State lawmakers choose top leaders ahead of inauguration day

Lawmakers in both chambers have come out in support for Republican Senator Cameron Henry from Metairie as the next Senate President.
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 5:11 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Lawmakers in both chambers have come out in support for Republican Senator Cameron Henry from Metairie as the next Senate President and most recently Republican Representative Phillip DeVillier from Acadiana as Speaker of the House.

The governor-elect on Monday said in a tweet “I recognize the hard work Representative DeVillier put in to gather this level of support among members of the House Republican delegation. I am pleased to see leaders from across the delegation stand behind him as the next Louisiana Speaker of the House.”

There were five other candidates in the running for Speaker. Those included Jack McFarland from Winnfield, Brett Geyman from Moss Bluff, Daryl Deshotel of Hessmer, Tony Bacala of Prairieville, and Julie Emerson from Carencro.

“And I think just over the weekend everybody kinda started realizing that Phillip was the top vote getter and that he was someone we felt like everybody could coalesce around and generally be supportive and okay with. And I think it will be great for the body. He’s a great uniter, he’s a very calm person, he’s very humble. So, I think we all felt very comfortable throwing our support behind him,” said Emerson.

Emerson along with the other candidates have come out in support for DeVillier as well. She hopes DeVillier’s legislative priorities include bringing people together.

“I think this may be a little unconventional, but I think unity and communication are the two big things that Phillip spoke about when he was talking to people. And then I think as far as legislation goes, look, I think we’re gonna try and push through maybe some of the things that we weren’t able to get all the way through the process for the last 4 to 8 years,” Emerson continued.

Senator Cameron Henry has already served in the House and is entering his second term in the Senate. He’s already been able to get enough support as the next Senate President. This would be the first time in over a decade the legislature has selected its top leadership before inauguration day. For the first time in 8 years, Republicans will control all 3 branches of government, not to mention the super majorities they have as well.

Both Henry and DeVillier will assume their new roles on January 8th. Because there are so many Republicans in both chambers, they won’t have to rely on any votes from Democrats.

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