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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dan Claitor

Member of the Louisiana Senate
from the 16th district
Assumed office 
April 2009
Preceded by Bill Cassidy

Born 1961
Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sharmaine Leblanc Claitor
Children Sam and James Claitor
Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Daniel Albert Claitor (born 1961),[1] known as Dan Claitor, is a Baton Rouge attorney and a Republican member of the Louisiana State Senate. He defeated fellow Republican Lee Domingue, a Baton Rouge businessman, in a special election held on April 4, 2009, for the District 16 seat vacated by Republican U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy. Prior to Cassidy's tenure, the seat was held by Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, another Baton Rouge Republican. Claitor received 11,713 votes (66 percent) to Domingue's 6,114 (34 percent).[2]


Early years, education, and family

Claitor was born and reared within the boundaries of his Baton Rouge senatorial district. His family operates Claitor's Bookstore, which has published general works distinct to Louisiana and the memoirs of numerous Louisiana politicians, such as William J. "Bill" Dodd, former lieutenant governor and state education superintendent. Claitor's formal schooling began at the age of three in the preschool of the Department of Home Economics at Louisiana State University. He graduated in 1979 from Robert E. Lee High School and then returned to LSU to complete in 1983 a bachelor of science degree in finance. According to his website, he considers the progress of LSU crucial to the retention and recruitment of business in the Baton Rouge metropolitan area. As a youth, Claitor drove delivery trucks and worked the presses and bindery operations at Claitor's, for which he is still its legal counsel.[3]

Claitor obtained his law degree from Loyola University New Orleans. In 1987, Claitor was named as an assistant district attorney at the annual salary of $18,951 for the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office, where he claimed a good record in fighting crime. In 2008, in his first political race, Claitor lost badly in a bid for District Attorney of the 19th District (East Baton Rouge Parish).[4] Claitor polled 26,880 votes (26 percent) in the district attorney's race to 76,890 ballots (74 percent) for the Democrat Hillar Moore.[5]

Claitor entered private practice in Baton Rouge in 1990. He and his wife, the former Sharmaine Leblanc (born 1961), have two sons, Sam and James Claitor. They are Roman Catholic.[3]

2009 special election

In the first round of special election balloting (not an actual primary but sometimes referred to as such by the media) held on March 7, a third candidate, Republican health-care consultant Laurinda Lege Calongne (born ca. 1964), polled 4,511 votes (27 percent) to Claitor's 6,509 votes (39 percent) and Domingue's 5,760 votes (34 percent), according to official returns from all 103 precincts.[6]. Colongne then threw her backing to Claitor.[7] Despite heavy spending, much of it from his own sources, Domingue scored no inroads in the second race. His campaign had spent $429,709, or nearly three-fourths of its funds, as of March 15, the last day that spending had to be reported to the office of the Louisiana secretary of state. Claitor spent $154,825.[8]

One of the issues in the campaign centered on Dominigue's having missed casting his ballot in nine of the last twenty elections in East Baton Rouge Parish, whereas Claitor had voted in all of the past thirty such contests.[9]


Jindal's role

Governor Bobby Jindal actively supported Domingue, whose family had donated some $118,500 to Jindal's previous campaigns and transition committees. Jindal's endorsement of Dominigue was his first in a legislative race since he became governor in January 2008. Jindal had earlier indicated that he would not endorse candidates in legislative or statewide elections, but he did support State Treasurer John Neely Kennedy's unsuccessful Republican challenge to Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu on November 4, 2008.[10]

He did not openly support Republican former U.S. Representative Clyde C. Holloway, who emerged as the frontrunner and winner following the withdrawal of the opposing candidate in the special election held on April 4 for the District 4 seat on the regulatory Louisiana Public Service Commission.[11]

Kirby Goidel, an LSU political analyst, interpreted the senatorial results as "baffling" and a “loss” for Jindal. “He’s irritated some people in the community, and legislators are thinking he [Jindal] could not win in a Republican race. You had a Republican-leaning district, a Republican race and not carrying that after you endorse. I don’t think there’s much ambiguity."[10]

Claitor as senator

Senator Claitor calls himself a "constructive conservative" and "a team player with an independent approach".[3] Jindal met with Claitor three days after the election at a reception for State Senate President Joel Chaisson, II, a Democrat from Destrehan, and promised to work with the new senator. He invited Claitor to the governor's office to discuss upcoming legislative matters. Claitor's primary interest in the senate will be as advocate for LSU-related issues.[12]


  1. ^ People Search, Background Check; Claitor was born between May and October 1961.
  2. ^ "Louisiana Secretary of State, Official Election Results, April 4, 2009". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved April 18, 2009.  
  3. ^ a b c "Claitor for Louisiana Senate District 16". Retrieved April 18, 2009.  
  4. ^ "Joe Gyan, Jr., "DA foes experienced in law: Republican Dan Claitor, Democrat Hillar Moore vying for post"". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved April 18, 2009.  
  5. ^ "Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Results for District Attorney, 19th Judicial District Court, October 4, 2008". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved April 18, 2009.  
  6. ^ "Louisiana Secretary of State, Official Election Results, March 7, 2009". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved April 18, 2009.  
  7. ^ "Marsha Shuler, "Calongne endorses Claitor in runoff"". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved April 18, 2009.  
  8. ^ "Marsha Shuler, "It's Claitor!: Dominigue gains only 34 percent of the vote"". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved April 18, 2009.  
  9. ^ ""A Look at the Candidates' Voting Record"". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved April 18, 2009.  
  10. ^ a b "Marsha Shuler, "Claitor win called Jindal's loss"". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved April 18, 2009.  
  11. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, April 1, 2009
  12. ^ ""Politics for April 12, 2009"". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved April 18, 2009.  

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