Difference between revisions of "Bob Hensgens"

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{{Infobox officeholder
{{Infobox officeholder
| name=Craig Robert "Bob" Hensgens​
| name=Craig Robert "Bob" Hensgens​
| image=Bob Hensgens of LA.jpg
| office=[[Louisiana]] State Senator for District 26 (Vermilion and portions of Acadia, Lafayette, and St. Landry parishes)​
| office=[[Louisiana]] State Senator for District 26 (Vermilion and portions of Acadia, Lafayette, and St. Landry parishes)​
| term_start=November 2018​
| term_start=November 2018​

Latest revision as of 17:34, 23 September 2020

Craig Robert "Bob" Hensgens​

Louisiana State Senator for District 26 (Vermilion and portions of Acadia, Lafayette, and St. Landry parishes)​
Assumed office 
November 2018​
Preceded by Jonathan Perry​

Louisiana State Representative for
District 47 (Calcasieu, Cameron,
and Vermilion parishes)​
In office
May 2011​ – 2018​
Preceded by Jonathan Perry​
Succeeded by Ryan Bourriaque

Mayor of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish
In office
October 30, 2007​ – May 2011​
Preceded by Charlotte Venable-Hartwell​
Succeeded by David Dupuis​

Born January 26, 1965
Cameron Parish, Louisiana​
Political party Democrat-turned-Republican (2011)
Spouse(s) First wife missing

Nancy LeJeune Hensgens (married c. 2002)​

Children Allison Chapman Istre

Beau Istre
​ Bobbie Jo LeJeune
​ Four granddaughters​

Residence Gueydan, Vermilion Parish​
Alma mater Vermilion Catholic High School​

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Occupation Businessman

Craig Robert Hensgens, known as Bob Hensgens (born January 26, 1965), is a Republican state senator for District 6, which encompasses Vermilion and portions of Acadia, Lafayette, and St. Landry parishes in south Louisiana.


Born in Cameron Parish, Hensgens graduated from Vermilion Catholic High School in Abbeville and attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge but dropped out after his father was killed in a farm accident.[1] He thereafter received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is a former director of the Vermilion Parish hospital service district, Since 2006, he has been managing partner in the health care company MH3F. He is also a former president of the Gueydan Chamber of Commerce.​

Hensgens is married to the former Nancy LeJeune and has three children, Allison Chapman Istre, Beau Istre and Bobbie Jo LeJeune. He also has four granddaughters.​

Political life

State senator

On November 6, 2018, Hensgens won a special election for the District 6 Senate seat with 22,361 votes (60 percent). A Democrat, Jean Louise Menard (born 1975) of Church Point in Acadia Parish, finished in second place with 8,158 votes (22 percent). The remaining 6,777 votes (18 percent) were polled by a second then Republican candidate, Jerry Paul Gaspard (born 1955) of Abbeville in Vermilion Parish, a former employee of the Farm Bureau. Nearly 51 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the senatorial contest.[2] The position opened when Democrat-turned-Republican Jonathan Perry was elected to the 4F judgeship on the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit, based in Lake Charles.​

Eleven months after the senatorial special election, Hensgens won a full term in the Senate, 27,228 votes (79 percent) to Jerry Gaspard's 7,161 (21 percent). In this race Gaspard ran as a Democrat.[3] In the second race, Gaspard endorsed the successful reelection of Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards against the Republican Eddie Rispone and claimed that the Democratic Party had become "more conservative" in recent years and now reflects Gaspard's own political view.[4]

State representative

From 2011 to 2018, Hensgens was state representative for District 47, which encompasses Calcasieu, Cameron, and Vermilion parishes. Through his victory in the special election held on April 30, 2011, Hensgens became at the time the 55th member of his party to serve in the 105-member Louisiana House of Representatives. (There will be 68 Republicans in the chamber, effective January 13, 2020.) No Democrat filed for this House seat though the district had cast two thirds of its votes in 2003 for the successful Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Kathleen Blanco of Lafayette.[5]

In his announcement of House candidacy, Hensgens said that Louisiana is "struggling to pay the bills for promises that should have never been made. ... somewhere along the line our promise of a safety net has been transformed into a hammock and that is not sustainable. Government, like you and me, needs to live within its means."[6]

As a legislator, Hensgen succeeded state Representative Jonathan Perry, who had narrowly won a special election for the state Senate in 2011. In that race, Hensgens defeated fellow Republican Linda A. Hardee (born January 20, 1948), an educator and a former mayor of Kaplan in Vermilion Parish, who carried the endorsement of the Louisiana Association of Educators.[7] Hensgens lent Hardee $200 so that she could pay cash for a portion of her filing fee. They both came to the Vermilion Parish clerk of court's office to register for the race at the same time, and she was short of the required $450.[8]

Hensgens narrowly prevailed in the House race, 3,477 votes (52.35 percent) to 3,165 (47.65 percent). He narrowly lost his home parish; his victory came from a 2-1 margin in the thirteen precincts in his native Cameron Parish.[9] Hardee won the bulk of the African American electorate.[5] Hensgens, however, carried the backing of the Tea Party movement.[10][11]

Hensgens and Hardee described themselves as "pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, family-oriented, and fiscally-responsible."[12]

Hensgens was sworn in as representative by his friend and predecessor in the office, Jonathan Perry, the first time in Louisiana history when a state senator swore in a representative.[13]

Mayor of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish

Prior to his election to the state House, Hensgens, then a Democrat,[14] served nearly four years as the mayor of Gueydan, a town near Abbeville, Hensgens balanced the town budget by cutting spending, rather than raising taxes, and he reduced his own salary so that police officers could receive a raise.[1] David Dupuis, the acting Gueydan mayor, succeeded Hengens and served until the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 22, 2011.[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Hensgens Endorsed by Tea Party of Lafayette: Hensgens Campaign Picking up Momentum," The Dead Pelican, April 15, 2011.
  2. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 6, 2018.
  3. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 12, 2019.
  4. Ken Stickney (September 25, 2019). In Senate District 26, a rematch of 2018 special election. The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved on December 6, 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, April 30, 2011.
  6. "Hengens announces candidacy for Representative District 47," Vermillion Today, 2011.
  7. LAE Endorses Linda Hardee for State Representative District 47. lae.org (April 26, 2011). Retrieved on April 30, 2011; no longer on-line.
  8. State rep hopeful borrows from opponent," March 17, 2011. theind.com. Retrieved on July 11, 2011.
  9. Louisiana Secretary of State, Legislative Special Election, April 30, 2011.
  10. Tea Party of Louisiana endorses Bob Hensgens. teapartycheer.com (April 25, 2011). Retrieved on December 6, 2019.
  11. "Bob Hensgens wins!," Louisiana conservative.com, July 12, 2011.
  12. Meet the candidates running for House Dist. 47. KPLC-TV (April 27, 2011). Retrieved on December 6, 2019.
  13. Judy Le Blanc. Hensgens sworn in as Louisiana legislator. Kaplan Today. Retrieved on July 11, 2011; no longer on-line.
  14. "Qualifying for October 20: Full List," Lafayette Daily Advertiser, September 7, 2007.
  15. "Gueydan mayor wins state representative race," Kaplan Today, May 1, 2011.