Alabama State Representative
for District 87 (Geneva
and Houston counties)
|Assumed office |
November 3, 2010
|Spouse(s)||Stephanie Ward Chesteen|
|Children||Roxanna and Christopher|
|Alma mater|| Geneva County High School|
Troy State University
Donnie Chesteen (born 1953) is a cattleman and former educator from Geneva, Alabama, who since 2010 has represented District 87 in the Alabama House of Representatives. A Republican, his district encompasses Geneva and Houston counties in the southeastern portion of the state just north of the Florida Panhandle boundary.
Chesteen graduated from Geneva County High School in Hartford, Alabama, and obtained a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in physical education from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama. From 1977 to 1987, he was a teacher and football coach at Geneva County High School . From 1988 to 2009, he was a medical sales representative for Mead Johnson and also worked briefly for Bristol-Myers Squibb. In addition to cattle raising, he is an assistant football coach at Geneva High School. He is a former chairman of the Geneva City Board of Education and a member of Rotary International. He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Geneva. He and his wife, Stephanie, have two children, Roxanna and Christopher.
In 2010, Chesteen defeated Lamar M. Brooks and Rob Hinson in the June 1 primary election for the District 87 seat in the Alabama House. He polled 4,277 votes (49.5 percent) to Brooks' 2,546 (29.4 percent) and Hinson's 1,823 (21.1 percent). Chesteen was unopposed in the November 2 general election. Four years later in 2014, he won his second legislative term without opposition in either the primary or the general election.
Chesteen is the chairman of the House Technology and Research Committee and the vice chairman of Agriculture and Forestry, and a member of Ways and Means Education.
In 2013, Representative Chesteen voted to establish health care standards for abortion facilities in Alabama. In 2014, he co-sponsored the bill to prohibit abortion after the detection of the heartbeat of the unborn child. He voted to permit display of the Ten Commandments on public property, a measure which passed the House, 77-19. He supported drug testing for certain recipients of the public welfare system. In 2015, Chesteen supported legislation affirming the use of electrocution in executions. He voted to establish public charter schools in Alabama, a measure which passed the House, 58-41. He supported the bill to permit the home schooled to participate in public school athletic events, a measure approved by the full House, 52-43. He supported the increase in the cigarette tax, which passed the House, 52-46. In 2016, Chesteen supported legislation to forbid the sale of fetal tissue or to permit its use in research, and he opposed dilation abortions in Alabama. He opposed the increase in funding for new prison facilities, a measure which passed the House, 52-33. In 2017, he opposed allowing midwives to practice in his state, a measure which still won House approval, 84-11. He supported reducing the time for appeals from inmates on death row. He voted for the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, a measure sponsored in the House by Representative Mack Butler which prohibits the alteration or removal of historic monuments. The legislation passed the House, 72-29. Chesteen voted to prohibit judicial override of sentencing guidelines, a measure which passed the House, 78-19.
In 2018, Chesteen will not seek a third term in the House but will contest the state Senate seat for Geneva and Houston counties held since 1998 years by the Independent Harri Anne Smith. Senator Smith was purged from the Republican Party after she supported a Democratic candidate for the United States House of Representatives in 2008. She won her two most recent terms as an Independent over strong Republican opposition.
- Donnie Chesteen's Biography. Retrieved on October 24, 2017.
- Donnie Chesteen. Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on October 24, 2017.
- Donnie Chesteen's Voting Records. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on October 24, 2017.
- Rep. Donnie Chesteen confirms he plans to seek State Senate seat. WTVY.com (April 17, 2017). Retrieved on October 25, 2017.