Ryan Gatti

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Ryan Eugene Gatti


Louisiana State Senator for District 36 (Bienville, Bossier, Claiborne, and Webster parishes)
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 11, 2016
Preceded by Henry Burns

Born June 1974
Bossier City, Louisiana
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Susan Lockhart Gatti
Religion Baptist

Ryan Eugene Gatti (born June 1974)[1] is an attorney from Bossier City, Louisiana, who is a Republican member of the Louisiana State Senate for District 36, which encompasses Bossier, Webster, Bienville, and Claiborne parishes in the northwestern portion of the state. On January 11, 2016, he succeeded fellow Moderate Republican Robert Roy Adley, who was term-limited after thirteen years in the Senate.

Gatti narrowly defeated fellow Republican Henry Burns, a retired military officer, Bossier City businessman, and a departing two-term member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, originally from Shongaloo in Webster Parish. Gatti polled 14,023 votes (50.6 percent) to Burns' 13,698 (49.4 percent).[2]

In his campaign, Gatti ran as a strong intraparty critic of term-limited and failed presidential candidate, Governor Bobby Jindal. He is also a close friend of incoming Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards, whom he met at the Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge. Edwards campaigned at Gatti's law office in 2014.

Gatti graduated in 1992 from Airline High School in Bossier City. He was in Haiti on a mission trip at the time of his election to the state Senate.

In 2017, Gatti's brother, Robert Hal "Robbie" Gatti, Jr. (born March 1970), lost a special runoff election for the District 8 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives to fill the seat vacated by U.S. Representative James Michael "Mike" Johnson of Benton, Louisiana. Raymond Crews was elected to succeed Johnson. He polled 3,845 votes (64 percent) to Gatti's 2,150 (36 percent).[3]

Jeffrey Dennis Sadow, a political science professor at LSU in Shreveport who writes a column on state and local politics, questions Gatti's commitment to fiscal conservatism, noting the lawmaker's close friendship with Governor John Bel Edwards. Sadow claims that in his successful race in 2015, Gatti "adopted the standard Democrat playbook to eke out his win: articulate conservative preferences on social issues to mask his other big government views."[4] Like the governor, Gatti opposes school choice initiatives popular with many conservatives. In 2016, Gatti scored the lowest of all Republican senators in regard to taxation, spending, and regulations, even lower than several Democratic colleagues. Then in 2017, Sadow noted that Gatti reversed course and scored among the highest of Republican senators on fiscal issues.[4]

Conservative radio talk show host Moon Griffon, who broadcasts statewide from Lafayette, has long criticized Gatti's personal association with Governor John Bel Edwards, a relationship which Griffon claims impacts how Gatti votes on key legislative issues.[5]

References

  1. Ryan Gatti, June 1974. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on November 22, 2015.
  2. Results for Election Date: 11/21/2015. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on November 22, 2015.
  3. Election Results. Louisiana Secretary of State (April 29, 2017). Retrieved on May 2, 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jeffrey D. Sadow (February 21, 2018). Gatti’s record may hurt his reelection. Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved on February 22, 2018.
  5. The Moon Griffon Show, March 26, 2018.