Cenla’s New Political Faces

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July 2015 CoverIn the world of elections and politics, the only thing that is constant is change.  Over the past few years, Central Louisiana has welcomed several newly elected or appointed officials who have stepped forward to serve in the public square.  While some of these names are more familiar than others to public service, they are all serving or completing their first term in their current office.  As we prepare for a big election year ahead, we want to introduce you to a few of Cenla’s Newst Political faces representing the people of Cenla in Washington DC, Baton Rouge and in our local communities.

Lee RubinAlexandria City Councilman Lee Rubin

 

Lee Rubin is a lifelong resident of Alexandria, having attended Bolton High School before graduating with his BS from Louisiana State Unviersity in Baton Rouge.  During his term on the council, Rubin has helped to oversee numerous planned investment projects including recreation programs, development of a new electrical generation facility, development of a community technical college, rivitalization of the downtown area and expansion of parish-wide port facilities.  He has been married to his wife, Pam for 44 years, and the two have two adult children–Adam Rubin and Mimi Rubin Kirzner–and four grandchildren.

 

In His Own Words:

“This being my first election, I am very proud to have been chosen by the voters to serve as their City Councilman at Large.  During the first two and a half years of my tenure, I am proud to have been instrumental as we move our city and parish forward with current and planned investment projects of over $225 million.”

 

Contact Information:

City Councilman Lee Rubin
P.O. Box 12236
Alexandria, LA 71303
(318) 448-0927

 

 

Congressman Ralph Abraham-webCongressman Ralph Abraham, M.D.

 

Congressman Ralph Abraham was elected to represent Louisiana’s 5th District in December 2014.  Dr. Abraham grew up in rural Richland Parish where he and his wife, Dianne, reside today. Dr. Abraham graduated from Mangham High School before earning his degree at Louisiana State University. He graduated from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and practiced for 10 years before eventually seeking his Medical Doctor degree, which he earned at the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport. As Dr. Abraham likes to say, he wanted to be able to “treat anything that walks on two or four legs.”  Dr. Abraham is a business owner and certified flight instructor. He achieved the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and is currently an Aircraft Commander in the Coast Guard Auxiliary.  Dr. Abraham and Dianne have been married for 39 years. They have three grown children and eight grandchildren.

 

The 5th District is the largest in terms of area in the state, spanning 24 parishes across most of Northeast and Central Louisiana and parts of five Florida parishes in the state’s southern “boot”. This is his first publicly held office after spending most of his life as a practicing physician, veterinarian, business owner, farmer, pilot and veteran.  Dr. Abraham is a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee and is the chairman of the subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, a position rarely achieved by freshmen members of Congress. His position on the subcommittee will provide him an important role in implementing effective and efficient reforms to Department of Veterans Affairs while holding the administration accountable. He is also on the HVAC subcommittee on Health.  Dr. Abraham is a veteran himself after serving in the Army Reserves, the Mississippi National Guard and volunteering in the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Air Force’s Civil Air Patrol.  Dr. Abraham also serves on the Agriculture Committee. The 5th District is one of the largest row crop districts in the nation, and many of the district’s farmers raise livestock. In a rare honor for freshman members, Dr. Abraham also sits on a third committee, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

 

In His Own Words:

“My political philosophy is simple: Every vote I take will be in the interest of Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District. I spent most of my career as a country doctor, serving a cross-section of all different people in rural Louisiana, so I know how wonderfully diverse my district is. Those constituents are on my mind when I go to work each day in Washington.”

 

Contact Information:

Central Louisiana District Office
1434 Dorchester Dr. Suite E
Alexandria, LA 71301
(318) 445.0818

 

Judge Greg BeardJudge Greg Beard

 

Judge Greg Beard is a judge of the 9th Judicial Court. He was born in Alexandria and graduated from Alexandria Senior High School in 1983.   Judge Beard received a Bachelor of General Studies in 1987 from Louisiana State University and earned his Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge in 1991. Judge Beard was elected to the Ninth Judicial District Court, Division G, in 2014. He has general jurisdiction, but currently presides on the civil/domestic bench.

For twenty-three years, Judge Beard was an attorney in private practice of law with his brother. His legal experience consisted of civil litigation.

Judge Beard is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Alexandria Bar Association, District Judges Association, the Crossroads American Inns of Court of Alexandria-Pineville, Red River Delta Law Enforcement Planning Council, and the Kiwanis Club of Alexandria.  Judge Beard is married to Lisa Ware Beard and resides in Alexandria. The Beards are parents of one adult child, Tyler. Judge Beard and his family are members of Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria.

 

In His Own Words:

“It has been said that within your first 6 months, you will establish what kind of judge you are and will be. I hope I am viewed as one that listens to people and decides their case in a fair and impartial way. I really enjoy my job, especially when it comes to helping people. Being a judge gives me that opportunity—to put into play what I was raised on and how I have lived my life—service to others.”

 

Contact Information:

9th Judicial District Court, Division G
701 Murray Street, 5th Floor
Alexandria, Louisiana 71301
(318) 767-2830

 

 

Rick GallotSenator Rick Gallot

 

Senator Rick Gallot is a member of the Louisiana Senate and an attorney practicing in Ruston, Louisiana. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Grambling State University and his Juris Doctorate Degree from Southern University School of Law. He also attended the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  He received the Lincoln Parish Outstanding Young Person’s Award from the Ruston Jaycees and was recognized by the Shreveport Times as one of the 10 Leaders of the New Century in Northwest Louisiana. He was also inducted into the Grambling State University Alumni Hall of Fame as well as the Southern Law School Hall of Fame and is a member of the Lincoln Rotary. Senator Gallot is married to Christy Cox and they have four sons.

 

Prior to his election to the Senate, Senator Gallot served three terms in the Louisiana House of Representatives. During his first two terms, he served on the House and Governmental Affairs, Civil Law, Judiciary and Environment Committees. During his final term, he served as Chairman of the House and Governmental Affairs Committee and served on the House Executive Committee and the Legislative Budgetary Control Council.  Senator Gallot currently represents State Senate District 29, which encompasses portions of Bienville, Grant, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Rapides and Winn Parishes. Senator Gallot serves on the following committees: Agriculture, Revenue and Fiscal Affairs and is Vice-Chairman of Commerce.

 

Contact Information:

District Office
P.O. Box 1117
Ruston, LA 71273
(318) 251-5019

 

 

Jeff HallRepresentative Jeffrey Hall

 

Representative Jeffery Hall has 40 years of professional experience in politics and business in Louisiana. A graduate of Grambling State University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, he has served as the past clerk, accountant, and assistant internal auditor for the City of Alexandria. He is also the former chairman of the Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority (GAEDA). Hall retired after 32 years of service from CLECO where during his tenure, he served as Vice President of Government Affairs and Economic Development and Senior Vice President for Special Projects. Hall is also a past member of the Rapides Regional Hospital Advisory Board and has served on the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce.

 

Elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in February 2015, Hall serves on three committees in the House: Education, Commerce, and Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development. He is also a member of the Democratic Caucus and the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus. Hall and elementary school sweetheart, Patricia, have been married 43 years and have two children, Nicole and Christopher. He is also a member of True Vine Baptist Church where he serves as a Deacon.

 

In His Own Words:

“I had a wonderful experience being a part of the 2015 Legislative Session.  I humbly give thanks to all of those who saw fit to send me to Baton Rouge as their State Representative.  I can truly validate the commitment of the Cenla delegation, all of them were most helpful to me in this  first session.  I am very pleased with the overall outcome of the session.  At the end of the day, the prioritized issues, higher education, K-12th (Common Core), healthcare and the budget short-fall were all handled.”

 

Contact Information:

District Office
1811 MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301
(318)487-5661

 

 

SONY DSCRepresentative Lance Harris

 

Representative Lance Harris was elected to serve District 25 in the Louisiana State House of Representatives in October, 2011.  From the beginning of his term in office, Representative Harris has been a member of the Committee of Commerce, the Health & Welfare Committee adn the Labor Industrial Committee.  He has also served as an interim member of the Appropriations Committee.  Rep. Harris was elected Chairman fo the Louisiana Republican Legislative Delegation in December, 2012 and is a member of the House Rural Caucus.  During his tenure, Rep. Harris has authored many legislated instruments, covering a variety of areas.  In 2015, Representative Harris was selected as State Legislator of the Year in the Cenla Focus Best of Cenla Readers Choice awards.  In his professional life, Harris serves as CEO and President of Leebo’s Stores, Inc.; Stokes-Harris Enterprises, Inc.; Woodside Pecan and Cattle Farms, LLC.  He is also the Owner/President of Lance Harris Properties and the Majority/Managing Partner of Superior Farms Properties.  He is married to Leetha Harris, and the two reside in Alexandria.

 

Contact Information:

District Office
P.O. Box 13555
Alexandria, LA 71315-3555
(318) 767-6095

 

 

Ronny RichardsonSheriff Ronny Richardson

 

Sheriff Ronny Richardson was elected Sheriff of Sabine Parish is 2011 after serving as an educator for 22 years and a Louisiana State trooper for 14 years.  A native of Converse, he graduated from Converse High School, earned his B.S. at Louisiana Tech and completed his Masters Degree at Northwestern State University.  Sheriff Richardson worked his way through college by shoeing horses and working in the oil field industry.  Outside of law enforcement, he is a cattle and horse producer, avid hunter and former competition shooter.  During his first term as Sheriff, the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Department has obtained grants to build a firearms training range and purchase a digital voice analyzer.  In addition, the department secured the private donation of a 5,000+ square foot office building for use by the Criminal Investigations staff.  Under Sheriff Richardson’s direction, the department has expanded its Narcotics Task Force, which has taken over $4.8 million worth of drugs off the streets in just its first three years.

 

In his own words:

“My goal is to make a good Sheriff’s department better by providing increased training and educational opportunities, hiring high quality individuals, and providing competent leadership.”

 

Contact Information:

Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Department
400 S Capitol St # 100
Many, LA 71449
(318) 256-9241

 

 

Lin Stewart-webLin Dyess Stewart

 

Lin Dyess Stewart is the newly appointed Registrar of Voters for Rapides Parish.  Lin previously served as Chief Deputy Registrar under Joanell Wilson, who recently retired.  She previously worked in the election field with the East Baton Rouge Registrar of Voters office and for the Louisiana Commissioner of Elections.  She is presently Chairman of the State Registrar of Voters Association Bylaws and Constitution Committee.  Her father, the late Senator B. G. Dyess, was Registrar of Voters from 1964 to 1986.  She currently serves on the Eckerd Advisory Board, and has served as President of the Board of Directors for the Shepherd Center and President of the City of Alexandria Human Relations Board.  She has also served on the Board of Directors for Kent House and the Friendship House. Lin is a graduate of Oak Hill High School, and is a certified paralegal.  She is married to Charles Stewart and they have four sons and eight grandchildren.

 

In Her Own Words:

“I plan to focus more on voter registration outreach and voter education, such as the geauxvote app for mobile devices.”

 

Contact Information:

Rapides Parish Registrar of Voters
701 Murray St.
Alexandria, LA 71301
(318) 473-6770

 

 

Philip Terrell-webRapides Parish District Attorney Phillip Terrell

 

Phillip Terrell was sworn in as District Attorney for Rapids Parish in January, 2015.  Prior to his election as DA, Terrell presided as Pineville City Judge for nearly 18 years, and before that served as Pineville City Attorney and City Prosecutor for seven years.  Terrell was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to the Judicial Continuing Education Committee, and has been a member of the Red River Delta Law Enforcement Commission for 17 years.  He is also a former England Authority Commissioner and President of the Rapides Parish Airport Authority.

As District Attorney, Terrell brings both his experience as a city judge long with over 31 years of experience practicing law in Rapides Parish.  He is a 1979 graduate of Louisiana College and 1982 graduate of Louisiana State University Law School.  He is married to his wife, Vicki, and they have three children: Megan, Shelby and Mason.

 

In His Own Words:

“Our focus in the DA’s office is to get violent and dangerous offenders off the streets and into prison.  At the same time, we have instituted a program which we feel will give those in our community who suffer from substance abuse or mental health issues a second chance when they come in contact with the justice system.  We feel those whose lives can be salvaged should be directed through resources which will give them the life skills necessary to care for their families and therefore benefit our parish as a whole.  Also, I believe it is critical that the District Attorney’s office be accessible and courteous to the public we serve.”

 

Contact Information:

Rapides Parish District Attorney
701 Murray St.
Alexandria, LA 71301
(318) 473-6650