|Raymond James Crews|
Louisiana State Representative for District 8 (Bossier Parish)
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Mike Johnson|
|Born|| May 1966|
|Spouse(s)|| Dianah Lee Crews|
|Occupation|| Former airline pilot|
Retired from United States Air Force
Raymond James Crews (born May 1966) is a former airline pilot from Bossier City in northwestern Louisiana, who is the District 8 Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for Bossier Parish. He has sixty Republican colleagues in the GOP-majority state House.
Crews won a special runoff election held on April 29, 2017, to choose the successor to James Michael "Mike" Johnson, who after less than two years in the state legislature was elected in 2016 to fill Louisiana's 4th congressional district vacated by John Fleming, an unsuccessful candidate for the United States Senate. Crews defeated fellow Republican Robert Hal "Robbie" Gatti, Jr. (born March 1970), the brother of Louisiana state Senator Ryan Gatti, a Bossier City lawyer who is a confidant of Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards. In a 21 percent turnout of fewer than 6,000 voters of a qualified electorate of nearly 29,000, Crews polled 3,845 votes (64 percent) to Gatti's 2,150 (36 percent).
A 17-year veteran of the United States Air Force, nine in active duty, he flew B-52 bombers in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Crews said that his election to the state House proves that district voters want a "true conservative" in the mold of Mike Johnson, who endorsed Crews as his state House successor.
In the first round of balloting on March 25, Crews finished first in a four-candidate all-Republican field, with 2,144 votes (41 percent), followed by Gatti, who received 1,947 votes (37 percent). In third place was Michael Durrell "Duke" Lowrie (born April 1970) of Benton, who ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2011 against fellow Republican Jeff R. Thompson, since a district judge in Bossier Parish.
The fourth placed candidate, Patrick Harrington, subsequently endorsed Crews, as did U.S. Senator John Neely Kennedy, neighboring state Representative Dodie Horton, and Louisiana state Attorney General Jeff Landry. Two other Republicans, John Stefanski in District 42 and Joe Stagni in District 92, also won special elections in 2017 to fill vacancies. Stefanski succeeded a Democrat; Stagni, another Republican.
In April 2018, Representative Crews endorsed the state House-passed budget which critics claim will gut state hospitals and higher education and faces likely defeat in the state Senate. Crews said that Governor John Bel Edwards has exaggerated the state's fiscal condition in a bid to convince lawmakers to raise taxes once more. Crews noted that under the House budget hospitals will have $4 billion more than they had a few years ago. He said the principal medical problem comes from the expansion of Medicaid, which does not reimburse physicians commensurate with their services rendered.
On April 26, 2018, Crews' mother, Ute Ingrid Neumann Crews, a native of East Prussia, was killed at the age of seventy-six in an automobile accident near Lexington in Henderson County, Tennessee, while en route to her home in West Virginia. Crews' father, James, the driver, escaped injuries. James Crews, an Air Force lieutenant originally from Colmesneil in Tyler County in southeastern Texas, met his wife at Bitburg Air Base in Germany. The couple had lived also in Oklahoma, Illinois, and Louisiana.
- Raymond Crews, 71111, May 1966. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on April 19, 2018.
- Election Results. Louisiana Secretary of State (April 29, 2017). Retrieved on May 2, 2017.
- Barbara Leader (April 30, 2017). Crews wins District 8 House race. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on May 1, 2017.
- State Representative - 8th District. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on March 26, 2017.
- Jeff Landry endorses Raymond Crews in runoff. Thehayride.com. Retrieved on May 2, 2017.
- Rep. Raymond Crews problems not nearly as severe as the governor is letting on. KEEL Radio (April 20, 2018).
- Mother of Rep. Raymond Crews dies in traffic accident. Arklatexhomepage.com (April 27, 2018). Retrieved on April 30, 2018.