John Schroder takes over as Louisiana's new treasurer

KENNER, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana's newly elected state treasurer officially took over the position on Dec. 5.

John Schroder, a Republican, was sworn in during a ceremony in Kenner on Tuesday evening.

A businessman and long-time state legislator from Covington, Schroder bested his Democratic rival Derrick Edwards in the Nov. 18 runoff election. Schroder got roughly 56 percent of the vote, leaving the New Orleans Democrat with just 44 percent.

The race drew very little interest statewide, with only 13 percent of registered voters casting ballots - a record low, according to the Secretary of State's office.

Schroder ran as a conservative, citing his time in Louisiana's House of Representatives. In the legislature, Schroder recently served as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which gets the first bat at drafting the state budget.

During the treasurer's race, Schroder ran campaign ads talking about reducing taxes and state spending, even though the treasurer does not control such matters. The treasurer is tasked with managing the state's cash flow and investments.

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However, political analyst Jim Engster says expect Schroder to follow in the mold of his predecessor, John Kennedy, who turned the position into a watchdog post. Kennedy routinely went after state leaders from both parties, using the office as a megaphone.

In the near future, Engster says Schroder will likely use the position to criticize Gov. John Bel Edwards over what to do about the state's project $1 billion fiscal cliff. Edwards is also Louisiana's sole statewide elected Democrat.

The treasurer's seat was left vacant after Kennedy left to join the U.S. Senate in January 2017. Since then, Ron Henson has served as interim treasurer.

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