David Vitter

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David Vitter
U.S. Senator from Louisiana
From: January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2017
Predecessor John Breaux
Successor John Neely Kennedy
U.S. Representative from Louisiana's 1st District
From: May 29, 1999 – January 3, 2005
Predecessor Bob Livingston
Successor Bobby Jindal
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Wendy Baldwin Vitter
Religion Roman Catholicism

David Vitter (born 1961) is a Republican former U.S. Senator from Louisiana — the first member of his party in the upper legislative chamber since the Reconstruction era. A resident of suburban New Orleans, Vitter was a U.S. Representative from Louisiana's 1st congressional district from 1999 to 2004. Senator Vitter was among the leading backers of a failed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.


Vitter was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1991 to succeed Republican David Duke, who instead ran unsuccessfully for governor of Louisiana.

After eight years in the state House, Vitter began his congressional career in 1999, when he was victorious in a special election to replace the disgraced U.S. Representative Bob Livingston of Louisiana's 1st congressional district, who resigned during the Bill Clinton impeachment affair after it was revealed that he was having an extra-marital affair. In October 29, 1998, Vitter penned a strongly worded editorial for the New Orleans Times-Picayune in which he argued for Clinton's impeachment. Vitter said "Some current polls may suggest that people are turned off by the whole Clinton mess and don't care — because the stock market is good, the Clinton spin machine is even better or other reasons. But that doesn't answer the question of whether President Clinton should be impeached and removed from office because he is morally unfit to govern." [1]


In July 2007, it was revealed that Vitter's phone number turned up in the records of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who ran an escort service in Washington, D.C. Vitter, married with four children, admitted to "a very serious sin", and stated that he had been forgiven by God and his wife, the former Wendy Baldwin.[2]

Campaign for governor

Vitter was handily defeated in a race on November 21, 2015, for governor of Louisiana. He lost to Democratic challenger, State Representative John Bel Edwards, a long-time supporter of U.S. President Barack H. Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Edwards consistently led in pre-election polls in the race. Edwards focused his campaign on Vitter's connection with the escort service though Vitter had won reelection in 2010 with the issue having barely surfaced in the political discussion.

After his defeat for governor, Vitter announced that he would not seek a third term in the Senate in 2016. After numerous failed campaigns, David Duke ran to succeed Vitter for the Senate but finished in seventh place among twenty-four candidates with 3 percent of the ballots cast. The sixth-placed candidate, Rob Maness, a retired colonel in the United States Air Force, had backed Vitter in the governor's race through his Gator political action committee. Other eliminated candidates were U.S. Representatives Charles Boustany of Lafayette and John Fleming of Minden.[3] Vitter will instead be succeeded on January 3, 2017, by either Republican state Treasurer John Neely Kennedy or the Democrat Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell of Bossier Parish. Kennedy and Campbell finished in the top two positions in the primary and will meet in a December 10 runoff contest.


  1. Vitter, David. The Times-Picayune "IMPEACHMENT: FITNESS, NOT ABILITY" October 29, 1998 METRO; Pg. B7
  2. CNN: Hustler says it revealed senator's link to escort service
  3. Election Returns. Louisiana Secretary of State (November 8, 2016). Retrieved on November 10, 2016.

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