Garret Graves
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Garret Graves
Garret Graves
Garret Graves official portrait, 2015.jpg
Ranking Member of the House Climate Crisis Committee

January 3, 2019
Position established
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th district

January 3, 2015
Bill Cassidy
Personal details
Garret Neal Graves

(1972-01-31) January 31, 1972 (age 48)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Carissa Vanderleest
WebsiteHouse website

Garret Neal Graves (born January 31, 1972) is an American politician serving as the United States Representative from Louisiana's 6th congressional district. In a runoff election on December 6, 2014, Graves, a Republican, defeated the Democratic candidate, Edwin Edwards.

Early life

Garret Graves was born on January 31, 1972[1] to John and Cynthia (née Sliman) Graves, who was of Lebanese descent; his father owns an engineering firm.[2] He is a Roman Catholic.[3] Graves attended the University of Alabama, Louisiana Tech, and American University, but did not earn a degree.[4]


Graves served as an aide for nine years to former U.S. Representative Billy Tauzin of Louisiana's 3rd congressional district. He was also a legislative aide to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, of which Tauzin served as chairman.[2] In 2005, he became an aide for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, serving Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter. He was the staff director for the United States Senate's Subcommittee on Climate Change and Impacts. He also worked for Democratic former U.S. Senator John Breaux, a protege of Edwin Edwards and Vitter's predecessor in the Senate.[5] He served as a chief legislative aide to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.[6]

In 2008, Governor Bobby Jindal appointed Graves to manage the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. In the position, he negotiated on behalf of the state with British Petroleum over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.[5] He resigned the position, effective February 17, 2014.[6]



In March 2014, Graves announced his intention to run in the 2014 election to the United States House of Representatives for Louisiana's 6th congressional district; incumbent Republican Bill Cassidy successfully challenged incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.[7]

In the 2014 nonpartisan blanket primary, Edwin Edwards finished in first place with 30 percent of the vote; Graves was the runner-up with 27 percent. Graves and Edwards advanced to the December 6 runoff election.[5] In a runoff election on December 6, 2014, Graves received 139,209 votes (62.4 percent) to Edwards's 83,781 (37.6 percent).[8]

In the nonpartisan blanket primary held in conjunction with the national elections on November 6, 2018, Graves handily won his third term in the U.S. House, having led a four-candidate field with 186,524 votes (69 percent). Democrat Justin Dewitt trailed with 55,078 votes (21 percent). Two other candidate, Democrat "Andie" Saizan and Independent David Lance Graham, held the remaining 3 percent of the ballots cast.[9]

Congressional matters

In April 2017, Representative Graves became engaged in a public dispute with Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards regarding the disbursement of federal assistance for Louisiana's 2016 flooding victims. Graves, who has been mentioned as a potential challenger to Edwards in the 2019 gubernatorial election, claims that he is "focused on flood recovery ... none of the governor's talk is helping flood victims."[10]

Edwards attributed the delay in disbursement of the funds, which began on April 10, to the state's financial shortfall which prevented the quick retaining of a disaster management firm. Edwards' executive counsel, Matthew Block, explained that the state had no money in 2016 to pay the contractor. Edwards currently projects a $440 million budget deficit for the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2017.[11]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Graves resides in his native Baton Rouge.[15][6] His wife is Carissa Vanderleest.[16]

See also


  1. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). Roll Call. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Questions remain about potential conflict". Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ "Members of Congress: Religious Affiliations". Pew Research Center. January 16, 2017. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ "Garret Graves - Ballotpedia".
  5. ^ a b c "Edwin Edwards, Garret Graves headed for runoff in 6th Congressional District". Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Jindal coastal adviser Garret Graves resigns, effective Feb. 17". Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ "Former Jindal adviser running for Congress". Archived from the original on March 22, 2015. Retrieved 2014.
  8. ^ "Runoff election returns, December 6, 2014". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved 2014.
  9. ^ "Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ Greg Hilburn (April 21, 2017). "Who will challenge Gov. Edwards in 2019?". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ Rebekah Allen (April 20, 2017). "U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, Gov. John Bel Edwards sniping about flood recovery, again". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "New coastal director has strong local knowledge". Retrieved 2014.
  16. ^ "Sixth district". Official Congressional Directory 114th Congress, 2015-2016. p. 120.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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