|Ralph Lee Abraham, Jr.|
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Vance Michael McAllister, Sr.|
|Born|| September 16, 1954|
Alto, Richland Parish, Louisiana
|Children||KiAnne, Lee, and Ashley|
|Residence||Mangham, Richland Parish|
|Alma mater|| Louisiana State University|
Louisiana State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Ralph Lee Abraham, Jr. (born September 16, 1954), is an American physician and former veterinarian from Mangham in Richland Parish, Louisiana, who was elected in 2014 to the United States House of Representatives for his state's 5th congressional district, which encompasses a large swath of territory between Monroe and Baton Rouge. He is a candidate for governor in the 2019 nonpartisan blanket primary, when he will face incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards and Eddie Rispone, a wealthy Baton Rouge Republican businessman. who is expected to self-finance his campaign.
When Abraham announced his congressional candidacy, he declared that he would adhere to self-imposed term limits of six years. Sam Hanna, Jr., a Monroe-based journalist, said that the House leadership, "for all practical purposes, had no reason to help him advance in a world where seniority means everything. Yet, Abraham could turn the tables and announce in the very near future that he’d given some thought to all of that yak about term limits and simply declare his intention to remain in the House ..." To win his U.S. House seat, Abraham first dispatched the scandal-plagued Republican incumbent Vance Michael McAllister, Sr., in the nonpartisan blanket primary and then in the general election, the African-American Democrat Jamie Mayo, the mayor of Monroe, 134,612 votes (64.2 percent) to 75,004 (35.8 percent). He handily defeated fellow Republican Billy Burkette in 2016 to secure his second term as representative.
Abraham has served in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Mississippi National Guard. He and his wife, Dianne, have three children.
Though considered a conservative on most political issues, including abortion, Abraham opposes the continued use of the Electoral College and said in a radio interview that he supports a direct popular vote for president and vice-president, which in 2016 would have meant victory for Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.
In his bid for a third term in the House, Abraham defeated three challengers in the primary election held on November 6, 2018. Billy Burkette of Pride in East Baton Rouge Parish ran in 2018 as an Independent. Jessee Carlton Fleenor (born September 23, 1984), a female Democrat from Loranger in Tangipahoa Parish who carried the official endorsement of the Louisiana Democratic Executive Committee. Kyle Randol, a Libertarian of Monroe also sought the congressional seat.
In September 2018, Abraham urged colleagues on the Farm Bill House-Senate Conference Committee to include work requirements for food stamp recipients: "We're simply asking these adults to meet the taxpayer halfway." The farm bill sets agriculture policy for five years though the United States Constitution says that a current Congress cannot commit spending to a future Congress. The Senate is resisting the work requirements related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Abraham said that the committee "is very close on every issue except SNAP reforms."
The Louisiana Republican State Executive Committee is expected to recommend only one candidate to challenge Edwards and to urge that the unendorsed candidate(s) withdraw from the race.
- Erin McCarty. Congressman Ralph Abraham is running for governor. Retrieved on December 6, 2018.
- Sam Hanna, Jr. (July 17, 2018). Big decision for Abraham. Hannapub.com. Retrieved on July 18, 2018.
- Runoff election returns. Louisiana Secretary of State (December 6, 2014). Retrieved on April 10, 2018.
- Greg Hilburn (August 20, 2018). See who Louisiana Democrats pinned their hopes on. The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved on August 21, 2018.
- Greg Hilburn (July 20, 2018). Johnson, Abraham draw opposition; one challenger arrested. The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved on July 23, 2018.
- Greg Hilburn (September 6, 2018). Abraham pushes food stamp work requirements in Farm Bill. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on September 9, 2018.