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For Immediate Release
DATE: January 14, 2008
CONTACT: Senate Office of Communication
PHONE:  (225) 342-9737




  In special inaugural ceremonies in the Louisiana State Senate Chamber, members of the 2008-2012 State Senate took the oath of office and were officially seated as State Senators. Among the 39 members are 18 new State Senators including four members who are beginning their first term in the Louisiana Legislature. After taking the oath of office from Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Pascal Calogero, the members chose their leadership.


  Senators unanimously chose District 19 State Senator Joel Chaisson II (D-Destrahan)as the new Senate President. Senators Jody Amedee and Rob Marionneaux nominated the 47 year old attorney for the post, noting his life-long commitment to family and community and his success in tackling difficult problems against all odds.

  Sen. Chaisson, who is beginning his third term in the Louisiana Senate, previously served in the Louisiana House of Representatives and as a member of the St. Charles Parish Council. With wife Sandra, daughter Martene and mother Bobbie by his side, Sen. Chaisson took the oath of office from his father, retired Judge Joel Chaisson who also once served in the Louisiana State Legislature.

  The new Senate President, known as a consensus-builder who quietly and deliberately finds solutions to complex issues, sees this new legislative term as one offering new opportunities for a better Louisiana.

  "I can't remember a time that people in this state were so enthusiastic, optimistic and encouraged about the possibilities for our future. And they should be. All the ingredients for success are there," Senate President Chaisson said. "All the ingredients for success are there, but none of us can do it alone. Cooperation, bipartisanship and a willingness to work together in partnership for the betterment of our state is what it will take for us to achieve our full potential. The people of Louisiana deserve and expect no less. I intend to do my part as Senate President to help fulfill those expectations."

  The new Senate President Pro-Tempore District 15 State Senator Sharon Weston Broome (D-Baton Rouge) is ready to help lead that effort. Also chosen for the leadership post by a unanimous vote, Sen. Broome who was the first woman elected Speaker Pro Tempore during her service in the Louisiana House of Representatives is the second woman to serve as Louisiana Senate President Pro Tempore. Described as a civic-enabler with vision and compassion by Senators Lydia Jackson and Ben Nevers who nominated Broome for the leadership post, Sen. Broome took the oath office from attorney Lisa Woodruff-White as the Senator's husband Marvin stood nearby.

  "We turn the page of a new chapter in Louisiana politics, a chapter which includes a vision of a better, more improved state government. Through collaboration, hard work and a desire for success, we can accomplish anything," Senate President Pro Tempore Broome said. "As public servants it is critical that we always maintain our focus on the people who elected us for it will always be our care and our concern for others that is the true measure of our greatness."

  The new members of the Senate are A.G. Crowe, Cheryl Gray, John Alario, Steve Scalise, Danny Martiny, Dale Erdey, Yvonne Dorsey, Troy Hebert, Dan Morrish, Eric LaFleur, John Smith, Mike Walsworth, Francis Thompson and B.L. "Buddy" Shaw who all previously served in the Louisiana House of Representatives. New Senators David Heitmeier, Jack Donahue, Gerald Long and Neil Riser are new to the Louisiana State Legislature.


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