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The Republican Party of Louisiana is the U.S. state of Louisiana's organization of the national Republican Party. The current state chairman is Roger F. Villere, Jr., a businessman from Metairie in Jefferson Parish.

The party has shown in recent decades the resurgence characteristic of other southern Republican state parties. From the Reconstruction era to the early 1950s, no Republican won a single electoral vote in any Louisiana presidential election; however, the state went for Republican presidential candidate Dwight David Eisenhower in 1956, the first of nine Republican presidential victories in the state among the 14 presidential campaigns from 1956 to 2008 inclusive. Louisiana's U.S. House delegation has overall had a Republican tilt since the 1990s, and party membership has incrementally increased in both houses of the Louisiana legislature[1] as well as in other political offices around the state. Republicans have held the Louisiana governorship most of the time since election of David C. Treen to that office in 1979, no Republican having been elected governor prior to 1979 since William Pitt Kellogg during the Reconstruction era. Charlton Lyons had made the first serious Republican gubernatorial campaign in 1964 and drew a then record 37.5 percent of the general election vote.

Another major breakthrough occurred in 2004 when David Vitter, a U.S. representative, became Louisiana's first Republican to be elected United States Senator since the Reconstruction era. As of 2009 the Republican Party holds most of the statewide offices, besides governor Bobby Jindal to include secretary of state Jay Dardenne, state treasurer John N. Kennedy, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain, and insurance commissioner Jim Donelon. A milestone of sorts was achieved in 2009 when election of Republican former U.S. Representative Clyde C. Holloway to the Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC), which regulates utility companies, gave that body its first-ever Republican majority.

The Republican Party of Louisiana is represented by its State Central Committee, which is established in the Louisiana Election Code, essentially Title 18 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes (LRS).[2] LRS Title 18 also provides for the Parish Executive Committee within each civil parish (county). Both committees are elected by party members in public elections set by law. Although not naming the parties, the Louisiana Election Code describes them in terms of requirements to be counted among the "recognized political parties"; besides the Republican Party, the only other party which routinely meets these requirements is the Democratic Party. Within each civil parish a representative of each recognized party's Parish Executive Committee serves on the Parish Board of Election Supervisors.[3]

The State Central Committee attempts to coordinate the efforts of the Parish Executive Committees and many other organizations which comprise the modern Republican Party of Louisiana.

Notes

  1. ^ Republicans, as of 2009, have not been in the majority in either the Louisiana House or the Louisiana Senate since the Reconstruction era but have often secured important leadership posts despite the Democratic majorities. A notable example is John Hainkel, the only person in U.S. history to have served by election of his peers as Speaker of the House and as President of the Senate in any state legislature.
  2. ^ Louisiana Election Code (Title 18 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes).
  3. ^ A position occupied by Joseph Cao, for example, in Orleans Parish prior to his being elected to represent Louisiana's 2nd congressional district.

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