|Robert Michael Mills|
Louisiana State Senator for District 36 (Bienville, Bossier, Claiborne,
and Webster parishes)
|Assumed office |
January 13, 2020
|Preceded by||Ryan Gatti|
|Born|| c. 1954|
Resident of Benton in Bossier Parish
|Political party||Republican (life-long)|
|Spouse(s)|| Three divorces|
Fourth and current wife, Sheila Allen Mills
|Children||Four children; names unavailable|
|Alma mater|| Clifton Ellis Byrd High School|
|Occupation||Petroleum, natural gas, and lumber industries|
Robert Michael Mills (born April 1, 1953) is the state senator for District 36 in Bienville, Bossier, Claiborne, and Webster parishes in northwestern Louisiana. A conservative and a life-long registered Republican, Mills unseated Ryan Gatti, a Moderate Republican from Bossier City, who was seeking his second term in the general election held on November 16, 2019. Mills is one the first state legislative candidates to be endorsed by U.S. President Donald Trump, who urged voter support for Mills in pre-election rallies in Monroe and Bossier City while Trump was campaigning for the unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial candidate, Eddie Rispone.
Mills graduated (year not available) from Clifton Ellis Byrd High School in Shreveport, where he resided until he relocated to Benton in Bossier Parish. In 1976, he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Louisiana State Universityin Baton Rouge. He since was employed in the petroleum, natural gas, and lumber businesses. Since 2015, he has been the vice president of Crude Oil Supply, South.
Mills has worked on projects in many nations, including Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, Indonesia, China, and India. Mills said that he expects to complete his "most important project" through service as a state senator in Baton Rouge: I’m running for state Senate because there’s a leadership void and a lack of urgency on the part of career politicians. We’re sluggish while other states are aggressive. I want to get Louisiana back on track, off the bottom, and moving in the right direction."
Election to the state Senate
Mills polled 22,050 votes (56 percent) to Ryan Gatti's 17,209 (44 percent). Earlier on October 12, Mills led in the nonpartisan blanket primary with 48 percent of the ballots cast, but a third candidate, a Democrat, polled enough votes to force a second round of balloting.
Mills carried earlier endorsements from U.S. Senator John Neely Kennedy and U.S. Representative Mike Johnson of the state's 4th congressional district. Mills challenged Gatti for his close personal friendship with Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and his support for tax increases which Edwards obtained from a nominally Republican-majority legislature. In the same election in which Edwards turned back the challenge of Eddie Rispone, the governor' s friend Gatti was unseated. Mills said that Gatti has offered to help with the transition of the senatorial office.
Mills said that lawsuit abuse is his legislative priority in 2020. Even though he expects a veto for such proposed legislation from Governor Edwards, he hopes the legislature, with an even larger Republican majority in Edwards' second term, can override the governor.
- Emily Enfinger (November 16, 2019). Robert Mills defeats Ryan Gatti in State Senate District 36. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on November 20, 2019.
- Robert Mills to Announce Candidacy for State Senate in 2019. The Bossier Press (December 11, 2018). Retrieved on November 21, 2019.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 12 and November 16, 2019.