Beth Mizell

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Mary Beth Sherman Mizell

Louisiana State Senator for District 12 (St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes)
Assumed office 
January 11, 2016
Preceded by Ben Nevers

Born January 1952
Bogalusa, Washington Parish, Louisiana
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) James Robert "Bob" Mizell (died 2012)
Children Julie Mizell Stewart

Joshua Mizell

Religion Baptist

Mary Beth Sherman Mizell, known as Beth Mizell (born January 1952),[1] is a Republican businesswoman from Franklinton, Louisiana, who is a member of the Louisiana State Senate for District 12 (St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes) in the southeastern portion of her state. On January 11, 2016, she succeeded outgoing Democrat state Senator Ben Nevers. Mizell is a native of Bogalusa, also located in Washington Parish.

Formerly the operator of a preschool, Mizell won the seat in the general election held on November 21, 2015, over the Democrat Mickey Murphy, 19,404 votes (58 percent) to 14,033 (42 percent).[2] Murphy is a former teacher, counselor, welding instructor, and college dean. He formerly chaired a workforce development board. He is a former president of his local Chamber of Commerce.[3]

Mizell ran unsuccessfully for the same Senate seat in 2011 but narrowly lost to Nevers, 14,764 (49.4 percent) to 15,116 (50.6 percent).[4] In that unsuccessful race, Mizell pledged lower taxes, government transparency, and school choice.[5] Nevers was named immediately after the gubernatorial race as chief of staff for incoming Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards of Tangipahoa Parish, who defeated Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter for the right to succeed Republican Governor Bobby Jindal.[6]

Mizell opposed Nevers' long-term plan to build a reservoir in Senate District 12, a project which if implemented would acquire private lands through eminent domain against the wishes of many property owners. In the campaign, Murphy supported the reservoir.[3]

Mizell is the widow of James Robert "Bob" Mizell (August 19, 1948 – September 30, 2012), who died of cancer. Bob Mizell was an all-state linebacker for the Bogalusa High School Lumberjacks. He served in the United States Navy and the Louisiana National Guard. A piping designer in Franklinton in Washington Parish, he was also a volunteer firefighter and was active in the American Legion and Baptist Church. Mizell has two children, Julie Mizell Stewart, a teacher, and husband, Sean,[7] and Joshua Mizell, a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran contracted with the U.S. State Department,[5] and wife, Madeleine, both couples from Laurel in southeastern Mississippi, and six grandchildren.[7]

She was an organizer of the Tea Party in Washington Parish and is affiliated with the Baptist Church.[8]

In 2019, Mizell won reelection to the the Senate by defeating her Democratic opponent, Darrell Fairburn, 24,590 votes (69 percent) to 11,266 (31 percent).[9]


  1. Mary Mizell, January 1952. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on November 25, 2015.
  2. Results for Election Date: 11/21/2015. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on November 25, 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Chad Rogers. Mizell v. Lifelong Bureaucrat in 12th District. The Dead Pelican. Retrieved on November 25, 2015.
  4. Results for Election Date: 10/22/2011. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on November 25, 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Female Republican Enters 12th District State Senate Race. The Hayride. Retrieved on November 25, 2015.
  6. Kevin Litten (November 23, 2015). John Bel Edwards names Ben Nevers chief of staff, transition team. The New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved on November 25, 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1 James Robert "Bob" Mizell. Retrieved on November 25, 2015.
  8. Beth Mizell's Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on November 25, 2015.
  9. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 12, 2019.