Chris John

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Chris 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 Christopher Charles John
(1960-01-05) January 5, 1960 (age 57)
Crowley, Louisiana, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Payton Smith
Relatives John Smith (father-in-law)
Education Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge (BA)

Christopher Charles John (born January 5, 1960), known as Chris John, is an American politician and lobbyist who from 1997 to 2005 served as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives for Louisiana's 7th congressional district, since disbanded and merged into the 3rd district.

Early life[edit]

Chris John was born in Crowley in 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 in Crowley and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He was a page while his father, John N. John, III, was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. In the early 1980s, he was elected to the Crowley City Council.

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 to 46 percent.[1]

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 female 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.[citation needed]

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 for the 7th district seat. In 2004, John surrendered his House seat to run for the seat in te U.S. Senate being vacated by popular Democrat and fellow Crowley native John Breaux, who endorsed him.[citation needed]

John, however, was defeated by Republican David Vitter of the New Orleans suburbs in the primary, Vitter garnered 51 percent of the vote, compared to 29 percent for John. The remainder of the ballots was split between then State Treasurer John Neely Kennedy and the African-American then-state senator Arthur Morrell, both Democrats. John's seat in the House fell into Republican hands, as Charles Boustany won the 7th district with 55 percent of the vote against Democrat Willie Landry Mount.[2] Kennedy later switched parties and succeeded Vitter as senator in 2017.

Post-political career[edit]

John is married to Payton Smith of Leesville, whose father, John R. Smith, is a member of the Louisiana State Senate and a former state House member. The Johns have two sons, who are twins. After his House career ended, John worked for two years as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C.. Since August 2007, he has made his home in Lafayette, where he is chief lobbyist for the United States Oil and Gas Association. (Morning Advocate).[citation needed]

In 2009, John was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.[3]

Electoral history[edit]

Louisiana's 7th congressional district: Results 1996–2002[2]
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[2]
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. ^ Books LLC. "People From Crowley, Louisiana: Edwin Edwards, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, John Breaux, Gil Pinac, Jack Brooks, Chris John, Mike Francis". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved November 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on July 25, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  3. ^ "Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame". cityofwinnfield.com. Archived from the original on July 3, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2009. 

External links[edit]

U.S. 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
Party political offices
Preceded by
John S. Tanner
Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Communications
1999–2001
Served alongside: Robert E. Cramer (Administration), Charles Stenholm (Policy)
Succeeded by
Jim Turner
Preceded by
Robert E. Cramer
Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Administration
2001–2003
Served alongside: Jim Turner (Communications), Allen Boyd (Policy)
Preceded by
John Breaux
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Louisiana
(Class 3)

2004
Succeeded by
Charlie Melancon