|Secretary of State of Louisiana|
November 22, 2010 – May 8, 2018
John Bel Edwards
|Preceded by||Jay Dardenne|
|Succeeded by||Kyle Ardoin|
|Member of the Louisiana Senate|
from the 11th district
|Preceded by||Gerry E. Hinton|
|Succeeded by||Jack Donahue|
|Member of the Slidell City Council|
from District F
|Succeeded by||Michael Molbert|
John Thomas Schedler
January 24, 1950
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Education||University of Louisiana at Lafayette (BS)|
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1971–1976|
|Unit||United States Naval Reserve|
Louisiana National Guard
John Thomas Schedler, known as Tom Schedler (born January 24, 1950), is a politician from suburban St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, USA, who served as the District 11 Louisiana state senator from 1996 to 2008, when he was term-limited after twelve years. Thereafter, he was named chief deputy to then Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, a former Senate colleague of Schedler's from Baton Rouge. When Dardenne became lieutenant governor-elect, Schedler began acting as secretary of state. Dardenne's elevation to lieutenant governor was delayed formally and officially to November 22, 2010, to obviate a statutory requirement to hold a special election to fill the position of secretary of state. Thus on November 22, Schedler became the official secretary of state.
Schedler narrowly won a full term as Secretary of State in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 22, 2011. He defeated Jim Tucker of Terrytown, the outgoing House Speaker, 449,370 (50.5 percent) to 440,872 (49.5 percent). Schedler carried only twenty-six of the sixty-four parishes, and his margin of victory could be attributed to his home parish of St. Tammany, which he won by greater than a two-to-one margin.
As documented below, Shedler won yet again in the state-wide race for the role of Secretary of State against Chris Tyson of Baton Rouge. Then, ultimately, his time in public service ended in disgrace - as a sexual predatory relationship with a subordinate staff member resulted in his resignation in 2018.
Education, military, occupation
A native of New Orleans, Schedler graduated in 1967 from De La Salle High School. In 1999, he was honored by De La Salle as one of the school's 125 outstanding graduates over the first half-century of the institution. In 1971, Schedler received his Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, then known as the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1971 to 1976 and the Louisiana National Guard. His business concerns have been in the fields of banking, real estate, and health-care management. In the middle 1990s, he was a hospital foundation director. From 1990 to 1996, he was the director of managed care services and business development at a hospital in St. Tammany Parish.
A member of the Republican State Central Committee, Schedler was a George W. Bush-committed delegate to the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was also chairman of the State Senate Republican delegation.
From 1984 to 1990, Schedler was chairman of the Slidell Board of Zoning and Adjustment. In 1995, he was the president of the St. Tammany Municipal Association. From 1990 to 1996, Schedler served on the Slidell City Council, having been vice president and then president of the body. In 1990, at the age of forty, he was named "Slidell Citizen of the Year". In 1991, he graduated from the civic program "Leadership Louisiana", sponsored by the interest group Council for a Better Louisiana. Schedler is a former president of Slidell Rotary International, having also been a Paul Harris Fellow, an honor named for the founder of the organization. He has been affiliated with the Slidell Chamber of Commerce and the Lions Club. He is married to the former Stephanie Gele (born March 3, 1950) of Lafayette, an administrator of hospice programs in the Greater New Orleans area. The Schedlers have three grown daughters. They attend St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Slidell. The Schedlers now reside in Mandeville in St. Tammany Parish.
In addition to his own St. Tammany Parish, Schedler's district included neighboring Tangipahoa Parish. Schedler served on the Health and Welfare, Judiciary C, Retirement, and Local and municipal Affairs committees. He is a former chairman of the Legislative Audit Advisory Council and the Louisiana Commission on Mental Health. He was also among the members of the select committee which handled legislative oversight of the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission.
In 1999, Schedler was twice named "Legislator of the Month" by the Louisiana Municipal Association and received the Outstanding Legislator Award from the Victims and Citizens Against Crime. He was named "Legislator of the Year" by both the Louisiana Hospital Association and the Metro Hospital Council of New Orleans. He also received the Fred Henderson Memorial Award from the Louisiana Chapter of the National Association of Mental Illness. In 2000, the Alliance for Good Government, the President's Committee on Mental Retardation, the Louisiana Hospital Association, and the Louisiana Association for Mental Health named him "Legislator of the Year". In 2001, Schedler received the Franklin Smith Award from the Association for Retarded Citizens of Louisiana for his work with children with mental disabilities.
In 2002, Schedler was named "Legislator of the Year" by the Rural Hospital Coalition and the Louisiana. School Counselor Association. He was also honored by the Rural Health Association and, again, the Louisiana Municipal Association. In 2003, he was named "Legislator of the Year" by the Black Bag Medical Society for his work in health care policy and workforce issues
Schedler and then State Representative and later U.S. Senator David Vitter co-authored the repeal of the Louisiana inheritance tax, which took effect in July 2004. He authored or co-authored legislation in the areas of tort reform, ethics, and health care. In 1997 and 2000, he attempted to call a state constitutional convention to address the Louisiana tax code. He wrote legislation that generated approximately $1 billion of additional Medicaid funds for the elderly and disabled, all of which were placed in trust. After thirteen failed attempt, he obtained passage of the Preferred Drug Bill, estimated to save Medicaid $60 to $100 million per year in Louisiana. In 2003, Schedler led the passage of the first major reform bill dealing with the state charity hospital system, which dates to the era of Governor Huey P. Long, Jr.
Gerry E. Hinton, a chiropractor and a three-term Republican state senator from Slidell, did not seek reelection in nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 21, 1995. Schedler and nine other candidates hence entered the race. Schedler finished second and entered the Louisiana general election with Pat Brister, later the state chairman of the Louisiana GOP. He received 6,122 (16.72 percent) to her 7,691 (21 percent). A third candidate, Republican Alvin D. Singletary (born 1942), Schedler's fellow Slidell city council member, ran third, having trailed Schedler by only seven votes, 6,155 (16.7 percent). Four other Republicans, two Democrats, and an unaffiliated contender, polled the remaining 46 percent of the primary ballots. In the second balloting on November 18, Schedler won 23,354 (56.6 percent) to Brister's 17,876 (43.4 percent). Schedler was unopposed in the 1999 primary. On October 4, 2003, he convincingly defeated a fellow Republican, Bruce S. Authement of Covington, 22,366 votes (65.2 percent) to 11,920 (34.8 percent).
Schedler held the single-member District F seat on the Slidell City Council from June 1990 to January 1996. On March 26, 1994, he was reelected to the city council in a primary with fellow Republican Mark D. Fridge (born 1957), 632 to 476. He resigned from the council in 1995 to become state senator. In a runoff election on April 20, 1996, Michael J. Molbert (born 1945), with 552 votes (52 percent) defeated Mark Fridge, who polled 509 ballots (48 percent) to finish Schedler's second city council term. Sam Caruso, mayor of Slidell during Schedler's service in the Senate cited Schedler as being "noticeably more effective than most people" and "willing and able to swim against the tide."
As his successor, Schedler endorsed a fellow Republican, Jack Donahue, a Mandeville contractor who easily won the Senate seat in the 2007 primary election over the term-limited more conservative Republican State Representative Pete Schneider of Slidell.
In June 2009, Schedler was listed as a directors of a national presidential fund-raising effort promoting Governor Bobby Jindal. According to the campaign treasurer, Dan Kyle, former Louisiana legislative auditor, the group had sought to raise $60 million to persuade Jindal to seek the 2012 Republican nomination. Others on the committee are former State Representative Woody Jenkins and U.S. Representative Steve Scalise. Schedler had his name removed from the group, not because he opposes Jindal but because such fund-raising activity could conflict with his role as Dardenne's deputy. Jindal did not run in 2012 but made a bid for president in the 2016 campaign.
|Louisiana State Senate 11th District Primary Election, 1995|
|Republican||Patricia "Pat" Brister||7,691||21|
|Louisiana State Senate 11th District Runoff Election, 1995|
|Republican||Patricia "Pat" Brister||17,876||43|
|Louisiana State Senate 11th District Primary Election, 1999|
|Republican||"Tom" Schedler (inc.)||n/a||100|
|Louisiana State Senate 11th District Primary Election, 2003|
|Republican||"Tom" Schedler (inc.)||22,366||65|
|Louisiana Secretary of State Primary Election, 2011|
|Republican||"Tom" Schedler (inc.)||449,616||50|
|Louisiana Secretary of State Primary Election, 2015|
|Republican||"Tom" Schedler (inc.)||649,540||62|
Louisiana secretary of state
Schedler faced opposition in the race for secretary of state from fellow Republican Jim Tucker of Terrytown, the outgoing Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives. Caroline Fayard had also been expected to seek the position but did not file. Departing State Representative Walker Hines of New Orleans announced that he too would run for secretary of state but then withdrew his candidacy.
Schedler said that it has been difficult to raise money for the race because the position of secretary of state is "one that's particularly difficult to get people excited about."
In his bid for a second full term as secretary of state in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 24, 2015, Schedler defeated Chris Tyson, an African-American Democrat from Baton Rouge, 649,153 (62.2 percent) to 394,153 (37.8 percent).
In July 2017, Schedler cited "privacy" concerns (Social Security numbers, dates of birth, mother's maiden names, and party registrations, the latter of which constitute public information) for his refusal to turn over Louisiana voter registration information to U.S. President Donald Trump's commission investigating potential fraud in the 2016 presidential election. Schedler called the request politically motivated and a "federal intrusion and overreach."
Jeffrey D. Sadow, a conservative activist who is an associate political science professor at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, questions why Schedler maintains faith in the integrity of elections held outside his state because Scedler's role as chief election officer applies only in Louisiana. Sadow suggested that Schedler considers any challenge to election integrity, no matter how potentially valid, as ultimately a loss of faith in the elections officials. He urged Schedler to cooperate with the federal voter integrity probe because "ensuring untainted elections is too important to politicize."
Dispute with Lieutenant Governor Nungesser
at a minimum uninformed. [He] quite possibly [made] an insult to not only my office, but also our hard-working clerks of court and registrars of voters who are our trusted partners for every election.
Lieutenant Governor Nungesser implied that voters can show up by the busload at any early voting site, even if they are not registered, sign a sheet of paper and have their vote count. But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth, and in practice, his claim is impossible to execute. ...
If [the person is] not a registered voter, the process for voting on a machine does not move forward. Louisiana does allow for provisional voting in federal elections, which allows voters to cast a conditional paper ballot if questions arise as to their eligibility. But make no mistake, by law, these votes are not counted until the voter is proven to be eligible, not before." 
Nungesser said his comments were taken out of context because he was referring to a local election in Plaquemines Parish in 2005. He said that he admires how Schedler handles the office of secretary of state.
Schedler announced his resignation in May 2018 saying "I leave the office with a heavy heart knowing I have disappointed the people in my life who care for me the most." He faced published allegations, including suggestive emails and cards, that he had sexually harassed his secretary for years. His former secretary had filed a lawsuit against him in February 2018 and both Louisiana Senators called for his resignation. Current First Assistant to the Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, a Republican, is the interim secretary and a candidate to complete Schedler's term in the special election scheduled for November 6, 2018.
Ultimately, the harassment case was settled with the payment of $149,075 to Schedler's secretary by the public taxpayers and $18,425 paid directly by Schedler. Lawyers representing both the state and Schedler filed a joint motion to dismiss the case because of the "amicable" settlement.
- New Orleans Times-Picayune, December 6, 2007
- Anderson, Ed (November 3, 2010). "Dardenne tops Fayard in lieutenant governor race: He rolls up big victory after intense campaign". The Times-Picayune (Metro Edition). p. A14.
- Anderson, Ed (November 4, 2010). "Dardenne will explore tightening belt at new office: Positions could be merged, slashed". The Times-Picayune. p. A3. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
- "Louisiana primary election returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. October 22, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
- "Senate District 11". enlou.com. Retrieved November 4, 2009.[dead link]
- "Biography of Senator John T. "Tom" Schedler"". senate.legis.state.la.us. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
- "Our Campaigns: Candidate David Vitter". ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved November 7, 2009.
- "Senate Resolution No. 156". legis.state.la.us. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2009.
- "Estate Taxes by State: Does Louisiana Have an Estate Tax?". wills.about.com. Retrieved November 7, 2009.
- "Louisiana election returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. October 21, 1995. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
- "Louisiana election returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. October 4, 2003. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
- "Louisiana election returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. March 26, 1994. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
- "Louisiana election returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. April 20, 1996. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
- Sam Caruso cited in this source: Thibodeaux, Ron (2011-01-16). "Schedler hits stride in Baton Rouge". Times-Picayune (Metro). p. B5. Retrieved 2011-01-16.
- "Jack Donahue for Senate". senatorjackdonahue.com. Retrieved November 5, 2009.
- "Louisiana election returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. October 20, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
- Michelle Millhollon, "Official pulls out of Jindal group", The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, June 16, 2009
- "Term-limited Tucker seeking Secretary of State". theind.com. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- "Walter Hines". walkerhines.com. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
- "Many La. incumbents get a free pass, September 9, 2011". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. Retrieved September 11, 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "Candidates Qualified in Statewide Elections". KEEL (AM). Retrieved September 11, 2015.
- "Results for Election Date: 10/24/2015". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
- "Louisiana rejects Trump commission request for voter data". The Alexandria Town Talk, citing story from the Lafayette Daily Advertiser. July 3, 2017. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- Jeffrey D. Sadow (July 22, 2017). "Louisiana officials should avoid 'playing politics' and cooperate with fraud probe". Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
- Bonnie Bolden (July 12, 2016). "Schedler: Nungesser got it wrong". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
- "Louisiana secretary of state resigns amid sexual harassment allegations". The Hill. May 1, 2018. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- Robb Hays (October 11, 2018). "$167,500 settles Schedler harassment case". Fox News. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
| Member of the Slidell City Council
from District F
|Louisiana State Senate|
| Member of the Louisiana Senate
for the 11th district
| Secretary of State of Louisiana