Randal Gaines

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Randal Leroy Gaines

Louisiana State Representative for
District 57 (St. Charles and
St. John the Baptist parishes)
In office
January 2012 – January 2024
Preceded by Nickey J. Monica

Born November 7, 1955
Place of birth missing
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Camalyn Woodard Gaines
Children Three children
Residence LaPlace, St. John the Baptist Parish
Alma mater Southern University

Southern University Law Center

Occupation Attorney
Religion Missionary Baptist

Military Service
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Lieutenant Colonel in the
Louisiana National Guard

Randal Leroy Gaines (born November 7, 1955)[1] is an African-American attorney from LaPlace in St. John the Baptist Parish in suburban New Orleans, Louisiana, who is a Democratic state representative for District 57 (St. Charles and St. John the Baptist parishes).[2]


Gaines's place of birth and names of parents are unavailable. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology from the historically black Southern University and a Juris Doctorate from the Southern University Law Center, both in the capital city of Baton Rouge. He is a former assistant city attorney for New Orleans and has been a tax attorney for the Internal Revenue Service. A lieutenant colonel in the Louisiana National Guard, he is a veteran of the United States Army. He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Gaines is an associate professor and director of the Criminal Justice Department at his alma mater, the historically black Southern University, of which he is a former member of the board of supervisors. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce.[3]

Gaines and his wife, the former Camalyn Woodard (born October 1961), have three children. He is a deacon in the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in LaPlace and treasurer of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a group founded by Martin Luther King, Jr.[3] He is a former resident of New Orleans, Kenner in Jefferson Parish, and Gonzales in Ascension Parish, and Lutcher, in St. James Parish.[4]

Political life

In 2011, Gaines was elected to the House by defeating a "No Party" candidate, Russ Wise, 5,677 votes (69 percent) to 2,548 (31 percent). [5] In the nonpartisan blanket primary held the preceding month, Gaines led with 41 percent, and three other Democratic candidates were eliminated.[6] The seat was vacated by the Republican incumbent, Nickey J. Monica, but no GOP candidates sought the position, which was impacted by redistricting.[7] Gaines ran unsuccessfully for the House in 2007 and was eliminated in the primary.[3]

Representative Gaines is a member of the House Democratic Caucus and the Legislative Black Caucus. He carries a heavy schedule of House committees: (1) Civil Law and Procedure, (2) Homeland Security, (3) House and Governmental Affairs, (4) Judiciary, and (5) Military and Veterans Affairs.[3]

Gaines' ratings from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry have ranged from 30 to 67 percent over the years he has been a legislator. In 2012, the National Federation of Independent Business scored him 33 percent. In 2013 and 2014, the conservative Louisiana Family Forum scored him 43 and 25 percent, respectively. Louisiana Right to Life has rated him 50 to 100 percent since he entered the legislature. He did not vote in 2014 to require that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges near their clinic; only five House members voted against the measure. Gaines ranks 100 percent from the Louisiana Association of Educators.[8]

Gaines voted in 2014 to extend the time for implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. He voted against the requirement that companies must give public notice of proposed hydraulic fracking. He did not vote on the matter of halting the transportation of dogs in open truck beds on interstate highways. He voted for the repeal of anti-sodomy laws; the measure failed in the House, 27-67. He voted against the concealed carry of weapons in restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages. In 2013, he voted for permanent concealed-carry permits but favored making information on the permits a matter of the public record. He voted for judicial pay increases and for removing the mandatory retirement age of judges. He vote to reduce the penalties for marijuana possession; the measure passed the House, 54-38.[9]

In 2012, Gaines co-sponsored parole eligibility for non-violent offenders. He voted to establish tax incentives to recruit a National Basketball Association team to Louisiana but opposed deductions for state income taxes to taxpayers donating to scholarship funds. He voted against the requirement that welfare recipients undergo periodic testing for use of narcotics. He opposed reducing the number of hours that polling stations remain open. He voted to forbid telephone use while driving. He opposed changes to the teacher tenure law.[9]


  1. Randal Gaines. Mylife.com.
  2. Randal L. Gaines. house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved on August 12, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Randal L. Gaines' Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on August 12, 2020.
  4. Randal L. Gaines. intelius.com. Retrieved on August 13, 2020.
  5. Election Results. Louisiana Secretary of State (November 19, 2011). Retrieved on May 4, 2015.
  6. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 22, 2011.
  7. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 17, 2007.
  8. Randal L. Gaines' Ratings and Evaluations. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on August 12, 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Randal L. Gaines' Voting Records. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on August 12, 2020.