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Steve Scalise

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 1st district
Assumed office 
May 3, 2008
Preceded by Bobby Jindal

In office
January 14, 2008 – May 6, 2008[1]
Preceded by Jesse Kendrick "Ken" Hollis
Succeeded by Conrad Appel

In office
1996 – January 14, 2008
Preceded by Quentin Dastugue
Succeeded by Cameron Henry

Born October 6, 1965 (1965-10-06) (age 44)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jennifer Letulle Scalise (born 1975)
Children Madison Carol Scalise

Harrison Joseph Scalise

Residence Jefferson, Louisiana
Alma mater Louisiana State University
Occupation Systems analyst
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Congressman Steve Scalise

Stephen Joseph "Steve" Scalise (born October 6, 1965) is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Louisiana's 1st congressional district.[2][3] Previous to his Congressional service Scalise served in the Louisiana State Senate for five months in 2008 and the Louisiana House for the preceding twelve years. His congressional seat was vacated by Bobby Jindal, who was elected Governor of Louisiana. On November 4, 2008, Scalise handily defeated Democratic challenger Jim Harlan.[4]


Early life

Scalise graduated from the Catholic Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie in Jefferson Parish and earned a bachelor of science degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, with a major in computer programming and a minor in political science.

Louisiana Legislature

Scalise served three terms from District 82 in the Louisiana House before he was elected in the October 20, 2007, combined primary to the District 9 seat in the Louisiana State Senate. That position was vacated by the term-limited Ken Hollis of Metairie. Scalise received 19,154 votes (61 percent) in a three-way contest. Fellow Republican Polly Thomas polled 8,948 votes (29 percent). A Democrat, David Gereighty, polled 3,154 votes (10 percent) in the heavily Republican-oriented district. In the special election on November 4 to fill the remaining three and one-half years in Scalise's state Senate term, Conrad Appel defeated Polly Thomas, 21,853 (52.1 percent) to 20,065 (47.9 perecent). Thomas had also lost the race for the seat in 2007 to Scalise.[5]

Scalise was elected three times to the Louisiana House: 1995, 1999, and 2003. His legislative peers named him to the House Appropriations Committee as the representative of the First Congressional District. Scalise initially succeeded fellow Republican Representative Quentin D. Dastugue, who made an ill-fated bid for governor in the 1995 primary.

In the legislature, Scalise opposed the Stelly Plan, a proposal by Lake Charles Representative Vic Stelly to reduce certain state sales taxes on food for home consumption and utilities in exchange for higher state income taxes.

Congressional election


Special election, 2008

In 2004, Scalise announced that he would run for the U.S. House but thereafter deferred to the preference of party leaders and supported Jindal, who won the position vacated by the successful senatorial candidate, David Vitter.

In 2007, when Jindal was elected to the governorship of Louisiana, Scalise announced his intentions to seek the seat yet again. This time he received Republican party backing.

Scalise's strongest Republican primary opponent, state representative Tim Burns from Mandeville in St. Tammany Parish, accused Scalise of push polling, a practice in which a campaign contacts voters by telephone and asks probing questions which leave a negative impression of his opponent. Scalise defended his poll from criticism by Burns: "We were running a public opinion survey this week conducted by the largest Republican polling firm in the country, Public Opinion Strategies. . . . conducted with a sample of 300 people, and it shows Scalise at 57 percent, Burns at 26 percent and undecided at 17 percent The margin of error is 5.6 percent. We ran a fact-based public opinion survey, not a push poll."[6]

In the March 8 Republican primary, Scalise polled 16,799 votes (48 percent). He went on to win the runoff election on April 5 against Burns, who received 9,631 votes (28 percent) in the initial primary.[7].[7][8].

In the May 3 general election, Scalise received 33,867 votes (75.13 percent) to Democrat Gilda Reed's 10,142 ballots (22.5 percent). Two minor candidates polled the remaining 2.36 percent of the vote. Reed was a favorite of organized labor and the Democratic constituency groups. The First District has been Republican since 1977, when Bob Livingston won a special election.[9]

Scalise was sworn in on May 7, 2008.


In the regularly scheduled election, Scalise was reelected over Democrat Jim Harlan, 66 percent to 34 percent.


Scalise has been encouraging residents throughout Southeast Louisiana to provide feedback about the Corps of Engineers’ Category 5 proposal, titled Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration (LACPR) report.[1][2]

In a June 5, Times-Picayune Letter to the Editor, Anne Milling, founder of the Women of the Storm wrote, "Kudos to Rep. Steve Scalise, who led his congressional colleagues here last week for a first-hand glimpse of Louisiana's offshore oil and gas production and its critical importance to the nation." [3]

On being asked by the Times-Picayune to assign Democrat Barack Obama a letter grade for Obama's first 100 days as President, Scalise awarded the new president an L (for "liberal").[10]

Congressional career

Committee assignments

Jindal for President?

In June 2009 Scalise joined Dan Kyle, the former legisaltive auditor and the treasurer of the Louisiana GOP, as directors of a national presidential fund-raising effort promoting Governor Jindal. According to Kyle, the group hopes to raise $60 million to persuade Jindal to seek the 2012 party nomination.[11] Others on the committee include former State Representative Woody Jenkins. Former Republican State Senator Tom Schedler of Slidell, had his name removed from the group, not because he opposes Jindal but because such fund-raising activity could conflict with Schedler's role as first assistant to Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne.[11]

Personal life

He is a member of the Seventh Ward Senior Center and the American Italian Renaissance Foundation. He is married to the former Jennifer Letulle (born 1975). The couple has two children, Madison Carol Scalise (born March 17, 2007), and Harrison Joseph Scalise (born May 8, 2009).

See also


External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bobby Jindal
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 1st congressional district

May 3, 2008 – present


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