LA GOP moderates, Dems combine to elect Schexnayder speaker

WWL Newsroom
January 13, 2020 - 1:14 pm

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Gonzales Republican Representative Clay Schexnayder won the Louisiana House Speaker vote 60-45, over Albany Republican Sherman Mack.

Schexnayder was backed by a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans, while Mack was the choice for the party's conservative wing. Schexnayder is thought to be a more friendly choice for Governor Edwards, but he says says the People’s House will speak for itself.

“Their House is a fiercely independent body that has committed to doing one thing and one thing only, creating a better life for each and every Louisiana citizen,” said Schexnayder.

The new speaker laid out his priorities for the next term, likely trying to assuage GOP fears that he would stray too far from the party line.

“We will balance our budget, protect their (the people’s) values, better education, and create better opportunities for our children,” said Schexnayder. “This is our legacy.”

Schexnayder was handed the gavel by the previous speaker, Taylor Barras.

Senator John Kennedy and Attorney General Jeff Landry pushed Republicans to unify behind whoever received exclusively Republican support, and reject offers of cooperation from Democrats. That didn’t happen, and Schexnayder won with a majority of his votes coming from Democrats.

“Keep these rails clean of people from special interests and diversions, and dividing us in Washington-style politics and rhetoric, keeping those things out of this chamber is very important,” said Schexnayder.

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