|Harlie Eugene "Gene"|
Louisiana State Representative for District 10 (Webster and Bossier parishes)
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Jean McGlothlin Doerge|
Louisiana House Democratic Leader
December 2015 – March 2018
|Preceded by||John Bel Edwards|
|Born|| December 28, 1950|
|Spouse(s)||Martha Nell Moore Reynolds|
Harlie Eugene Reynolds, Jr., known as Gene Reynolds (born December 28, 1950), is a retired teacher and school principal residing in Dubberly in Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, who is a Democrat state representative for District 10, which encompasses all of Webster Parish and one precinct from neighboring Bossier Parish. From 2015 to 2018, Reynolds was the House Democratic Leader, having succeeded John Bel Edwards in the legislative position. Reynolds steeped down from the ladearshp near the end of a special legislative session called by the governor. He indicated that he "is tired" and needs time to devote himself to other matters.
A native of Shreveport, Reynolds won a low-turnout general election held on November 19, 2011, when he defeated the [[Republican Party|Republicancandidate, Jerri Lynn Ray de Pingre of Minden, also a former educator, 4,232 (54.7 percent) to 3,508 (45.3 percent). DePingre is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Ray and the wife of Benny dePingre, whom she married in 1981.
In the legislative race, de Pingre carried the backing of Republican then U.S. Representative]] John Fleming, also of Minden. De Pingre later served a stint as the Minden Chamber of Commerce. Two other Republicans, Gerald Holland of Springhill and Ronnie Broughton of Minden, who later joined the Constitution Party, were eliminated in the race for the House seat in the October 22 nonpartisan blanket primary.
Reynolds succeeded the term-limited Democrat, Jean Doerge of Minden, also a former educator who had served since 1998, when she won a special election to succeed her late husband, Everett Doerge. Reynolds and his wife, the former Martha Nell Moore, were long-time employees of the Webster Parish School Board before they temporarily relocated to Cameron Parish in southwestern Louisiana. They returned in 2010 to Webster Parish and reside in Dubberly near their son, Dustin Wade Reynolds, and his family. They also have another son, Cole Reynolds.
Columnist Jeffrey Dennis Sadow of Louisiana State University at Shreveport attributed Reynolds' decision to vacate the leadership post to the Legislative Black Caucus. Sadow writes:
[By 2018], the Black Caucus treated Reynolds as if he didn’t exist. The caucus intransigently refused to back any deal, designed to head off a budgetary crisis for next fiscal year, that featured keeping the state sales tax at an elevated level and didn’t include income tax changes that would have the effect of raising collections from middle-class-and-above filers.
Republicans had stated raising income taxes would be off the table and also insisted on spending and transparency reforms. Reynolds thought he had a deal ... for a three-year renewal of the 2016 sales tax hike at a quarter of its expiring value, but the Black Caucus would not budge, even after Republicans dropped demand after demand: they jettisoned all spending reforms and said they would raise taxes on all but lower-income households, although not to the degree that the Caucus wanted.
But it wasn’t enough, and this scuttled the session without any meaningful revenue-raising. Both the sales tax and income tax measure would have proceeded to the Senate had almost all Democrats voted for each, but enough caucus members rejected the measures to send these to defeat.This showed just how powerless was Reynolds, and at the session’s end he again resigned, this time apparently for good. Once more, he blamed conservatives for not voting new substantial dollars into state coffers.
- Harlie Reynolds. Mylife.com. Retrieved on September 12, 2017.
- Greg Hilburn. House Democratic Chair: 'I'm not mad; I'm just tired'. The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved on March 5, 2018.
- Representative Gene Reynolds. votesmart.org. Retrieved on May 18, 2012.
- General election returns, November 19, 2011. staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved on May 18, 2012.
- Primary election returns, October 22, 2011. staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved on May 18, 2012.
- Gene Reynolds for State Representative. facebook.com. Retrieved on May 18, 2012.
- The Democrat Caucus left Reynolds long before the special session. Minden Press-Herald (March 14, 2018). Retrieved on March 19, 2018.