Capitol Briefing with Gabe Firment

Taking the oath of office as District 22 state representative on the morning of January 13th in the presence of my wife, children, and parents was a truly special experience that I will never forget, but the solemnity of that momentous occasion was soon shattered when the House began proceedings to elect the next Speaker of the House. Ultimately the House members voted 60 – 45 to elect Rep. Clay Schexnayder(R-Gonzales) as Speaker, with 23 Republican representatives joining 35 Democrats and 2 Independents to provide Rep. Schexnayder the winning margin.

The citizens of District 22 should know that I voted with 44 other conservative Republican representatives to elect Rep. Sherman Mack(R-Albany) as Speaker of the House, but the coalition of moderate Republicans, Democrats, and Independents that supported Schexnayder assured that my first vote as representative ended in defeat. However, I have no regrets for my support of Rep. Mack, who won the endorsement of the Republican delegation with a super-majority of the votes during a delegation meeting I attended in Baton Rouge on December 13th.

The days leading up to the inauguration and election of the Speaker were quite tumultuous, culminating with an emergency meeting of the Republican delegation on the morning of the inauguration. In that meeting Rep. Mack offered to step down as the delegation-endorsed candidate in hopes that Rep. Schexnayder and his supporters would join the majority of the Republican delegation and come together to support one Republican candidate, but Rep. Schexnayder rejected the offer and the meeting was concluded with a fractured Republican party heading to the House floor for the inauguration.

I must admit that this was a somewhat disappointing start for the new legislature since the people of Louisiana overwhelmingly voted for conservative representation in the 2019 elections, with Republicans gaining a super-majority of seats in the state Senate and a near super-majority in the House. However, I am cautiously optimistic that the new legislature will come together and successfully implement a conservative agenda of lower taxes, tort reform, and smaller government demanded by the people of District 22 and Louisiana. Rep. Schexnayder has a conservative voting record, and since his election as Speaker he has consistently stated that tort reform and lowering insurance costs are his number one priority this session. I am looking forward to working with Speaker Schexnayder in the coming months to implement real reforms that produce tangible results for the hard-working people of District 22.

I am pleased to announce the opening of my District Office at 181 Barron Road in Pollock, and the hiring of my legislative assistant Mrs. Myrtle Lasyone. Myrtle is a native of Georgetown, LA and comes to District 22 with 24 years of legislative experience, having worked with Sen. Gerald Long for 12 years and Sen. Mike Smith for 12 years. Her experience and heart for helping others will prove to be invaluable for this freshmen representative and the people of District 22. Please contact our office at (318)765-9606 or via email at or Thank you.