Republican Party of Louisiana
|Republican Party of Louisiana|
|Chairperson||Roger F. Villere, Jr.|
|Governor of Louisiana||Bobby Jindal|
|President of the Senate||John A. Alario, Jr.|
|Speaker of the House||Chuck Kleckley|
|Headquarters||530 Lakeland Dr.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70802
|Student wing||College Republicans|
|Youth wing||Young Republicans Teenage Republicans|
|United States Senate delegation||
2 / 2
|United States House of Representatives delegation||
6 / 7
7 / 7
|Louisiana State Senate||
25 / 39
|Louisiana House of Representatives||
58 / 105
|Politics of Louisiana
The Republican Party of Louisiana is the U.S. state of Louisiana's organization of the national Republican Party. The state chairman is Roger F. Villere, Jr., a businessman from Metairie in Jefferson Parish. Every statewide elected official in Louisiana is a Republican.
The party has shown in recent decades the resurgence characteristic of other southern Republican state parties. From the Reconstruction era to the early 1950s, no Republican won a single electoral vote in any Louisiana presidential election; however, the state went for Republican presidential candidate Dwight David Eisenhower in 1956, the first of nine Republican presidential victories in the state among the 14 presidential campaigns from 1956 to 2008 inclusive. Louisiana's U.S. House delegation has overall had a Republican tilt since the 1990s, and party membership has incrementally increased in both houses of the Louisiana legislature as well as in other political offices around the state. Republicans have held the Louisiana governorship most of the time since election of David C. Treen to that office in 1979, no Republican having been elected governor prior to 1979 since William Pitt Kellogg during the Reconstruction era. Charlton Lyons had made the first serious Republican gubernatorial campaign in 1964 and drew a then record 37.5 percent of the general election vote.
Another major breakthrough occurred in 2004 when David Vitter, a U.S. representative, became Louisiana's first Republican to be elected United States Senator since the Reconstruction era. As of 2010 the Republican Party holds all of the statewide elected offices which include Governor Bobby Jindal, Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne, Secretary of State Tom Schedler, State Treasurer John Neely Kennedy, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, Commissioner of Agriculture & Forestry Mike Strain, and Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon. A milestone of sorts was achieved in 2009 when election of Republican former U.S. Representative Clyde C. Holloway to the Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC), which regulates utility companies, gave that body its first-ever Republican majority. In 2010,Republicans gained majority of both houses of the Louisiama state legislature. Prior to 2010, Republicans had not controlled either Louisiana legislative house since Reconstruction.
The Republican Party of Louisiana is represented by its 144-member State Central Committee, which is established in the Louisiana Election Code, essentially Title 18 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes (LRS). LRS Title 18 also provides for the Parish Executive Committee within each civil parish (county). The 144 members are based on the 105 state representatives and 39 state senators. Both committees are elected by party members in public elections set by law. Although not naming the parties, the Louisiana Election Code describes them in terms of requirements to be counted among the "recognized political parties." Besides the Republican Party, the only other party which routinely meets these requirements is the Democratic Party. Within each civil parish a representative of each recognized party's Parish Executive Committee serves on the Parish Board of Election Supervisors.
The State Central Committee attempts to coordinate the efforts of the parish executive committees and related organizations.
The state party believes that the family unit is the foundation of our nation that ties together significant aspects of society. The party believes that marriage is a union between one man and woman; same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples of children are both opposed. Abortion is opposed and adoption is seen as a viable option instead. The protection of all unborn children is supported.
The state party believes in the importance of education, whether it is through the means of public, private, religious or home-schooling. The party supports the "No Child Left Behind" law. Including the Pledge of Allegiance and the showing of the American flag in school classrooms are both supported. In reference to sex education, the party believes that students should not be allowed to receive sex education without prior approval from parents. Also, the party believes students should be educated on the ideal of abstinence until marriage.
The state party supports the War on Terror and the presence of American troops overseas. The party supports spending cuts as a viable solution to maintaining the federal budget. The party supports preserving Social Security and making health care accessible to citizens by providing an array of affordable options to individuals. Public assistance is supported, as so long as it is earned by members of society through the means of employment. The party supports the expulsion of illegal aliens.
The state party believes that law and order is one of the utmost responsibilities of government, in that it ensures the protection of life, liberty and freedom for society as a whole. The party is in support of capital punishment, however believes that its use should be reserved for the most atrocious criminal acts.
The state party believes that our government should put citizens in a position to attain jobs and currency. In times when the U.S. is suffering economically, the party supports the reduction of government spending.
- 1872: William Pitt Kellogg is elected as the last Republican governor of Louisiana until 1979, a period of 107 years.
- 1876: Republican Stephen B. Packard loses the governor's race to the Democrat Francis T. Nicholls in a disputed outcome.
- 1928: Etienne J. Caire of St. John the Baptist Parish polls 4 percent of the vote in a race for governor against Huey Pierce Long, Jr. A full Republican slate runs with Caire, the first time since Reconstruction that the party had sought to fill all statewide offices.
- 1948: Clem S. Clarke, an oilman from Shreveport, tries unsuccessfully to meld the Thomas E. Dewey and Strom Thurmond supporters at the presidential level behind his own candidacy for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Russell B. Long, a son of Huey Long. Clarke in 1948 was the first Louisiana Republican nominee for the Senate since the implementation in 1914 of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- 1952: Harrison Bagwell, a Baton Rouge lawyer, polled 4 percent of the general election vote for governor against the Democratic nominee, Robert F. Kennon.
- 1956: Dwight Eisenhower becomes the first Republican since Rutherford B. Hayes to win the electoral votes of Louisiana. Charles T. Beaird, a Shreveport Republican, is elected to the Caddo Parish Police Jury.
- 1960: George W. Reese, Jr., a New Orleans lawyer, polls 20 percent of the general election vote against U.S. Senator Allen J. Ellender. He received nearly half of the votes polled in Louisiana by the party's unsuccessful presidential nominee, Richard M. Nixon.
- 1961: Charlton Lyons, a Shreveport oilman, polled 45 percent of the vote in a special election against the Democrat Joe Waggonner for Louisiana's 4th congressional district seat in the United States House of Representatives. The contest received national attention. The seat opened when Democrat Overton Brooks died in office.
- 1964: Lyons received nearly 38 percent of the general election vote for governor against Democrat John McKeithen. Morley A. Hudson and Taylor W. O'Hearn of Shreveport were the first Republicans since Reconstruction elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. Later in the year, Barry Goldwater defeats U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson in Louisiana and five other states.
- 1966: Jack Breaux and Tom Colten of Zachary and Minden, respectively, become the first elected Republican mayors in Louisiana since Reconstruction.
- 1968: David C. Treen, a lawyer then of Jefferson Parish, waged his third unsuccessful campaign against Democrat Hale Boggs for Louisiana's 2nd congressional district seat; he polled more than 48 percent of the vote.
- 1972: Treen received 43 percent of the vote for governor against Edwin Edwards. Tom Stagg lost the race for attorney general to William J. Guste. Morley Hudson lost the race for lieutenant governor to Jimmy Fitzmorris.
- 1972: Treen was elected to fill Louisiana's 3rd congressional district seat over the Democrat J. Louis Watkins, Jr. Republican Ben Toledano loses the U.S. Senate race to J. Bennett Johnston, Jr.
- 1975: Henson Moore of Baton Rouge is elected to Louisiana's 6th congressional district seat in a special re-run election in January. He succeeded the Democrat John Rarick, who lost re-nomination in the party primary.
- 1976: Republican Frank Spooner nearly upsets Jerry Huckaby in Louisiana's 5th congressional district for the right to succeed Democratic U.S. Representative Otto Passman.
- 1977: Bob Livingston wins a special election to fill Louisiana's 1st congressional district seat in suburban New Orleans.
- 1979: David Treen is elected the first Republican governor of Louisiana since the Reconstruction era; he took office in March 1980. He narrowly defeated the Democrat Louis Lambert
- 1983: Treen is ousted after one term as governor by the returning third term of Edwin Edwards.
- 1986: Henson Moore wages a strong but losing race for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Russell B. Long. Republican Clyde C. Holloway of Rapides Parish becomes the last person elected to Louisiana's 8th congressional district, since disbanded.
- 1988: Jim McCrery, a Republican, is elected to succeed Buddy Roemer, the incoming governor, as U.S. representative from Louisiana's 4th congressional district.
- 1988: The Republican National Convention is held at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
- 1989: David Duke, a previous Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, wins a special election for a seat from Jefferson Parish in the Louisiana House of Representatives. He defeats John S. Treen, brother of David Treen. In 1990, Duke ran against U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., and in 1991, against Edwin Edwards, who returned for a fourth nonconsecutive term as governor. The Republican Party officially endorsed Edwards over the registered Republican, Duke, who has since lived in Austria.
- 1990: Hazel Beard becomes the first Republican and the first woman to serve as mayor of Shreveport.
- 1995: Democrat-turned-Republican Murphy J. Foster, Jr., is elected to the first of two consecutive terms as governor.
- 1996: Woody Jenkins, a former Democrat from East Baton Rouge Parish, falls short in a disputed race for the U.S. Senate against the Democrat Mary Landrieu for the right to succeed J. Bennett Johnston, Jr. John Cooksey of Monroe becomes the first Republican elected to Louisiana's 5th congressional district.
- 1999: David Vitter is elected in Louisiana 1st congressional district to succeed Bob Livingston, who was exposed in a sex scandal.
- 2003: Bobby Jindal, a Republican and Indian American from Baton Rouge, is defeated in a race for governor by the Democrat Kathleen Blanco.
- 2004: David Vitter is elected in the primary to the U.S. Senate vacated by Democrat John Breaux. Bobby Jindal is elected to succeed Vitter in the 1st congressional district.
- 2007: Jindal wins the first of his two terms as governor.
- 2007: David Vitter was named as a client in the Washington, D.C., prostitution scandal, of which he admitted. He won a second Senate term in 2010 and is a candidate for governor in 2015.
- 2008: John Fleming, a physician and businessman from Minden, is narrowly elected to succeed the retiring Jim McCrery in Louisiana's 4th congressional district.
- 2009: Clyde Holloway wins a special election to the Louisiana Public Service Commission; three of the five commissioners are Republicans. Holloway was named the PSC chairman in 2015.
- 2010: Jeff Landry, a Republican with Tea Party movement support, unseats Democrat Charles Melancon in Louisiana's 3rd congressional district. Landry was himself unseated in 2012 by fellow Republican Charles Boustany when their two congressional districts are combined through redistricting.
- 2011: Republicans gain control of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature.
- December 2, 2011: Buddy Roemer, previous Democrat-turned-Republican governor of Louisiana, announces that he will seek to attain the Republican presidential nomination via the advocacy group Americans Elect. Roemer said that he was leaving the Republican Party but remains a registered Republican voter in East Baton Rouge Parish. His son, Chas Roemer, is the Republican president of the elected Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
- 2014: Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana's 1st congressional district in suburban New Orleans, is named House Majority Whip and becomes a close ally of Speaker John Boehner.
- 2014: Bill Cassidy of Louisiana's 6th congressional district, unseats Mary Landrieu for the U.S. Senate. Two new Republican U.S. representatives elected are Ralph Abraham of the 5th district and Garret Graves to succeed Cassidy in the 6th district.
Current elected officials
The Republican Party of Louisiana controls all seven of the statewide constitutional offices and holds a majority in the Louisiana House of Representatives and in the Louisiana Senate. The party also holds both of the state's U.S. Senate seats and six of the seven U.S. House seats.
Members of Congress
U.S. House of Representatives
- Steve Scalise, 1st District
- Charles Boustany, 3rd District
- John Fleming, 4th District
- Ralph Abraham, 5th District
- Garret Graves, 6th District
- Governor: Bobby Jindal
- Lieutenant Governor: Jay Dardenne
- Attorney General: Buddy Caldwell
- Secretary of State: Tom Schedler
- Treasurer: John Neely Kennedy
- Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry: Mike Strain
- Commissioner of Insurance: Jim Donelon
List of state Republican chairmen
- John E. Jackson (1929-1934)
- LeRoy Smallenberger (1960-1964)
- Charlton Lyons (1964-1968)
- Charles deGravelles (1968-1972)
- James H. Boyce (1972-1976)
- John H. Cade, Jr. (1976-1978)
- George Despot (1978-1985)
- Donald G. Bollinger (1986-1988)
- William "Billy" Nungesser (1988-1992)
- Dud Lastrapes (1992-1994)
- Mike Francis (1994-2000)
- Chuck McMains (2000)
- Pat Brister (2000-2004)
- Roger F. Villere, Jr. (2004- )
- Rebecca J. Scott, Degrees of Freedom: Louisiana and Cuba after Slavery (Cambridge, 2005), 39.
- Republicans, as of 2009, had not been in the majority in either the Louisiana House or the Louisiana Senate since the Reconstruction era. The first Republicans (Morley A. Hudson and Taylor W. O'Hearn) in the 20th Century were elected to the House in 1964, and the first Republican elected to the Senate was Edwards Barham in 1975. Despite this long period before achieving a majority, members often secured important leadership posts. A notable example is John Hainkel, the first person in U.S. history to have served by election of his peers as Speaker of the House and as President of the Senate in any state legislature.
- See also Francis Grevemberg's 1960 Louisiana Republican gubernatorial campaign.
- Jacobs, David (2014-04-14). "The state of the GOP: A heated Senate race illustrates the divides in Louisiana's Republican Party". Greater Baton Rouge Business Report 32 (16) (Baton Rouge). pp. 27–35. Retrieved 2014-04-16.
- Louisiana Election Code (Title 18 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes).
- A position occupied by Joseph Cao, for example, in Orleans Parish prior to his being elected to represent Louisiana's 2nd congressional district.