speakers of the Louisiana House

Table of Contents

List of speakers of the Louisiana House of Representatives

The Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives holds a pivotal role as the presiding officer of the lower house of the Louisiana State Legislature. Nominated traditionally by the Governor of Louisiana, the Speaker wields significant influence, overseeing sessions, adjudicating points of order, and making committee assignments, often in alignment with gubernatorial preferences. Acting as a key ally to the Governor, the Speaker functions as a crucial figure in advancing legislative agendas, negotiating bills, and leading the Governor’s supporters in the House. With control over the legislative flow and serving as an ex officio member of all House committees, the Speaker occupies a central position in the state’s governance, ranking sixth in the line of gubernatorial succession.

History

Pierre Bauchet St. Martin became the first speaker in 1812, marking the start of a political era in Louisiana. Initially, supporters of Henry Clay wielded influence, but by 1845, the Democratic Party took the reins until the Civil War. Reconstruction saw Republican dominance from 1865 to 1877, followed by a Democratic resurgence until 2010. During this period, the tradition of the Governor appointing the speaker emerged. Notably, in 2008, Governor Bobby Jindal broke a century-old trend by appointing a Republican speaker despite Democratic control. In 2016, Democrat John Bel Edwards’s assumption of the governorship saw a clash with the Republican-led House, which elected Taylor Barras over Edwards’s choice, Walt Leger III.

Term length

Inaugural

Formation

Succession

Appointer

Four years

Pierre Bauchet St. Martin

1812

6th

Louisiana House of Representatives

Incumbent
Phillip DeVillier
since January 8, 2024

Powers

The speaker assumes the role of presiding officer and highest-ranking representative in the Louisiana House of Representatives. They adjudicate points of order during sessions and typically oversee committee assignments, although the Governor often has a hand in this process. Generally aligned with the Governor, the speaker acts as their floor leader, playing a crucial role in advancing legislative agendas. They often take the lead in negotiating and pushing through legislation on behalf of the Governor. Additionally, the speaker leads the Governor’s supporters in the House, directs legislative flow, and holds ex officio membership in all House committees. In terms of gubernatorial succession, the speaker ranks sixth.

List of the Speakers

SpeakerTerms of OfficeParishParty
Pierre Bauchet St. Martin1812German CoastDemocratic-Republican
Stephen A. Hopkins1813AcadiaDemocratic-Republican
Magloire Guichard1814-1817OrleansDemocratic-Republican
David C. Ker1819–1820OrleansDemocratic-Republican
Armand Beauvais1820–1822Pointe CoupeeDemocratic-Republican
Andre B. Roman1822–1826St. JamesNational Republican
Octave LaBranche1827–1828St. CharlesJacksonian
Andre B. Roman1828–1830St. JamesNational Republican
Alexandre Mouton1831–1832LafayetteDemocratic
Alcée Louis la Branche1833–1837St. CharlesDemocratic
Joseph Marshall Walker1837–1838RapidesDemocratic
Guillaume Louis DeBuys1839–1841OrleansWhig
William C. C. Claiborne, II1842–1843OrleansWhig
Charles Derbigny1843–1844JeffersonWhig
Antoine Boudousquie1845St. John the BaptistWhig
David A. Randall1846AscensionDemocratic
Preston W. Farrar1847–1850OrleansWhig
E. Warren Moise1850PlaqueminesDemocratic
John Edward King1852St. LandryWhig
E. Warren Moise1853PlaqueminesDemocratic
John M. Sandidge1854–1855BossierDemocratic
William W. Pugh1856–1859AssumptionDemocratic
Charles H. Morrison1860OuachitaDemocratic
Adolphus Oliver (Confederate)1861–1863unknownDemocratic
Joseph Barton Elam (Confederate)1863–1864De SotoDemocratic
Simeon Belden (Union)1864–1865St. MartinRepublican
Duncan S. Cage1865–1867TerrebonneRepublican
Charles W. Lowell1868–1869CaddoRepublican
Mortimer Carr1870–1871OrleansRepublican
George W. Carter1871CameronRepublican
O. H. Brewster1872OuachitaRepublican
Charles W. Lowell1873–1874CaddoRepublican
Louis A. Wiltz1875OrleansDemocratic
Michael Hahn1875St. CharlesRepublican
E. D. Estilette1875–1876St. LandryDemocratic
Michael Hahn (Packard)1877St. CharlesRepublican
Louis Bush1877–1878OrleansDemocratic
John Conway Moncure1879–1880CaddoDemocratic
Robert N. Ogden1880–1884OrleansDemocratic
Henry W. Ogden1884–1888BossierDemocratic
Samuel P. Henry1888–1892CameronDemocratic
George Washington Bolton1892–1896RapidesDemocratic
Samuel P. Henry1896–1900CameronDemocratic
Jared Y. Sanders, Sr.1900–1904[1]St. MaryDemocratic
Robert H. Snyder1904–1906TensasDemocratic
Joseph W. Hyams1906–1908West Baton RougeDemocratic
Henry Garland Dupré1908–1910OrleansDemocratic
Lee Emmett Thomas1912–1916CaddoDemocratic
Hewitt Leonidas Bouanchaud1916–1920Pointe CoupeeDemocratic
R. F. Walker1920–1924East FelicianaDemocratic
J. Stuart Douglas1924–1926CaddoDemocratic
William Clark Hughes1926–1928BossierDemocratic
John B. Fournet1928–1932Jefferson DavisDemocratic
Allen J. Ellender1932–1936TerrebonneDemocratic
Lorris M. Wimberly1936–1936BienvilleDemocratic
Ralph Norman Bauer1940–1948St. MaryDemocratic
Morris Lottinger, Sr.1948–1950TerrebonneDemocratic
Lorris M. Wimberly1950–1952BienvilleDemocratic
Clarence C. “Taddy” Aycock1952–1956St. MaryDemocratic
Lorris M. Wimberly1956–1957BienvilleDemocratic
Robert Joseph “Bob” Angelle1957–1960St. MartinDemocratic
J. Thomas Jewell1960–1964Pointe CoupeeDemocratic
Vail M. Delony1964–1967East CarrollDemocratic
John S. Garrett1968–1972ClaiborneDemocratic
E. L. “Bubba” Henry1972–1980JacksonDemocratic
John J. Hainkel, Jr.1980–1984OrleansDemocratic
John A. Alario, Jr1984–1988JeffersonDemocratic
Jimmy N. Dimos1988–1992OuachitaDemocratic
John A. Alario, Jr1992–1996JeffersonDemocratic
Huntington Blair “Hunt” Downer, Jr.1996–2000TerrebonneDemocratic
Charles W. “Charlie” DeWitt, Jr.2000–2004RapidesDemocratic
Joe Reece Salter2004–2008SabineDemocratic
James Wayne “Jim” Tucker2008–2012JeffersonRepublican
Charles Edward “Chuck” Kleckley2012–2016CalcasieuRepublican
Taylor Francis Barras2016–2020IberiaRepublican
Clay Schexnayder2020–2024AscensionRepublican
Phillip DeVillier2024–St. LandryRepublican

List of Speakers Pro Tempore

Speaker pro temporeTerms of OfficeParishParty
Kenneth J. Leithman1972–1980JeffersonDemocratic
Frank P. Simoneaux1980–1982East Baton RougeDemocratic
Raymond Laborde1982–1984AvoyellesDemocratic
Joseph A. Delpit1984–1988East Baton RougeDemocratic
Huntington Blair “Hunt” Downer1988–1992TerrebonneDemocratic
Sherman Copelin1992–1996OrleansDemocratic
Peppi Bruneau1996–2004OrleansRepublican
Sharon Weston Broome2004–2005East Baton RougeDemocratic
Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb2005–2008East Baton RougeDemocratic
Karen Carter Peterson2008–2010OrleansDemocratic
Joel Craig Robideaux2010–2011LafayetteIndependent
Joel Craig Robideaux2011–2012LafayetteRepublican
Walter John “Walt” Leger, III2012–2020OrleansDemocratic
Tanner Magee2020–2024TerrebonneRepublican
Michael T. Johnson2024–RapidesRepublican

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