Lance Harris

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Lance Harris
Majority Leader of the Louisiana House of Representatives
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byTony Ligi
Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
from the 25th district
Assumed office
January 9, 2012
Preceded byChris Roy Jr.
Personal details
John Lance Harris

(1961-06-11) June 11, 1961 (age 57)
Pineville, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Leetha Harris
EducationLouisiana College
Northwestern State University, Natchitoches

John Lance Harris (born June 11, 1961) is a businessman, farmer, and cattleman from Alexandria, Louisiana, who is a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 25 in Rapides Parish. He is the House Majority Leader.


Harris attended Louisiana College in his native Pineville and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.[1] Harris owns the Leebo's chain of convenience stores.[2]

In the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 22, 2011, Harris defeated his only opponent, fellow Republican Barett Byrd, a retired colonel in the United States Marine Corps from Woodworth.[3] Harris succeeded Democratic Representative Chris Roy, Jr., of Alexandria, effective January 2012.[4] Harris defeated Byrd, 7,577 votes (55.5 percent) to 6,088 (44.6 percent) to claim the position.[5] Harris was elected chairman of the Louisiana Republican legislative delegation in December 2012. Since Republicans currently hold a majority in the House, Harris is hence the Majority Leader.

Harris is a member of the House committees on (1) Commerce, (2) Health and Welfare, and (3) Labor and Industrial Relations/[1]

Legislative record[edit]

In 2013, Harris endorsed Governor Bobby Jindal's decision to withdraw a plan to increase sales taxes while at the same time repealing the state income tax. Jindal dropped the plan after opposition surfaced in public opinion polls and among legislators. "While repeal is off the table for this legislative session, we will continue to work on the issue so that we can craft a responsible way to achieve our objectives in reforming the tax code in the future," Harris said.[6]

In 2015, Harris offered House Bill 672 to ease controversy arising from the Common Core State Standards Initiative, first proposed and subsequently opposed by Governor Bobby Jindal. The legislation would end Common Core standards and use temporarily the procedures from 2010 to 2011. "We're going back to 2010, where we were seeing increases in student involvement, our scores were going up. We're going to use that for one to one-and-a-half years until we have a system in place" with revised standards designed by educators and approved by the public, said Harris in a public forum in Alexandria.[7]

Harris's legislative ratings have ranged from 44 to 93 percent from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. In 2012, he was rated 100 percent by the National Federation of Independent Business. In 2013 and 2014, the conservative Louisiana Family Forum scored him 89 and 80 percent, respectively. Louisiana Right to Life scored him 100 percent both years. In 2013 and 2014, the Louisiana Association of Educators rated him 8 percent both years.[8]

In 2014, Harris co-sponsored the requirement that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges near their clinics; the bill was approved by the full House, 88–5. In 2014, he did not vote on the issue of extending the time for implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. He voted to prohibit the transportation of dogs in the beds of pick-up trucks while traveling on interstate highways; the measure passed the House, 53–34. He voted against the requirement that companies must give notice when they engage in hydraulic fracking. He voted against the repeal of the anti-sodomy laws. He voted to authorize surrogacy contracts. He voted to reduce the penalties for the possession of marijuana. He voted to establish lifetime concealed carry gun permits and supported concealed-carry privileges in restaurants that sell alcoholic beverages. He voted against making information about permit holders a matter of public record. He voted in 2013 against an increase in judicial pay but supported the removal of the mandatory retirement age for judges.[9]

In 2012, Harris voted to ban the use of telephones while driving; the measure passed the House, 68–29. He voted for tax incentives for attracting a National Basketball Association team to Louisiana and supported state income tax deductions for individuals who contribute to scholarship funds. He voted to reduce the number of hours that polling locations remain open; Louisiana has traditionally had 14-hour polling days. He co-sponsored the requirement for drug testing of certain welfare recipients, which passed the House, 65 to 26. He supported changes in the teacher tenure law.[9]

In his 2015 re-election bid, Harris faces opposition from the Democrat Vivian Ebare Brossett (born January 1967)[10] of Boyce, who identified herself as a real estate broker, a former 12-year member of the Boyce Town Council, and a board member of the Louisiana Municipal Association.[11] She formerly resided in Montgomery in Grant Parish.[12]

In May 2016, he wrote an amendment to Louisiana's hate crime statue, adding protections for police officers and firefighters who are targeted based on their profession. The amendment was signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Lance Harris's Biography". Project Vote Smart. May 27, 2015.
  2. ^ "Byrd, Harris vying for open Louisiana House District 25 seat". The Alexandria Town Talk, October 13, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  3. ^ "Byrd to seek Louisiana District 25 seat held by Roy". Alexandria Daily Town Talk, July 14, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Rep. Roy opts for family time over running for reelection". The Alexandria Town Talk, July 20, 2011. Archived from the original on August 15, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2011.
  5. ^ "Louisiana primary election returns, October 22, 2011". Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  6. ^ ""Alexandria Rep. Harris supports shelving of Jindal's income tax repeal", April 16, 2013". The Alexandria Town Talk, April 17, 2013.
  7. ^ Richard P. Sharkey (April 10, 2015). "Central La. legislators: Get rid of Common Core". The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  8. ^ "Lance Harris's Ratings and Endorsements". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Lance Harris's Voting Records". Project Vote Smart. May 27, 2015.
  10. ^ "Vivian Brossett, January 1967". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved September 11, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Qualifying Update: Harris draws last-minute challenger". The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  12. ^ "Vivian Ebase Brossett". Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  13. ^ PÉREZ-PEÑA, Richard (May 27, 2016). "Louisiana Enacts Hate Crimes Law to Protect a New Group: Police". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Chris Roy Jr.
Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
from the 25th district

Preceded by
Rosie Berger
Majority Leader of the Louisiana House of Representatives