Don Cazayoux: Wikis

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Don Cazayoux

U.S. Representative Don Cazayoux

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th district
In office
May 3, 2008 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Richard Baker
Succeeded by Dr. William "Bill" Cassidy

Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
from the 18th district
In office
2000 – May 6, 2008
Preceded by Robert "Rob" Marionneaux, Jr.
Succeeded by Major Thibaut, Jr.

Born January 17, 1964 (1964-01-17) (age 45)
New Roads, La.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Cherie Cazayoux
Children Michael, Chavanne, and Katie Cazayoux
Residence New Roads, Louisiana Louisiana
Alma mater Louisiana State University, Georgetown University
Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Donald J. 'Don' Cazayoux, Jr. (pronounced /ˈkæʒuː/[1]; born January 17, 1964) is a former Democratic U.S. Representative from Louisiana's 6th congressional district.[2]

He won the special election held on May 3, 2008, to fill the seat vacated on February 2 by 21-year Republican incumbent Richard H. Baker. He defeated Republican nominee Louis E. "Woody" Jenkins and took his oath of office from Speaker Nancy Pelosi on May 6.[3] Cazayoux was defeated by a Republican candidate, State Senator Bill Cassidy, in the November 4 general election.

On May 19, 2009, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) formally recommended Cazayoux for appointment as U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana.[4]

Contents

Early life

Originally from New Roads, Cazayoux is Roman Catholic. He graduated from the Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee in 1982.[5] He earned his bachelor of arts degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. After finishing his studies, Cazayoux practiced law and then became a prosecutor for Pointe Coupee Parish. As an Assistant District Attorney under 18th Judicial District Attorney, Richard "Ricky" Ward, he never lost a jury trial.

Louisiana Legislature

Cazayoux was first elected to the state legislature in 1999. He represented District 18, a heavily Democratic district that includes his home in Pointe Coupee Parish as well as Iberville, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana parishes. In the legislature, he became one of the few freshmen ever appointed to the powerful Appropriations Committee. He also worked for passage of laws to assist law enforcement in cracking down on child sexual predators.

After his reelection in 2007, Cazayoux attempted to become Speaker of the state House, but the position went to Republican Jim Tucker of the New Orleans suburbs.

Congressional election

Cazayoux announced his candidacy for the 6th District shortly after Baker resigned. With the strong backing of the national party, he easily defeated fellow state representative Michael L. Jackson, who represents a portion of Baton Rouge, in the Democratic primary.

Cazayoux's Republican opponent in the special election was Louis E. "Woody" Jenkins, a newspaper publisher who represented part of Baton Rouge in the Louisiana House from 1972 to 2000, and had been narrowly defeated for election to the U.S. Senate in 1996. In the special election, Cazayoux received 49,702 votes (49.2 percent), to Jenkins' 46,741 (46.3 percent). Three minor candidates shared the remaining 4.52 percent of the ballots cast. Cazayoux clinched the seat with a nearly 5,000-vote margin in Jenkins' own East Baton Rouge Parish. Jenkins' greatest strength was in Livingston Parish, a heavily Republican suburb of Baton Rouge[6] The defeat marked Jenkins' fifth defeat for major office — U.S. Senate in 1978, 1980, and 1996, and the former position of Louisiana elections commissioner in 1999.

In his congressional bid, Cazayoux had the support of organized labor, including the United Steelworkers,[7] as well as many traditional Democratic constituency groups. Cazayoux ran several ads making sport of difficulties people may have pronouncing his Cajun last name. His first ad began with his daughters saying their father might have a hard time in the race because of it.[1] The National Republican Congressional Committee released an ad referring to him as "Don Tax You."[8]

Cazayoux is the first Democrat to represent the 6th since four-term incumbent John Rarick was defeated in the 1974 Democratic primary. The seat was won that fall by Republican Henson Moore, who held it for twelve years before giving way to Baker in 1987.

Cazayoux lost his attempt for a full term in November 2008 to State Senator Bill Cassidy, who took 48 percent of the vote to Cazayoux' 40 percent. Jackson, running as an independent, finished third. [6] Unofficial returns seemed to indicate that Jackson siphoned off many African-American votes that would have otherwise gone to Cazayoux; Jackson won 36,133 votes—far more than the 25,000-vote margin between Cassidy and Cazayoux. He was one of five incumbent House Democrats to be defeated in the 2008 congressional elections, along with Nancy Boyda (D-KS), William J. Jefferson (D-LA), Nick Lampson (D-TX), and Tim Mahoney (D-FL).

Cazayoux's 2008 campaign was endorsed by Democrats for Life of America.[9]

Politics

Cazayoux is considered a moderate-to-conservative Democrat, which is typical for most Louisiana Democrats outside New Orleans. He strongly opposes abortion and gun control.[10] The latter stance earned him an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association.[11] He also supports expanding SCHIP, and favors withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq. He calls himself "a John Breaux Democrat."[12]

Personal life

Cazayoux is a former president of the New Roads branch of the Lions Club (2002-2003). He and his wife, Cherie (married 1986), have three children, Michael, Chavanne, and Katie.[13] Cazayoux is a distant relative of former U.S. Representative Lindy Boggs of New Orleans.[3]

See also

References

External links

Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert "Rob" Marionneaux, Jr.
Lousiania State Representative, 18th District
2000–2008
Succeeded by
Major Thibaut, Jr.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard Baker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th congressional district

May 6, 2008–January 3, 2009
Succeeded by
Bill Cassidy
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