Diane Winston

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Diane Grisham Winston
Louisiana House of Representatives (District 77 – St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes)
In office
Preceded by Edward J. Deano, Jr.[1]
Succeeded by John Schroder[2]
Personal details
Born (1948-08-13) August 13, 1948 (age 68)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Robert Bryant “Bob” Winston
Children 2
Residence Covington, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana
Alma mater

Thomas Jefferson High School (Dallas, Texas)
Louisiana State University

University of New Orleans
Occupation Businesswoman
Religion Lutheran
Businesswoman Winston narrowly lost a special election in 2005 to succeed the late Louisiana State Senator John Hainkel, and she was ineligible to seek a fourth term in the 2007 nonpartisan blanket primary.

Diane Grisham Winston (born August 13, 1948) is a businesswoman from Covington, Louisiana, who served as a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1996 until term-limited in 2008. Her District 77 includes parts of St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes in suburban New Orleans. In 2012, the district becomes based only in St. Tammany Parish.

Winston graduated in 1966 from Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas, Texas. She first attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and thereafter received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Orleans. She is a fellow of the Institute of Politics of Loyola University in New Orleans, along former Representative Garey Forster and government watchdog C.B. Forgotston. Prior to her legislative service, Winston was the executive director of the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce from 1988-1996. She also operated her own retail business in Covington. She has been active in the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Louisiana Breast Cancer Task Force, Habitat for Humanity, and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. Married to Robert Bryant “Bob” Winston (born April 15, 1945), she is Lutheran.[3]

In the 1995 House election, Winston led a three-candidate field with 5,824 votes (35.6 percent). Trailing her was the then Democrat Jay Blossman and a second Republican, Denis P. Bechac, who received 5,642 (34.5 percent) and 4,897 (29.9 percent), respectively.[4]

In the ensuing general election Winston defeated Blossman, 9,549 votes (52 percent) to 8,800 (48 percent). On that same day Republican Shirley D. Bowler won a second term in the neighboring 78th District House seat by an identical margin over a Democratic opponent.[5] Shortly after his defeat by Winston, Blossman switched party affiliation and was elected in 1996 to the Louisiana Public Service Commission.[6] Winston was unopposed in the 1999 and 2003 House primaries.

In 2005, Winston ran in a special election to succeed the late State Senator John Hainkel, also a former state representative. She was defeated by a fellow Republican, Julie Quinn, a young Metairie attorney who resigned from the Jefferson Parish School Board to enter the Senate race. Winston led the first round of balloting with 5,611 votes (31.6 percent), trailed by Quinn’s 4,243 (23.9 percent). Five other candidates, including former Public Service Commissioner John F. Schwegmann, received the remaining 45 percent of the ballots.[7] In the second balloting, Quinn polled 8,843 (51.5 percent) to Winston’s 8,333 (48.5 percent).[8] In 2007, Winston announced that she would challenge Quinn for a full term in the state Senate but thereafter withdrew from the contest in which Quinn prevailed.[9]

In the House, Winston served on the Appropriations; Education; Retirement; and Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs committees. She was a member too of the Budget Subcommittee on Civil Service, Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, and the Select Committee on Fiscal Affairs.[10] During only a portion of her legislative career, Winston voted for more than $1.3 billion in additional taxes and fees, an issue used against her by opponent Quinn.[11]

Winston frequently lectures in public forums on the role of women. In 2001, she addressed the "Women's History" forum at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.[10] In 2005, she addressed the annual banquet in Covington of the interest group, the National Association of Women in Construction, formed in 1953 to promote the interest of women in the construction industry. She geared her address to the construction needs stemming from Hurricane Katrina.[12]

Shortly after her House term ended, Winston donated to the congressional campaign of a former conservative colleague Steve Scalise, who in a special election won the U.S. House seat vacated by Governor Bobby Jindal and formerly held by U.S. Senator David Vitter and former Representative Bob Livingston.[13]


  1. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 19, 1991". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved October 18, 2009. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Louisiana election returns, November 17, 2007". sos.louisiana. Retrieved October 18, 2009. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "House District 77". enlou.com. Archived from the original on November 11, 2006. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 21, 1995". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved October 18, 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Louisiana election returns, November 18, 1995". Retrieved October 18, 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Louisiana election returns, September 21, 1996". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved October 18, 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Louisiana special election returns, June 4, 2005". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved October 18, 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Louisiana special election returns, July 9, 2005". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved October 18, 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Diane Winston". zoominfo.com. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b "Rep. Diane Winston Presents Next SLU Women’s History Month". selu.edu. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  11. ^ "July 2005 Commentary Archives". C.B. Forgotston.com. Archived from the original on November 4, 2009. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Louisiana State Rep. Diane Winston to emcee Women in Construction banquet". allbusiness.com. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Diane Winston Political Campaign Contributions, 2008". campaignmoney.com. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
Preceded by
Edward J. Deano, Jr.
Louisiana State Representative from District 77 (St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes)

Diane Grisham Winston

Succeeded by
John Schroder