Introducing the legislative class of 2024


Sometimes I wish you all knew what I do about local and state government. The only thing keeping that from happening, though, is me getting you caught up. Over the last year (or more), I’ve been trying to keep up with all of the new faces who were running for office. While I haven’t met them all, I have met quite a few that we now find in the legislature.

By my count, there are thirty-four (34) new representatives, accounting for nearly a third (1/3) of that chamber’s 105 members. There has already been one special session, with another just getting started. After that, we’ll have a regular session in March. Here in our office, we’ve even started reading pre-filed bills. A few were so impressive, that their author’s scorecard received an upgrade. We’ll continue doing videos and articles on new bills as they trickle in. For now, though I thought it’d be a good time to let you know who’s new and what we know about them.

Of interest, new members who appear on the Citizens for a New Louisiana legislative scorecard will usually have a starting score of five (5) or six (6). That doesn’t mean they’re bad. It just means that they’re new. Scores are likely to shift dramatically after the first regular session adjourns, sine die.

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A few names with a history to get us started

Josh CarlsonJosh Carlson is a rare exception to the “starts at a six (6)” rule. As a former Lafayette Parish Councilman he carries over his previous score of nine (9). Josh is known for being extremely well-prepared for meetings. He’s so prepared that the library nuts thought he must be violating open meeting rules and sued him! Their attorney, the “Hot Poker of Justice,” failed miserably to prove any of their wild (and baseless) conspiracy theories. After Josh’s victory, the suit’s failed plaintiff, Lessie Olivia LeBlanc Melancon, went on to challenge Congressman Clay Higgins in the 2022 election.

Michael MelerineMichael Melerine replaces Thomas Pressly, who moved over to State Senate. Melerine has a great reputation with members he served with on BESE. His wife, Stacey Melerine, was elected to replace him on BESE. He’s also one of the earliest to pre-file legislation for the upcoming regular session. It’s so impressive that we did a short video podcast about it. That podcast has generated emails and text messages to me and the office. Every one of them was relaying excitement for his future in the legislature. As a result of his work so far, Michael Melerine’s scorecard has already been upgraded to a seven (7). However, he could be an eight (8) or nine (9) by the end of session.

Beth BillingsBeth Billings was elected unopposed to the legislature. She was also elected unopposed as the Vice Chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party. She’s been a favorite in and around Republican Women’s circles for quite some time. Billings replaces Gregory Miller, who successfully flipped a Democrat seat to Republican in his run for an open State Senate seat. Beth has all the hallmarks of a strong, conservative legislator.

Emily ChenevertEmily Chenevert founded a Mom’s for Liberty chapter in East Baton Rouge a year or two ago. If you’re a conservative, a quick web search on the organization will reflect well on Chenevert. The national group exploded onto the national stage just a few short years ago. I’ve met and talked numerous times with their national co-founder, Tina Descovich from Florida. Nationally, the group has done great work fighting woke indoctrination focusing primarily on school boards. They have made all of the right enemies, too. With a background like that, I can’t wait to see what Chenevert authors and carries in the Legislature.

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Mike BayhamMichael Bayham hales from the Chalmette area replaces term-limited Ray Garofalo. He’s been in and around Republican politics for a long time. He was the Secretary of the Louisiana Republican Party not too long ago. That role he set aside to run for State Chairman against incumbent Louis Gurvich. If memory serves, it was a very close race. He continues to be a regular and active member of the State Republican Party. He’s also a regular contributor to the Hayride.

Off to a great start

Shane MackShane Mack replaces his brother Sherman Mack, who really should have been Louisiana’s Speaker of the House these last four years. Shane comes to the legislature with his own political background. Previously, he served as a voice of reason on the Livingston Parish Council. You may remember that’s where Buddy Mincey’s incredibly unpopular stance on Carbon Capture was loudly booed by his constituents. Shane’s lawmaking background in Livingston certainly has him hitting the ground running. He’s already pre-filed some strong legislation aimed at lowering insurance rates by removing certain causes of action. Stay tuned for more strong work from Shane.

Stephanie BeraultStephanie Berault in District 46 comes from the Slidell area and replaces Bob Owen, who had a successful run for senate. Her background is in the medical field. I’ve met and talked with her several times over the last number of months. She’s incredibly sharp and well-liked in her district, as evidenced by receiving nearly eighty percent (80%) of the vote. We’re expecting to hear her name echo frequently in the Capitol’s halls in the coming years.

Brian GloriosoAttorney Brian Glorioso hales from St. Tammany Parish with an infectious smile and a friendly demeanor. Previously, he served on the RPEC (Republican Parish Executive Committee) during their own protracted (and continuing) library battle against erotica in the children’s section. Glorioso recently went to the news about the St. Tammany Library Board being illegally appointed all at once. Instead, state law says that the Parish Council needs to appoint members to staggered five-year terms. He challenged and won against RINO incumbent Mary Dubuisson. I’m looking forward to seeing Glorioso’s continued strong stands on conservative issues in the legislature.

More names I know

Brach MyersBrach Myers from the Lafayette area replaces Jean-Paul Coussan, who moved over to the senate to replace Page Cortez. Brach comes to the legislature with executive experience in the healthcare industry. He’s been active locally, answers calls, and has all the makings to become an excellent legislator. The other day I noticed the House seating chart placed him right where Paula Davis and Stephanie Hilferty once shared a desk. That they were bumped back four rows to make room for him and fiscal conservative veteran Tony Bacala shows that new House leadership (under Phillip DeVillier) is much more conservative.

John WybleJohn Wyble previously served on the Washington Parish School Board and now replaces liberal Republican Malinda White. She wasn’t term-limited but made a failed run for Washington Parish President, which was on the same ballot. I’ve met or bumped into John Wyble several times. He was memorable, had a nice presence about him, and by all appearances came across as a very conservative fellow. This should be an excellent change for this district. Malinda had been a notorious anti-conservative in our circles.

Chance HenryChance Henry from Crowley, in Acadia Parish, replaces John Stefanski who made an unsuccessful run for Attorney General. Chance is a farmer turned insurance man who’s been very involved in his community. He was a member of the Parish Police Jury, Republican Parish Executive Committee, Chamber of Commerce, and several other clubs and groups. He’s been to a few of our Secret Lunch events and is always sharply dressed (frequently in French cuffs).

Jacob LandryJacob Landry from Iberia Parish replaces Blake Miguez, who moved over to the Senate. Jacob comes from industry and seems somewhat new to politics. However, he has a passion for problem-solving, not just for his constituents but for the entire state. I recently bumped into him at one of Blake Miguez’s events. We had a long chat about his ideas for reducing ambiguity in the law as a means of curtailing lawsuits. This would not only lower insurance rates but also reduce business costs.

Keep them coming

Troy HebertTroy Hebert hales from Vermilion Parish, defeating conservative incumbent Jonathan Goudeau. Troy comes from the Real Estate business. An interesting bit of trivia is he’s also on the foundation board at ULL. Like many others in this grouping, Troy has visited and spoken at our Secret Lunch meetings in the past. We’re looking forward to many future return visits.

Dixon McMakinDixon McMakin replaces Scott McKnight, who made an unsuccessful run for state Treasurer. His district is in Baton Rouge and I’ve seen him there numerous times. We’ve most recently bumped into each other at the EBR Republican Women’s Club. He’s always interested in what we’re up to at Citizens for a New Louisiana and is like-minded on nearly any issue. He was as disappointed as we were about the previous legislature’s vote to exceed the state’s spending limit.

Chad BoyerChad Boyer (pronounced Boy-yay) replaces term-limited Mike Huval in St. Martin Parish. He, too, was elected without opposition. Chad’s background is in security and law enforcement. I also have a bit of knowledge benefit because he’s my representative. It seems I bump into him around Breaux Bridge fairly often. We even found ourselves at the same recent Port of Iberia meeting. At one point, Mike Huval had intended to run for Breaux Bridge mayor. If he had won that race, there would have been a special election. Chad knew this and so had started campaigning for legislature a year or more before anyone else in the state. Huval later decided not to run, but Boyer’s early entry kept the field clear.

Kellee DickersonKellee Hennessy Dickerson from Livingston Parish replaces Valarie Hodges, who moved to the senate, replacing the very disappointing one-term senator Rogers Pope. Kellee was a news personality turned politician and had most recently served on the Livingston School Board. Kellee did not support the failed 1¢ sales tax recently attempted by the school system. She’s also had nothing to do with Livingston Public School Librarian Amanda Jones. If Jones’ name sounds familiar, it’s because she’s the nutty Livingston librarian who sued us. Jones wanted a gag order to stop us from telling the state about the erotic “children’s” books we were finding in Livingston’s public library system.

Still going

Jacob BraudRepublican Attorney Jacob Braud is in District 105, near Belle Chase, Louisiana. He successfully unseated Democrat Mack Cormier, who is also an attorney. This was another one of the seats that flipped from Democrat to Republican, contributing to Republicans taking a supermajority in the House.

Dennis BamburgDennis Bamburg, Jr. is a new Republican member coming from the Bossier area. He’s a former school board member and an insurance agent elected without opposition. He replaces term-limited and unabashed conservative champion Alan Seabaugh, who easily moved into an open Senate seat in the primary.

Kim CarverChris “Kim” Carver, a banker from the Mandeville area, won his election in a runoff against “Josh” Allison. He replaces Richard Nelson, who ran for governor instead of seeking re-election. Nelson has since received a Jeff Landry appointment to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

Kim CoatesKimberly Coates is a marketer from the Pontchatoula area. She won outright in the primary against Michael Chatellier and Braville J. LeBlanc. The seat was vacated by veterinarian Bill Wheat, who made a successful run for Senate. I’ve not had an opportunity to meet Ms. Coates just yet.

Vincent CoxRepublican Vincent Cox from Gretna (near New Orleans) replaces Independent “Jiving Joe” Marino, who caucused with the Democrats. This is another seat that flipped to the Republican column.

Jason DeeittJason Dewitt is a small business entrepreneur from Boyce (near Alexandria). He replaces term-limited Lance Harris. Although Harris’ quiet demeanor didn’t move him much on our scorecard, he was a very capable and politically savvy member of the legislature. Harris was the representative who made the brilliant motion to recommit Jay Morris“Social Media Free Speech Act” out of Paula Davis’ committee. Harris now joins Kevin Berkin, Stephanie Melerine, Paul Hollis, Simone Champagne, Conrad Appel, Judy Armstrong, and Sharon Latten Clark as new members of BESE. We’re looking forward to Jason Dewitt bringing his small business experience to the legislature.

The final batch of Republicans

Jessica DomangueJessica Domangue from Houma replaces one-term legislator (and former Speaker Pro Tempore) Tanner Magee. I’ve yet to meet Domangue, but looking forward to it. She’s a social worker by trade who was heavily endorsed by all of the conservative organizations that we like and respect. She also brings this seat back into the Republican Women’s column.

Peter EganPeter Egan replaces conservative juggernaut, Larry Frieman. Although not term-limited Frieman sought a judgeship in the same election cycle. He fell short in that race, however we’re pleased that he’s continuing his public service at the Attorney General’s office. I spoke to Frieman briefly when all this was going on, and he said Peter Egan may actually be more conservative than he. Although I missed an opportunity to meet Peter Egan back in July, I’m looking forward to connecting with him soon.

Jay GalleJay Galle from the Northshore (Covington) replaces term-limited Paul Hollis, who we mentioned earlier has moved to BESE. As a legislator, Hollis was a well-respected (although quiet) conservative. In the last term, Hollis authored a library bill that fell short. Jay Galle secured his seat in the primary with a strong 64%. Galle is another I missed an opportunity to meet way back in December of 2022. However, I’m very much looking forward to catching up with him soon.

Lauren VentrellaLauren Ventrella replaces term-limited Barry Ivey in Central, LA (near Baton Rouge). Ventrella is a Republican plaintiff’s attorney, who ran as a small town farm owner. I’ve met with her numerous times, and she’s attended several of our Citizens for a New Louisiana lunches in Baton Rouge. She’s also sure to say hello when I’ve visited the Capitol. Her victory came in a runoff against Barry Ivey’s brother, Brandon.

Roger WilderRoger Wilder is the Smoothie King guy who ran for the open seat vacated by Buddy Mincey. Mincey, a rocky first-term legislator, eagerly jumped into the race for Rogers Pope’s vacated senate seat. However, he was trounced in the primary by conservative darling Valarie Hodges. I’ve met Roger Wilder numerous times. As another small business owner in his own right, he brings that much-needed perspective to the legislature. Previously, he had been a strong advocate for small business especially as it pertained to health freedom issues.

Jeff WileyJeff Wiley replaces Clay “Shakedown” Schexnayder, the former Speaker of the House who should require no reminders of how terrible he was. Wiley seemed to have a quiet race and won outright in the primary against a single opponent. So far, I’m not aware that the opportunity to meet Jeff Wiley has presented itself. However, just the fact that he replaces Schexnayder can only mean the seat has become more conservative. He’s also the seatmate of Brian Glorioso. Although both are new, Glorioso is already an established, bonafide conservative.

The Democrats

Tehmi ChassionDemocrat Tehmi Chassion is a pharmacist by trade who replaces term-limited Democrat Vincent Pierre. Pierre has since moved on to do Governmental Affairs work at Lafayette Consolidated Government under Republican Mayor-President Monique Boulet. Chassion comes to the legislature as a long-time member of the Lafayette School Board. He’s a popular fellow back home, winning his primary battle outright. Generally, he’s known for being very personable, answering or returning constituent calls, and otherwise making himself available. His two opponents included Parish Councilman Pat Lewis. Although a two-term elected Democrat, Lewis had mostly been a free-thinking political outsider who never quite fit into the area’s Democrat party political machine. The other candidate in the race was a special taxing district board member named Ravis Martinez.

Steven JacksonDemocrat Steven Jackson from Shreveport replaces Sam Jenkins. He has backgrounds in both automotive and medical. Although not term-limited, Jenkins ran for Gregory Tarver’s term-limited Senate seat. Tarver was one of my favorite Democrat senators last term and Sam Jenkins demeanor is certainly on equal footing.

Shaun MenaDemocrat Attorney Shaun Mena replaces term-limited Democrat Kenny Cox, sort of. Cox came from Coushatta, a small town between Natchitoches and Shreveport. The newly re-drawn district is in New Orleans. Cox was funny and enjoyable to hear, especially in committee. My favorite quote from him was when referring to himself in his youth. He said he became “235 pounds of twisting steel and sex appeal” and helped end bullying at his school.

Sylvia TaylorDemocrat Attorney (and retired Judge) Sylvia Taylor from Reserve replaces Democrat Attorney Randal Gaines. Taylor navigated an incredibly crowded field of eight (8) in the primary to finish first at seventeen percent (17%). The runoff had her finish at sixty-five percent (65%) over no-party candidate “Russ” Wise.

Joy WaltersDemocrat Joy Walters, an executive researcher, replaces Democrat Cedric Glover. Although Glover wasn’t term-limited, he ran for Gregory Tarver’s term-limited Senate seat but lost to Sam Jenkins.

Rashid YoungDemocrat Rashid Young replaces term-limited Democrat Patrick Jefferson. Both are attorneys from Homer, Louisiana, near Shreveport, but closer to the state line with Arkansas.

Ç’est Tout!

If you made it to the end, congratulations! I know thirty-four (34) legislators are quite a few. However, we’ll be marking all of their scorecards with a “class of 2024” badge and watching to see how they develop in the years ahead. It should be a fun and educational exercise. So, join me in welcoming these folks to the legislature, and wishing them godspeed.


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