Sean Reilly

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Sean Reilly
Louisiana State Representative for
District 68 (East Baton Rouge Parish)
In office
Preceded byKevin Patrick Reilly, Sr.
Succeeded byWilliam Daniel
Personal details
Sean Eugene Reilly

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jennifer Marie Eplett Reilly (married 1989–present; 3 children)
ParentsKevin and Ann Lamar Switzer Reilly
Alma materEpiscopal High School
Harvard University
OccupationAdvertising executive
(1) Reilly succeeded his father in the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1988 but did not seek a third term in the 1995 nonpartisan blanket primary. (2) Reilly's Lamar Advertising Company is the largest national corporation headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Sean Eugene Reilly (born June 1, 1961)[1] is the chief executive officer of Lamar Advertising Company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives.


A native of Baton Rouge, Reilly graduated in 1979 from Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with both Bachelor of Arts (1984) magna cum laude and Juris Doctor (1989) degrees. He is a Catholic.[1]

In October 1989, Reilly wed the former Jennifer Marie Eplett, a graduate of Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and Harvard Business School in Boston, the daughter of Mary Jane (née Coughlin) Eplett, a reading specialist from Lexington, Massachusetts, and Dr. James Douglas Eplett, Sr. (1931–2002), a physician from Nashua, New Hampshire.[2] The couple has three children.

Lamar Advertising was founded by Charles W. Lamar, Sr., Reilly's maternal great-grandfather as a small operation in Pensacola, Florida. It is one of the largest national corporations headquartered in Baton Rouge. Sean Reilly's older brother, Kevin Patrick Reilly, Jr. (born ca. 1954), is the President and Chairman of Lamar Advertising. Another brother, Wendell Reilly, was formerly affiliated with the company. Reilly's mother is Ann Lamar Switzer Reilly, known as "DeeDee" Reilly, a native of California and a Baton Rouge civic figure in her own right.[3] Sean Reilly earns nearly $700,000 annually from Lamar.[4]

Legislative career[edit]

From 1988 to 1996, Reilly served as a Democrat in the Louisiana House from District 68.[5] He was a member of the Education, Ways and Means and Capital Outlay committees. In the legislature, he succeeded his father, Kevin Patrick Reilly, Sr., a Massachusetts native who stepped down from the legislature to run unsuccessfully for Louisiana state treasurer in the 1987 nonpartisan blanket primary. Kevin Reilly was defeated by future U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of New Orleans.

In the primary held on October 24, 1987, Sean Reilly led a Republican, Toni Higginbotham, and an Independent, Ben Peabody. Reilly received 7,928 votes (45.6 percent), to Higginbotham's 6,146 votes (35.4 percent) and Peabody's critical 3,311 ballots (19.1 percent),[6] Four weeks later, Reilly defeated Higginbotham in the November 21 general election, 7,379 votes (54 percent) to 6,291 (46 percent).[7] He ran unopposed for a second term in the House in the 1991 primary but did not seek a third term in 1995.

Civic leadership[edit]

Reilly has served his state in a variety of capacities as an appointee of both Democratic and Republican governors since he left the legislature. From 1999 to 2005, he served under Governor Murphy J. "Mike" Foster, Jr., to the board of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.[8] In 2005, Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco named him to the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) as a charter Board member, a position which he filled until it was sunsetted in 2010. The LRA was established to direct the rebuilding of Louisiana after the 2005 hurricanes.

He chaired the LRA's State/Local Legislative Task Force. Governor Bobby Jindal named the former lawmaker as the chairman of his Transition Advisory Council on Ethics in 2007–2008. Jindal called on him to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Louisiana Innovation Council, a group which emphasizes technology and economic development statewide.[9] In 2011, Reilly was appointed by Governor Jindal to the Post-secondary Education Governance Commission. In 2016 Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards appointed Reilly to the Task Force on Structural Changes in Budget and Tax Policy.

He is co-founder and served as board member of the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation 2005–2009, and co-founder of the LRA Support Foundation in 2005, helping to direct philanthropy after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He is also co-founder and Board Trustee of Blueprint Louisiana, a non-partisan effort to fundamentally improve Louisiana, serving since 2006 and as chairman from 2008–09.

Reilly is co-founder and has since 2010 co-chaired the citizen group, Louisiana's Flagship Coalition, which supports Louisiana State University as the top tier university in the state system. Reilly served as adjunct professor at LSU's Manship School of Mass Communications from 1998 to 2001. He supports the Manship School as a member of its board of visitors. He also serves on the board of the LSU Foundation. For his services to the university and the state, LSU awarded him an honorary doctorate on May 18, 2012. He is co-founder of Baton Rouge Community College Foundation and served as its president from 1998 to 2002. For his service to BRCC, the college awarded him an honorary degree.[citation needed] Reilly recently joined the Board of World Connect, Inc. and the Board of Dragonfly Therapeutics Inc. He also serves on Episcopal High School's Board of Trustees in Baton Rouge, LA and Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy's Board of Visitors.

In 2015, Reilly was named a National Finalist Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young.

Other board service includes:

  • Greater Baton Rouge Hospice Foundation 1991–1997
  • Baton Rouge Area Alcohol and Drug Center, Inc.
  • Association for Retarded Citizens
  • Public Affairs Research Council 2004–present
  • Reserve Holdings 2007–present
  • RAND Gulf State Advisory Board 2010–present
  • Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce.


  1. ^ a b "Louisiana: Reilly, Sean, E.", Who's Who in American Politics, 2003-2004, 19th ed., Vol. 1 (Alabama-Montana) (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2003), p. 792
  2. ^ "Miss Eplett Wed to Sean E. Reilly". The New York Times, October 8, 1989. October 8, 1989. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  3. ^ "Company History". Archived from the original on April 7, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  4. ^ "Lamar Advertising". Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  5. ^ Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012
  6. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Primary election returns, October 24, 1987
  7. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, General election returns, November 21, 1987
  8. ^ "Board of Supervisors: Sean Reilly of Baton Rouge". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  9. ^ "Gov. Jindal Makes Appointments To Important Louisiana Innovation Council". Archived from the original on August 13, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
Political offices
Preceded by
Kevin Patrick Reilly, Sr.
Louisiana State Representative for
District 68 (East Baton Rouge Parish)

Sean Eugene Reilly

Succeeded by
William Daniel