John Breaux

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John Berlinger Breaux

In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Russell B. Long
Succeeded by David Vitter

U.S. Representative from Louisiana's former 7th congressional district
In office
September 30, 1972 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by Edwin Edwards
Succeeded by Jimmy Hayes

Born March 1, 1944
Crowley, Louisiana
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Lois Daigle Breaux
Alma mater University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Louisiana State University Law Center
Religion Roman Catholic

John Berlinger Breaux (born March 1, 1944) is a Washington, D.C.-lobbyist who served in both houses of the United States Congress from 1972 to 2005. A Democrat, Breaus represented his native Louisiana's former 7th congressional district from 1972 to 1987, when he moved up to the U.S. Senate, a post he held for three terms, ending on January 3, 2005. He is senior partner with Trent Lott, the Republican U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Mississippi in the lobbying group Breaux-Lott Leadership Group., since part of Squire, Patton and Boggs.[1]

A graduate of the Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Breaux succeeded Edwin Edwards in the 7th district seat, which was later abolished because of the state's sluggish population growth. Edwards at the time had been inaugurated for the first of his four nonconsecutive terms as governor of Louisiana.

To win his Senate seat, Breaux defeated Republican William Henson Moore, the U.S. Representative from the 6th congressional district, based about the capital city of Baton Rouge. It was a hard-fought campaign, one in which Moore was accused of trying to suppress the African-American turnout, whose voters overwhelmingly backed the more liberal candidate. Breaux defeated Moore, 723,586 (52.8 percent) to 646,311 (47.2 percent), a margin of 77,275 ballots. In office, Senator Breaux was considered a centrist Democrat; he founded the bipartisan Senate Centrist Coalition and was a chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, a group previously associated with President Bill Clinton.

In 1987, as a freshman senator, Breaux voted against confirmation of Robert Bork to the United States Supreme Court, who was opposed as well by six Moderate Republicans. In 1991, he voted with the 52-48 majority to confirm Clarence Thomas, an African-American who succeeded another black, Thurgood Marshall, original appointee of President Lyndon B. Johnson. When he declined to seek a fourth term in 2004, the seat passed to a Republican, David Vitter, who held it for two terms. In 2017, it was assumed by another Republican, John Neeley Kennedy, the former Louisiana state treasurer.

In 2003, Breaux was influential in the passage of the $400 billion Medicare Prescription Drug Modernization Act.[2]

Breaux considered leaving lobbying in 2007 to run for governor to succeed the retiring Kathleen Blanco, a fellow Democrat. However, he decided against making the race because he was a voting resident of Maryland at the time, and the Louisiana Constitution requires that a candidate for governor be a citizen of the state but does not define citizenship in that context. Victory in the gubernatorial race went to Republican Bobby Jindal.

References

  1. Kevin Bogardus (December 8, 2009). Trent Lott keeps his Southern ties through lobbying. The Hill. Retrieved on October 5, 2017.
  2. Robert Pear. "Sweeping Medicare Change Wins Approval in Congress", New York Times, November 26, 2003. Retrieved on October 5, 2017. 

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