Steve Pylant

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Steven Everett Pylant Sr.
Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
from the 20 district
Assumed office
January 2012
Preceded by Noble Ellington
Sheriff of Franklin Parish, Louisiana
In office
Preceded by Eugene Parker
Succeeded by Kevin Wayne Cobb
Personal details
Born (1954-11-25) November 25, 1954 (age 62)
Franklin Parish, Louisiana
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Rhonda Pylant
Children Steven E. Pylant, Jr.
Residence Franklin Parish
near Delhi
Louisiana, USA
Alma mater

Winnsboro High School

University of Louisiana at Monroe
Occupation Law enforcement officer

Steven Everett Pylant Sr. (born November 25, 1954) is a former sheriff of Franklin Parish, Louisiana, who is currently serving his second term as a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 20, which includes all or portions of Franklin, Caldwell, Catahoula, La Salle, and Tensas parishes in the northeastern section of his state.


A native of Franklin Parish, Pylant graduated from Winnsboro High School in the parish seat of Winnsboro and attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe.[1] Pylant and his wife, Rhonda, reside in Franklin Parish near Delhi, a town in Richland Parish, and have a Delhi mailing address. Their son is Steven Pylant, Jr.

Political career[edit]

With a dozen years of law-enforcement experience, Pylant was elected as Franklin Parish sheriff in the nonpartisan blanket primary held in 1995 to succeed the Democrat Eugene Parker. Pylant polled 5,784 votes (66.6 percent) to defeat three opponents, including the perennial candidate, L. D. "None of the Above" Knox of Winnsboro.[2] When Pylant became sheriff, Franklin Parish still owed $8 million for its detention center, which had been completed in 1992. When Pylant vacated the sheriff's office, the department expected to have $7 million in assets. In his announcement statement for state representative, Pylant said:

We were able to give $1.5 million back to the taxpayers in the form of a half-cent sales tax and a 9.4 mil property tax. We expanded the jail at no cost to the taxpayer and brought fiscal stability to the sheriff’s department to secure its future in Franklin Parish. {We took] a hard look at how the money is spent and how we were able to increase our revenue; there are some lessons there that I think could be taken to Baton Rouge and done on a larger scale.[3]

Pylant was succeeded as sheriff by his chief deputy, fellow Republican Kevin Wayne Cobb (born 1970) of Winnsboro, who defeated the Democrat Emmitt Coleman, 5,860 votes (80.8 percent) to 1,391 (19.2 percent).[4]

In the primary for state representative held on October 22, 2011, Pylant, with 9,119 votes (56.3 percent), defeated the Democrat Cleveland Webb "Cleve" Womack (born March 1953)[5] of Jonesville in Catahoula Parish, who trailed with 7,066 ballots (43.7 percent). To cement his victory margin, Pylant received 71 percent of the vote in his own Franklin Parish.[6] Pylant succeeded the Democrat-turned-Republican Noble Ellington of Winnsboro, who did not seek re-election. Pylant carried the backing of Governor Bobby Jindal, who was handily elected to a second term.[7] Running as a Democrat in 2007, Ellington himself had also defeated Womack. At that time the district did not include any part of LaSalle Parish.[8]

Pylant is assigned to three House committees, (1) Administration of Criminal Justice, (2) Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development, and (3) Transportation, Highways, and Public Works.[1] The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry rates Pylant 78 percent in the 2013 legislative session but 90 percent for 2012-2013 combined.[9]

In 2013, Pylant was one of only two members to vote against a bill to give special consideration to veterans of the armed forces who are arrested or convicted of a crime: "I support veterans 110 percent, but when someone violates the law we should be fair and impartial, no matter who they are. Everyone has problems ... I don't think it's fair to be more lenient on some than others because of their military background."[10]

Pylant's legislative ratings have ranged from 78 to 90 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 from 100 and 90 percent, respectively. In 2013 and 2014, he was rated 75 and 100 percent by Louisiana Right to Life. In 2013 and 2014, the Louisiana Association of Educators rated him 0 and 8 percent, respectively.[11]

In 2014, Pylant co-sponsored the requirement that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges near their clinics; the bill was approved by the full House, 88-5. He did not vote on the extension of time for implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative nor on the prohibition of the transportation of dogs in the beds of pick-up trucks while traveling on interstate highways. He opposed the requirement that companies give notice when they engage in hydraulic fracking. He voted against the repeal of the anti-sodomy laws. He was one of only twelve House members to vote against the establishment of surrogacy contracts though he had initially co-sponsored the measure. He voted against reducing the penalties for the possession of marijuana. He did not vote on the issue of lifetime concealed carry gun permits but co-sponsored the right of concealed carry in restaurants that sell alcoholic beverages. He co-sponsored making information about permit holders a matter of public record. He voted in 2013 for an increase in judicial pay but opposed the removal of the mandatory retirement age for judges.[12]

In 2012, Pylant voted to prohibit the use of telephones while driving. He opposed tax incentives for attracting a National Basketball Association team to Louisiana but supported state income tax deductions for individuals who contribute to scholarship funds. He voted against reducing the number of hours that polling locations remain open; Louisiana has traditionally had 14-hour polling days. He supported the requirement for drug testing of welfare recipients, which passed the House, 65 to 26. He voted to amend the state teacher tenure law.[12]

In the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 24, 2015, Pylant won his second term in the House against another challenge from Cleve Womack, who switched his registration from Democrat to Republican.[13] Pylant polled 8,610 votes (61.1 percent) to Womack's 5,489 (38.9 percent).[14]

In March 2016, Pylant opposed the House bipartisan majority for a one-cent increase in the state sales tax. State representatives voted 76 to 28 for the tax hike, a part of the revenue-raising measures pushed by new Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.[15] A House and Senate conference committee subsequently trimmed the five years for the duration of the tax to expire instead after twenty-seven months, effective from April 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018.

In April 2016, Pylant announced in a legislative committee meeting that because of legal costs involved he no longer supports capital punishment. Since 2000, Louisiana has carried out only three executions, the most recent in 2010, when the convict declined to pursue an appeal. The state spends $10 million a year on capital defense, with another $23 million for local indigent defender boards. Many of those offices have laid off staff and declined new cases because of financial issues.[16]

Notice: Another Steve Pylant, Steve F. Pylant, is the District 5 Democratic member of the Union Parish Police Jury from Farmerville.[17] A candidate in the October 24 primary, this Steve Pylant faces competition from a "No Party" opponent, Derek S. Kennedy of Downsville.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Steven E. Pylant". Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Louisiana primary election returns, October 21, 1995". Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Political announcement: Steve Pylant, State Representative, District 20". Richland Today. Retrieved May 14, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Franklin Parish election returns, October 22, 2011". Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Cleveland Womack, March 1953". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved September 12, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Louisiana primary election returns, October 22, 2011". Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Jindal weighs in on Oct. 22 election". Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Louisiana general election returns, November 17, 2007". Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Steve E. Pylant". Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Vicki Adams, "Pylant votes against special treatment", June 5, 2013". Franklin Sun, Winnsboro, Louisiana. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Steven E. Pylant's Ratings and Endorsements". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved May 13, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Steven E. Pylant's Voting Records". Project Vote Smart. May 12, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "See who has already won election". The Monroe News-Star. September 11, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Results for Election Date: 10/24/2015". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  15. ^ "State House of Representatives Vote to Increase Sales Tax". KEEL. February 25, 2016. Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
  16. ^ James Gill (April 13, 2016). "GOP ex-sheriff changes lifelong view, questions death penalty". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved April 16, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Union Parish officials". Retrieved March 16, 2015. 
Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Noble Ellington
Louisiana State Representative for District 20 (Caldwell, Catahoula, LaSalle, Franklin, and Tensas parishes)

Steven Everett Pylant, Sr.
2012 –

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Eugene Parker
Sheriff of Franklin Parish, Louisiana

Steven Everett Pylant, Sr.

Succeeded by
Kevin Wayne Cobb