two for the TEA Party, April 30, 2011". Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Hensgens announces candidacy for Representative District 47". Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ ""LAE Endorses Linda Hardee for State Representative District 47," April 26, 2011". Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ "State rep hopeful borrows from opponent," March 17, 2011". Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Legislative Special Election, April 30, 2011
  8. ^ "Tea Party of Louisiana Endorses Bob Hensgens, April 25, 2011". Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Bob Hensgens wins!, May 1, 2011". Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ ""Meet the candidates running for House Dist. 47," April 27, 2011". Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Judy Le Blanc, "Hensgens sworn in as Louisiana legislator,"". Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Qualifying for October 20: Full List, September 7, 2007". Lafayette Daily Advertiser. Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Gueydan mayor wins state representative race, May 1, 2011". Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jonathan Perry
Louisiana State Representative for District 47 (Vermilion and Cameron parishes)

Craig Robert "Bob" Hensgens

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Charlotte Venable-Hartwell
Mayor of Gueydan, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana

Craig Robert "Bob" Hensgens

Succeeded by
David Dupuis