LABI PAC’s Endorse Legislative and BESE Candidates
Baton Rouge, La. – The four political action committees of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) today announced their first round of endorsements for the 2015 fall elections.
“Since NORTHPAC was created our members have strived to ensure the business community supports candidates who understand our needs when critical legislation is being considered, and impactful decisions are being made, “said LABI NORTHPAC Chairman Terry Baugh. “Consistent support from these five house members and five senate members is the reason we are declaring our endorsement of them today. “
“Since our inception, EASTPAC’s top priority is to ensure those we elect to political office understand the business community’s needs when policy decisions are being made, “said LABI EASTPAC Chairman Milton Graugnard. “That’s why we are announcing our support for these eight house members and one senator today. We invite the broader business community to come together to support these pro-growth candidates in their re-election campaigns.”
“Since its formation more than 25 years ago, SOUTHPAC has helped to elect state and local candidates who support policies for growth and economic development in Louisiana,” Steve Stumpf, chair of SOUTHPAC, said. “For this reason, we will support 14 representatives and five senators in 2015. This is a strong group of incumbents, and we encourage the broader business community to rally around these proven leaders so we can continue working with them in the future.”
“Our PAC members are committed to ensuring elected leaders continue to prioritize growth and prosperity, said WESTPAC Chairman Charles Trent. “Today we are proud to announce our support for these eight house and five senate members. I encourage the business community to ban together and support these and other pro-growth candidates in the fall elections.”
“We encourage the broader business community to support these legislators in their bids for re-election and to stay tuned for additional recommendations, “said PAC executive director Brian Landry. “This is a critical and dynamic election cycle. As the political landscape continues to develop in the weeks and months ahead, we will be issuing additional endorsements.”
The regional area committees of each PAC convened meetings in July to consider the 2015 candidates’ qualifications and make endorsement recommendations to the respective PAC boards.
Factors taken into consideration during the deliberation process include the lawmakers rating on LABI’s 2012-2015 cumulative scorecard as well as elements such as a legislator’s commitment to work with the business community, their communication style, work ethic, actions taken in committee and willingness to listen to concerns expressed by employers in their district.
All of these factors contributed to the area committee’s endorsement of the following incumbent legislators:
- Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Bossier City, District 08)
- Rep. James “Jim” Morris (R-Oil City, District 01)
- Sen. Barrow Peacock (R-Bossier City, District 37)
- Rep. Steve E. Pylant (R-Winnsboro, District 20)
- Sen. Neil Riser (R-Columbia, District 32)
- Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R-Shreveport, District 05)
- Sen. Gregory Tarver (D-Shreveport, District 39)
- Sen. Francis Thompson (D-Delhi, District 34)
- Sen. Mike Walsworth (R-West Monroe, District 33)
- Rep. Patrick C. Williams (D-Shreveport, District 04)
- Rep. John A. Berthelot (R-Gonzales, District 88)
- Rep. Chris Broadwater(R-Hammond, District 86)
- Rep. Stephen F. Carter (R-Baton Rouge, District 68)
- Rep. Valarie Hodges (R-Denham Springs, District 64)
- Rep. Barry Ivey (R-Baton Rouge, District 65)
- Rep. Stephen Pugh (R-Ponchatoula, District 73)
- Rep. Clay Schexnayder (R-Sorrento, District 81)
- Rep. Major Thibaut (D-New Roads, District 18)
- Sen. Mack “Bodi White (R-Baton Rouge, District 06)
In addition to the list above, EASTPAC is excited to announce the endorsement of Representative Dalton Honore (D-Baton Rouge) in his bid for the Senate District 15 seat that will be vacated by term-limited Senator Sharon Weston Broome. Representative Honore has been a great leader and communicator for his house district since winning a special election in 2010. His honesty and work ethic will be a valuable asset for Senate District 15.
In BESE District 8, EASTPAC has also endorsed candidate Jada Lewis to challenge the incumbent Carolyn Hill in the fall elections. Lewis’ background and involvement in both K-12 schools and in Louisiana’s higher education system make her an excellent choice for BESE. Lewis is an engineering graduate from Louisiana State University (LSU) and passionately works to develop STEM instruction in the public school system. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the LSU AP Tureaud Alumni Association and the Louisiana STEM Girls Collaborative.
- Rep. Neil Abramson (D-New Orleans, District 98)
- Sen. John Alario (R-Westwego, District 08)
- Sen. Bret Allain (R-Franklin, District 21)
- Sen. Conrad Appel (R-Metairie, District 09)
- Rep. Gregory Cromer (R-Slidell, District 90)
- Sen. Jack Donahue (R-Mandeville, District 11)
- Rep. Raymond Garafalo (R-Chalmette, District 103)
- Rep. Cameron Henry (R-Metairie, District 82)
- Rep. Paul Hollis (R-Mandeville, District 104)
- Rep. Sam Jones (D-Franklin, District 50)
- Rep. Christopher J. Leopold, (R-Belle Chase, District 105)
- Rep. Joseph P. Lopinto, III (R-Metairie, District 80)
- Rep. Nick Lorusso (R-New Orleans, District 94)
- Sen. Danny Martiny (R-Metairie, District 10)
- Rep. Kevin Pearson (R-Slidell, District 76)
- Rep. John Schroder, Sr. (R- Covington, District 77)
- Rep. Scott Simon (R-Abita Springs, District 74)
- Rep. Julie Stokes (R-Metairie, District 79)
- Rep. Kirk Talbot (R-River Ridge, District 78)
In addition to these legislative elections, SOUTHPAC has endorsed two BESE members in their bid for re-election. District 1 BESE member Jim Garvey and District 2 BESE member Kira Orange Jones have gained SOUTHPAC’s endorsement.
- Rep. Taylor F. Barras (R-New Iberia, District 48)
- Rep. Stuart J. Bishop (R-Lafayette, District 43)
- Sen. Patrick “Page” Cortez (R-Lafayette, District 23)
- Rep. Michael E. Danahay (D-Sulphur, District 33)
- Rep. John E. Guinn (R-Jennings, District 37)
- Rep. Bob Hensgens (R-Abbeville, District 47)
- Rep. Mike Huval (R-Breaux Bridge, District 46)
- Sen. Ronnie Johns (R-Lake Charles, District 27)
- Rep. Nancy Landry (R-Lafayette, District 31)
- Sen. Gerald Long (R-Winnfield, District 31)
- Rep. Blake Miguez (R- New Iberia, District 49)
- Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish (R-Jennings, District 25)
- Sen. John R. Smith (R- Leesville, District 30)
In addition to these legislative elections, WESTPAC is excited to announce a BESE endorsement and the endorsement of two legislative candidates who will challenge two incumbents this fall.
WESTPAC has endorsed Biscuit Smith (R-Longville) to challenge Representative Dorothy Sue Hill (House District 32) in the fall elections. Smith was recruited by WESTPAC to challenge Hill. The members believe Smith’s background as a small business owner and manufacturer will be an asset to the legislature. “I’m hoping to bring my experiences of running a business, managing a budget and serving my community as police juror to the state capitol. I know the state faces some serious challenges, but I believe my background has prepared me for those challenges,” said Smith.
WESTPAC has endorsed Julie Emerson (R-Carencro) to challenge Representative Stephen Ortego (House District 39) in the northern Lafayette area. Emerson owns her own communications company and is a resident of Carencro. WESTPAC members believe Emerson’s business background and communication skills will be critical for the district and in Baton Rouge. “I am honored to have WESTPAC’s endorsement and the support of the business owners and community standard bearers that they represent,” said Julie Emerson. “I look forward to working with them to make sure that Louisiana is a great place for employers to create jobs for our citizens.”
BESE member Holly Boffy of District 7 has been endorsed by WESTPAC as well as LABI’s three other affiliated PACs – SOUTHPAC, EASTPAC and NORTHPAC. Boffy has been a champion for educational progress since elected to BESE in 2011. Holly is the 2010 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year, a 2011 Women Who Mean Business Honoree, and is a National Board Certified Teacher.
NORTHPAC, EASTPAC, SOUTHPAC, and WESTPAC are non-partisan political action committees working to recruit and support candidates who support the free enterprise market with as little government interference as possible.