|Paulette Jung "Polly" Thomas|
Louisiana State Representative for District 80 (Jefferson Parish)
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Joe Lopinto|
|Born||April 7, 1947|
|Residence||Metairie, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana|
|Alma mater|| University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
Paulette Jung Thomas, known as Polly Thomas (born April 7, 1947), is a retired education professor at the University of New Orleans and a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 80 in Jefferson Parish in suburban New Orleans. She is a former member of the Jefferson Parish School Board.
She graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and then received her master's and Ph.D. in educational psychology from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. She is a formerly assistant superintendent in the Louisiana Department of Education and as a resident of Metairie, a former member of the Jefferson Parish School Board, in which capacity she was an early supporter of charter schools.
When Republican Representative Joe Lopinto resigned the seat to join the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Department, over which he became the interim sheriff in 2017, Thomas filed without opposition for the special election to choose his successor for the remainder of the term through January 13, 2020. A resident of Metairie, Thomas said that she would "be a leader in strengthening education, protecting our coastline, and securing higher paying jobs to keep our children working here at home."
Earlier, on November 4, 2008, Thomas was an intra-party candidate in a special election against Republican Conrad Appel for the District 9 seat in the Louisiana State Senate. Thomas' defeat for the Senate seat was her fourth election loss since 1999. Appel said that he was pleased to have Thomas as his opponent: "Polly and I have been friends for a long time, and this has been a hard race for me. I'm really proud of Polly." Appel in 2008 received 21,853 votes (52.1 percent) to Thomas's 20,065 votes (47.9 percent).
In 2007, before her race against Appel, Thomas ran in 2007 for the state Senate against Steve Scalise and finished with 29 percent of the vote in the regular legislative election. Scalise was, however, soon the winner of still another special election to fill Louisiana's 1st congressional district, a position which he still holds as the House Majority Whip. That congressional seat opened when Bobby Jindal was elected governor of Louisiana.
Thomas handily won a full legislative term in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 12, 2019. With 7,414 votes (70 percent), she defeated an intra-party rival, John Mason, who finished the race with 3,134 vote (30 percent).
- Paulette Thomas. Mylife.com. Retrieved on September 13, 2017.
- Polly Thomas, State Representative. Facebook. Retrieved on September 13, 2017.
- Polly Thomas elected to state 80th House District. New Orleans Times-Picayune (July 22, 2016). Retrieved on May 5, 2017.
- Richard Rainey, "Conrad Appel bests Polly Thomas for state Senate seat," November 4, 2008. nola.com. Retrieved on August 31, 2011.
- Louisiana general election returns, November 4, 2008. staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved on August 31, 2011.
- Louisiana primary election returns, October 20, 2007. staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved on August 31, 2011.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 12, 2019.