|U.S. Senator from Louisiana|
From: January 3, 1997 – January 2015
|Predecessor||J. Bennett Johnston, Jr.|
Mary Loretta Landrieu Snellings (born November 23, 1955), known professionally as Mary Landrieu, is a former Democratic United States Senator from the state of Louisiana. She served on the Committee on Appropriations, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Committee on Small Business, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Landrieu has been a lobbyist since leaving the Senate.
Early political career
Mary Landrieu is of the Louisiana Landrieu patriarchal clan which has had other politicians such as her father Maurice Edwin Landrieu, who was the mayor of New Orleans, as well as her brother, Mitch Landrieu, a former mayor of New Orleans and a former state lieutenant governor.
After graduating from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Landrieu was elected to the state legislature and in 1987 as state treasurer, when her principal opponent, state Representative Kevin Reilly of Baton Rouge decided not to proceed to a runoff contest. Landrieu ran for governor in 1995, however finished third in the Democratic primary.
Landrieu was elected to the United States Senate in 1996, defeating Democrat-turned-Republican state Representative Woody Jenkins of Baton Rouge, in a race to replace retiring 24-year incumbent, J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., of Shreveport. An investigation by National Review led to accusations that election fraud in her native New Orleans led to her being elected. She won two reelection victories in 2002 and 2008.
Landrieu supported a motion to begin debate on government health care legislation. Landrieu was seen wavering on the issue, so the bill gave $300 million in federal Medicaid subsidies to Louisiana only.
Landrieu was unseated in 2014 in her bid for a fourth term by the Republican Bill Cassidy. Running third in the primary was the Republican and Tea Party candidate, Rob Maness, who has since been the head of the political action committee called Gator PAC.
Mary Landrieu had a reputation as a conservative Democrat; she voted to authorize military force in Iraq in 2002, supported expansion of U.S. oil drilling, and voted to ban partial birth abortions. On other issues she was traditionally liberal, earning a 91% rating by the National Education Association and a 77% from AFL-CIO, indicating a pro-labor voting record. Landrieu was part of the Gang of 14 that brokered a compromise during the 109th Congress to stop Democrats from denying voting opportunities on appellate court candidates nominated by the President. During the period after Hurricane Katrina, Landrieu used the loss of her expensive lakeside home to become a spokesperson for Katrina victims and to attack the Bush administration for not doing enough to help the victims of the hurricane.