Sherri Smith Buffington

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Sherri Smith Buffington
Louisiana State Senator for District 38 (Caddo and DeSoto parishes)
In office
2004 – January 11, 2016
Preceded by Ron Bean
Succeeded by John Milkovich
Personal details
Born August 1966
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Jon Loyd Cheek
(2) William Joseph "Joe" Buffington (married 2012)
Alma mater
Occupation Businesswoman

Sherri Smith Buffington, formerly Sherri Smith Cheek (born August 1966), is a businesswoman from Shreveport, Louisiana, who is a Republican former member of the Louisiana State Senate for District 38 (south Caddo and DeSoto parishes).[1] Buffington is the first female Republican ever to have been elected to the Louisiana Senate.[2]

Term-limited, Buffington could not seek a fourth term in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 24, 2015. Cloyce Crincrick Clark, III, who vowed "New Conservative Leadership"[3] sought to fill her seat, as did Republican State Representative Richard Burford of Stonewall and two Democrats, John Milkovich, a Shreveport lawyer who resides in Keithville, and Jemayel Warren of Grand Cane[4] In the runoff election on November 21, Milkovich, considered a Conservative Democrat, defeated Burford.


Prior to her election in 2003, Buffington had been since 1992 the legislative aide to her predecessor in office, fellow Republican Ron Bean.[5] She graduated from Southwood High School in Shreveport and attended Centenary College and Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Buffington works in her family's rental business and resides in Keithville in southern Caddo Parish. She is active in the Summer Grove Baptist Church in south Shreveport.[6]

Succeeding Ron Bean[edit]

In the primary held on October 4, 2003, Buffington, backed by the outgoing Senator Bean, led a four-candidate race with 10,458 (35.3 percent). In second place was the Democrat, Forrest Davis, who polled 9,403 votes (31.7 percent). Two other Republicans finished behind, Doug Shurling, with 5,387 votes (18.1 percent) and Ted Roberts, 4,410 (14.9 percent).[7] In that 68 percent of primary voters had chosen a Republican candidate, Davis withdrew from the November 15 general election, and Buffington won her seat by default.

In 2007, Buffington won reelection by defeating the more conservative Republican attorney, and subsequent member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 5, Alan Seabaugh. She prevailed in the primary, 16,665 (53 percent) to Seabaugh's 14,725 (47 percent). De Soto Parish provided most of Buffington's margin of victory. Had the race been restricted to the majority of the precincts in Caddo Parish, Buffington would have won by only 277 votes.[8] Seabaugh told The Shreveport Times that he had "met Sherri and she seems nice. But she just doesn't represent me. It begins and ends with her voting record. She runs as a Republican and votes like a Democrat."[9]

Buffington serves on these Senate committees: (1) Environmental Quality, (2) Finance, (3) Health and Welfare (vice chairman), and (4) Labor and Industrial Relations. She is also the vice chairman of the Select Women's and Children's Committee.[10]

In 2010, Buffington received a 61 percent rating from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, lower than most Republican legislators. In 2009, the Louisiana Federation of Independent Business rated her 70 percent. The Louisiana Family Forum rated her 13 percent in 2004, 33 percent in 2006, and 57 percent in 2007. After Buffington defeating Seabaugh, her Family Forum rating moved upward to 78 percent in 2008 and 90 percent in 2010. In 2009, she was ranked 100 percent by the Louisiana Right to Life Federation.[11] In 2011, Buffington voted against legislation to amend the Smoke-free Air Act to bar smoking in bars and restaurants.[12]

Reelection in 2011[edit]

Buffington won her third term in the primary election held on October 22, 2011, having defeated fellow Republican Troy Neal Terrell (born August 1972), 10,570 votes (57.2 percent) to 7,912 (42.8 percent,[13] who was backed by the Tea party movement. Terrell is a native of Starkville, Mississippi, and was reared in Converse, a village in Sabine Parish. He is the co-pastor of The Church, a nondenominational congregation in Mansfield.[14] Terrell was narrowly defeated in 2014 for his District B city alderman position in Mansfield.[15] Terrell's father, Troy H. Terrell (born May 1941), is the current mayor of Converse; a Republican, his term expires on December 31, 2020.[16]

Buffington is the second woman to hold the District 38 seat. The Democrat Virginia Shehee of Shreveport served in the slot from 1976 to 1980.

Buffington is a daughter of Caddo Parish Commissioner Jim Smith, also of Keithville.

Buffington is divorced from Jon Loyd Cheek (born December 1964) of Shreveport.[17] Her second husband, William Joseph "Joe" Buffington (born March 1961), is a Certified Public Accountant in Shreveport[18] and the municipal finance director for Bossier City.[19] The couple lives in Keithville.


  1. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-2012" (PDF). Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Sherri Cheek for Senate". Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  3. ^ Clark, Cloyce. "Cloyce Clark: New Conservative Leadership". Retrieved July 25, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Candidates Qualified in Statewide Elections". KEEL (AM). Retrieved September 11, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Senator Sherri Smith Cheek - District 38". Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Senator Sherri Smith Cheek". Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Louisiana primary election returns, October 4, 2003". Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Louisiana primary election returns, October 20, 2007". Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  9. ^ "John Andrew Prime, "Incumbent Senator Sherri Smith Cheek Faces Attorney Alan Seabaugh"". Shreveport Times, October 7, 2007. Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Senator Sherri Smith Cheek -- District 38". Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Senator Sherri Smith Cheek". Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Senator Sherri Smith Cheek". Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Louisiana primary election returns, October 22, 2011". Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  14. ^ ""The race is on officially", September 8, 2011". Retrieved September 9, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Results for Election Date: 5/3/2014". Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Elected officials: Sabine Parish". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved March 21, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Jon Cheek, December 1964". Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  18. ^ "William J. Buffington". Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  19. ^ Elliott Stonecipher (May 1, 2013). "Walker Place, Part 2". The Forum Newsweekly. Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
Louisiana Senate
Preceded by
Ron Bean
Louisiana State Senator for District 38 (Caddo and DeSoto parishes)

Sherri Smith Cheek Buffington

Succeeded by
John Milkovich