Sharon Weston Broome

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Sharon Weston Broome
Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
and East Baton Rouge Parish[fn 1]
Assumed office
January 2, 2017
Preceded byMelvin "Kip" Holden
Louisiana State Senate
President Pro Tempore
In office
January 14, 2008 – January 11, 2016
Preceded byDiana Bajoie
Succeeded byGerald Long
Member of the Louisiana Senate from the 15th district
In office
January 12, 2005 – January 11, 2016
Preceded byMelvin "Kip" Holden
Succeeded byRegina Barrow
Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives
In office
2004 – January 2005
Preceded byPeppi Bruneau
Succeeded byYvonne Dorsey-Colomb
Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
from the 29th district
In office
January 13, 1992 – January 12, 2005
Preceded byClyde Kimball
Succeeded byRegina Barrow
Personal details
BornOctober 1956 (age 62)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Marvin Broome
Children3[1]
ResidenceBaton Rouge
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–La Crosse,
Regent University
OccupationLegislator
Communications

Sharon Weston Broome (born October 1956)[2] is the current Mayor-President of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is a member of the Democratic Party. She was the first African-American woman to be in the Louisiana State Senate for District 15, in which she held her position from 2005[1] to 2016. She was elected Mayor-President of Baton Rouge on December 10, 2016, and was sworn into office on January 2, 2017.[3][4] Broome is the first African-American woman to serve as Mayor-President of Baton Rouge.[5]

Her state senatorial predecessor, Democrat Kip Holden, is the departing Baton Rouge Mayor-President who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 24, 2015. Victory went instead to the Republican Billy Nungesser.[6] From 2008 to 2016, Broome was the President Pro Tempore of the state Senate. In 2011, she was elected to her second full Senate term without opposition.

Broome was succeeded in the state Senate by Regina Barrow, who had also followed her in the state House of Representatives. Barrow was succeeded in the House by Metro Council member Ronnie Edwards, who died of pancreatic cancer after only forty-four days of service. Both Barrow and Edwards were coincidentally born in Wilkinson County, Mississippi.[7]

Early life and career[edit]

From 1992 to 2004, Broome was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 29. She was succeeded by her legislative assistant, Regina Barrow. From 1996 to 2003, she was Chairman of Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee. Broome was elected Speaker Pro Tempore of the House,[8] the first woman to have held that position. Broome is hence the first woman to serve in the number-two leadership position in both legislative chambers.

In 2002, Representative Broome introduced House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 74 which condemned "Darwinism" as justifying racism and Nazism. The bill was amended to remove allusions to Darwin and passed.[9] In 2012, sponsored a bill requiring doctors to let a woman hear the heartbeat of a fetus (if present) before performing an abortion.[10] The bill was signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal on June 8, 2012.[11]

Before being elected to state office, Broome, a native of Chicago, Illinois, served on the Baton Rouge Metro Council.[1] She holds two degrees in communications and worked as a reporter for WBRZ-TV for five years.[6]

Broome was among the state and local officials who endorsed the unsuccessful reelection in 2014 of Democrat U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.[12]

2016 mayoral election[edit]

Term-limited in the Senate, Broome was the first candidate to declare her intentions to run in 2016 to succeed Kip Holden as Mayor-President for East Baton Rouge Parish.[13] Several Republican candidates also ran; the Republican state Senator Bodi White in turn lost to Broome the runoff election held on December 10, 2016. White received 55,241 votes (48 percent) to Broome's 59,737 (52 percent).[14]

Broome was sworn into office on January 2, 2017.[15]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Marvin Alonzo Broome and they have three children.[1]

Controversy and criticism[edit]

As Mayor-President, Broome in April 2017 appointed Troy Bell as the city-parish Chief administrative officer (CAO), but he resigned after less than a week in the $144,000 annual post after it was disclosed that he does not hold the master's degree in public administration that he had claimed in his resume. Broome tapped James Llorens of Baton Rouge as the interim CAO. Several human resources professionals claim that the Bell selection could have been avoided had Broome followed a different approach to vetting candidates for appointments.[16] Broome announced thereafter that she will spearhead the search for her next CAO selection to prevent problems like those that surfaced in the Bell case.[17]

In July 2017, calls were made for the Louisiana Legislative Auditor and the State Inspector General to investigate the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Program (BRAVE) contracts being issued by the office of Mayor-President Sharon Weston-Broome. The questionable contracts first came to light as a result of public records requests by the 9NEWS Investigative Team.[18] In August 2017, Broome suspended all BRAVE contracts issued from mid-June to mid-July.[19]

In August 2017, Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore announced that he was seeking a list of confidential informant names that were erroneously released by Mayor-President Broom's office.[20]

In August 2018, Broome proposed a sales tax, rather than a property tax to fund the proposed MoveBR roads program under consideration by the Metro Council. If approved by the council, the measure would then be placed on the December 8 ballot. Broome said that the sales tax is preferred so as not to place the entire burden on property owners. Many residents, she said, encouraged her to pursue the sales tax as "more equitable" than a property tax though sales taxes are regressive in nature.[21]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The office of "Mayor-President" in the Baton Rouge area is an uncommon position in municipal governments that consolidates the executive offices of "Mayor of Baton Rouge" and "President of East Baton Rouge Parish". Though the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish have a consolidated government, this differs from a traditional consolidated city-county government, as the cities of Zachary, Baker, and Central operate their own individual municipal governments within East Baton Rouge Parish along with the City of Baton Rouge.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Senator Sharon Weston Broome - District 15". Louisiana State Senate. January 6, 2005. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  2. ^ "Sharon Broome, October 1956". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved May 24, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_b9d9212c-cd19-11e6-8d98-878bf03790b5.html
  4. ^ http://www.wbrz.com/news/broome-takes-oath-of-office-as-mayor-president
  5. ^ Taryn Finley (December 12, 2016). "Baton Rouge Elects Its First Black Woman Mayor". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Biography at Louisiana State Senate". Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
  7. ^ "Rep. Rodnette Bethley "Ronnie" Edwards". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  8. ^ "Speaker of the House" (PDF). Louisiana House of representatives. April 4, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  9. ^ "Update on Challenges to Teaching Evolution". American Geosciences Institute. 7 January 2003. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Abortion bills advance through La. Legislature". NECN.com. May 16, 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  11. ^ "Jindal signs abortion bills". WWL.com. June 8, 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  12. ^ "Landrieu's GOP Endorsements Pale In Comparison To 2008 Election". thehayride.com. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  13. ^ Rebekah Allen (May 18, 2015). "Sharon Weston Broome off to early start in 2016 Baton Rouge mayoral race as others have yet to declare". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  14. ^ "Election Results". December 10, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  15. ^ "Black women in American Politics: 2017 Status update" (PDF). Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  16. ^ Steve Hardy and Andrea Gallo (April 24, 2017). "Familiar name replacing Troy Bell as Baton Rouge's interim chief administrative offier". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  17. ^ Steve Hardy (April 28, 2017). "Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome says she will spearhead new search for Baton Rouge's CAO". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  18. ^ Kiran Chawla (July 31, 2017). "EBR councilman asks for audit of mayor's office contract". WAFB. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  19. ^ Andrea Gallo, Jim Mustian (August 1, 2017). "Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome suspends recent BRAVE contracts amid increased scrutiny". The Advocate. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  20. ^ Trey Schmaltz (August 9, 2017). "District Attorney seeking list of confidential names released by mayor's office". WBRZ. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  21. ^ Andrea Gallo (August 6, 2018). "Why Mayor Broome chose sales tax, rather than property tax, for MoveBR roads plan". Retrieved August 7, 2018.
Political offices
Preceded by
Kip Holden
Mayor-President of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
2017–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Clyde Kimball
Louisiana State Representative for
District 29 (East and West Baton Rouge parishes)

1992–2004
Succeeded by
Regina Barrow
Preceded by
Kip Holden
Louisiana State Senator for
District 10 (East Baton Rouge Parish)

2004–2016
Succeeded by
Regina Barrow
Preceded by
Diana Bajoie
Louisiana State Senate President Pro Tempore
2008–2016
Succeeded by
Gerald Long

External links[edit]