Paula Davis

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Paula Pellerin Davis

Louisiana State Representative for District 69 (East Baton Rouge Parish)
Assumed office 
January 11, 2016
Preceded by Erich Ponti

Born November 25, 1973
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) John Davis
Religion Episcopalian

Paula Pellerin Davis (born November 25, 1973)[1] is a commercial real estate agent with Waters & Pettit from the capital city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who is a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for East Baton Rouge Parish.[2]

Davis won the District 69 House position in the runoff election held on November 21, 2015 over fellow Republican Ryan Eugene Heck (born April 1978).[3] She also won the special election to fill the remaining six weeks of the unexpired term[4] of Republican former Representative Erich Ponti, who resigned the seat in June 2015. Davis led Heck in the primary by only eighty-two votes. Thereafter, Davis received 6,679 votes (55.3 percent) to Heck's 5,400 (44.7 percent).[4]

A Louisiana native originally from Breaux Bridge, Davis has resided in Baton Rouge since 1990. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Louisiana State University. She is a Fellow of the LSU School of Government and graduate of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy. Davis is married to John Davis, a lawyer in Baton Rouge. She has a daughter, Hayden. She is Episcopalian.[5]

In addition to being a commercial real estate agent, Davis has been an active member within the Baton Rouge non-profit community, serving as 2017 President of the Baton Rouge Symphony League, Co-Chair of the 2016 Baton Rouge Symphony League Madhatters fundraiser, and Co-Chair of the 2015 Manship Theatre's 10th Anniversary fundraiser.[6] Davis currently serves on the Board of Directors for The ARC of Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum, and the LSU Ogden Honors College.

Davis handily won a second legislative term in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 12, 2019. She polled 10,892 votes (79 percent) to 2,924 (21 percent) for the Libertarian Ryan Chase Lee.[7]

Legislative Ratings and Awards

Davis was recognized as a 2016-2020 Term All-Star by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) for scoring 90% or higher on positive, pro-growth legislation.[8] On key small, independent, and family-run business issues during the 2016 legislative year, Davis was rated 100% by the National Federation of Independent Business.[9] Based on her positions and record during her first four-year term (2016-2020), the NFIB Louisiana PAC endorsed Davis for reelection.[10] Louisiana Right to Life gave Davis a score of 96% for her support of pro-life legislation during the 2016-2020 Legislative Term.[11] In 2017, the conservative Louisiana Family Forum scored Davis 90% and named her a Family Advocate for her commitment to advancing life, liberty, and limited government.[12]

In 2018, Davis was named LegisGator of the Year by the Southwest Louisiana Chamber of Commerce for her pro-business voting record.[13] She has also been recognized for her effectiveness including receipt of the Chamber Southwest Louisiana Business Champion Award, Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association Legislative Ally Award, New Light Baptist Church Community Volunteer Award, Louisiana Hospital Association Legislative Champion Award, Louisiana Orthopedic Association Legislative Champion Award, LSU Foundation Greek Excellence Award, Louisiana Counseling Association Advocacy Award, and Louisiana Appleseed Pro Bono Award.

Legislative Leadership

For the 2020-2024 legislative term, Davis has been appointed by the Speaker of the House as Chair of the House Commerce Committee.[14] She is also a member of the House Executive Committee, House Select Leadership Committee, Joint Select Committee on Louisiana Economic Recovery, Capital Region Legislative Delegation, Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus and Louisiana Republican Legislative Delegation.[15] During her prior four-year term, Davis was a member of four legislative committees: Ways and Means; Joint Legislative Committee on Capital Outlay; Insurance; and Municipal, Parochial, and Cultural Affairs.[16]

Davis joins Democrats in choosing House Speaker

On January 13, 2020, Davis was among 23 Republican lawmakers, 35 Democratic lawmakers, and two Independents who elected Republican Clay Schexnayder of Ascension Parish as Speaker of the House. As part of the "Gang of Eight" as described by political columnist Jeremy Alford, Davis was also involved in 2016 in electing former Rep. Taylor Barras as the first independent Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, bucking the legislature's tradition of supporting the governor's chosen leader.

Conservative radio commentator Moon Griffon, based in Lafayette, is a persistent critic of Davis, whom he calls "Paula Pelosi Davis," because of his perception that Davis has allied on numerous issues with Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards. Without any support, Griffon predicts that Davis will run for state insurance commissioner in 2023 in a bid to succeed long-term incumbent Jim Donelon. He urged Republican women not to support her in such a potential race.[17]