Jay Dardenne

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Jay Dardenne
Jay Dardenne.jpg
Current candidacy
Running for Governor of Louisiana
Current office
Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
In office
November 22, 2010 - Present
Term ends
January 2016
Years in position 5
PredecessorMitch Landrieu (D)
Base salary$115,000
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Campaign $$5,731,989
Term limitsNone
Prior offices
Louisiana Secretary of State
November 10, 2006 – November 22, 2010
Louisiana State Senate
Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council
High schoolBaton Rouge High School
Bachelor'sLouisiana State University
J.D.Louisiana State University
Date of birthFebruary 6, 1954
Place of birthBaton Rouge, LA
Office website
Campaign website
John Leigh "Jay" Dardenne, Jr. (born February 6, 1954, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) is the current Republican Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana. He previously served as the Louisiana Secretary of State from 2006 to 2010.

Dardenne was first elected as lieutenant governor in a special 2010 election to fill the vacancy created by Mitch Landrieu (D), who left the seat after winning election as Mayor of New Orleans.[1]

An attorney by trade, Dardenne founded his own law practice, Kennon, Odom & Dardenne, LLC. He served as a United States Magistrate and as a law clerk for the Honorable Frank Polozola in the District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.

A February 2013 article in Governing named Dardenne as one of the top state Republican officials to watch in 2013.[2]

Dardenne is a candidate for Governor of Louisiana in the 2015 elections. He is running to replace Bobby Jindal (R), who is ineligible to run due to term limits.[3]


Dardenne graduated from Baton Rouge High School before receiving his bachelor's degree in journalism from Louisiana State University. He also attended Louisiana State University for law school. After completing his J.D., Dardenne served one year as a United States Magistrate, and then spent two years as a law clerk for the Honorable Frank Polozola in the District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. He began his own law practice, Kennon, Odom & Dardenne, LLC, the following year.

Dardenne received the National Republican Legislator of the Year Award in 2003.


  • Baton Rouge High School
  • B.A., journalism, Louisiana State University
  • J.D., Louisiana State University

Political career

Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana (2010 - Present)

Dardenne was first elected as Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana in a special 2010 election to fill the vacancy created by Mitch Landrieu, who left the seat after winning election as Mayor of New Orleans.[4]

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Jay Dardenne endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [5]

Louisiana Secretary of State (2006 - 2010)

Dardenne ran in the special election held on September 30, 2006, to complete the term following the death of former Secretary of State W. Fox McKeithen, a fellow Republican who died in the summer of 2005. McKeithen had been temporarily succeeded by his friend, former Democratic State Representative Alan Ray Ater, at the time an assistant secretary of state under McKeithen, who chose not to run for the post in the special election.[6]

Dardenne won the election by default. His opponent, Francis C. Heitmeier, withdrew, citing the fact that his New Orleans black voter base had been decimated because of Hurricane Katrina. He said that without help from national Democrats, victory over Dardenne would be impossible.[7]

Louisiana State Senate (1992 - 2006)

During his tenure in the senate, Dardenne quickly gained a reputation as a champion of reform, though few of his reform proposals were passed.[8] In the wake of the election of Republican Murphy J. Foster as governor in 1995, Dardenne became floor leader. It was in this span of time he was able to advocate for state constitutional amendments on term limits, coastal erosion, victims' rights, and the creation of a single State Board of Ethics. He also spearheaded reform of the river pilots' system and worked to reduce government waste as the chairman of the senate finance committee.



See also: Louisiana gubernatorial election, 2015

Dardenne is running for Governor of Louisiana in 2015. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) is term-limited and unable to run for re-election. On April 4, 2013, Dardenne stated, "My expectation is I'm going to run, but I don't have a set timetable on when to roll out the campaign."[9] Dardenne showed his commitment to seeking election as governor by launching a new campaign website in November 2013 and participating in a candidate forum on January 16, 2015.[10]


Hypothetical primary match-ups

Governor of Louisiana
Poll David Vitter (R) John Edwards (D)Jay Dardenne (R)Scott Angelle (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Southern Media & Opinion Research Poll
December 9-11, 2014
Triumph Campaigns
March 5, 2015
AVERAGES 35.65% 29.35% 16.8% 5.05% 13.65% +/--1.2 1,127.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.


January 16 forum

Gubernatorial candidates Scott Angelle (R), Jay Dardenne (R), David Vitter (R) and John Edwards (D) opened Louisiana's election season with a largely congenial forum. All four candidates shared similar thoughts on funding for transportation and the state police along with the legacy of term-limited Gov. Bobby Jindal (R). Dardenne criticized the state's approach to new transportation projects as unsustainable and too political. Each candidate agreed that the state police should see decreases in their allotment from the transportation trust fund, which is funded by gas taxes. Vitter, currently a U.S. senator, took the lead on bashing Jindal for questionable budgeting techniques and running for president from the governor's mansion.[11]

The biggest source of disagreement on January 16 was the state's financial support for parish transportation costs. Angelle and Edwards noted that parish governments needed state transportation aid because of their inability to generate enough revenue for local projects. Dardenne argued that current local aid, equaling more than one cent per dollar in gas taxes, needed to be decreased to preserve the state fund.[11]

Campaign finance

Annual report (2014)
Comprehensive donor information for this election has been collected from the state's campaign finance authority. Based on available campaign finance records, the candidates raised a total of $6,699,634.53 and spent a total of $1,267,092.55 during this reporting period. This information was last updated on February 19, 2015.[12]

Campaign Contributions and Expenditures
Candidate Office Beginning balance Contributions Expenditures Ending balance
David Vitter Republican Party Governor of Louisiana $0 $4,107,597.72 $600,212.83 $3,504,174.14
Scott Angelle Republican Party Governor of Louisiana $175,574.96 $1,516,900.82 $232,370.28 $1,431,310.95
Jay Dardenne Republican Party Governor of Louisiana $1,225,114.71 $690,128.62 $326,051.28 $1,549,526.30
John Edwards Democratic Party Governor of Louisiana $474,725.46 $385,007.37 $108,458.16 $745,894.30
Grand Total Raised $6,699,634.53
Grand Total Spent $1,267,092.55


Dardenne defeated challenger Republican Billy Nungesser, President of Plaquemines Parish, in the primary election on October 22, 2011. In Louisiana, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected on a shared ticket in the general election, but the two offices have separate primary campaigns and elections.

In state races, Louisiana uses an open primary system known as a blanket primary. All candidates, regardless of political affiliation, run in one primary where voters are not bound to vote for a candidate from their own party. Ordinarily, the top two vote-earners, who may be from the same party, will advance to a runoff. However, if one candidate wins a majority, he or she is considered to have won the election. Dardenne captured more than 50 percent of the vote and won re-election outright. The Louisiana general election took place Saturday, November 19, 2011, but the office of lieutenant governor did not appear on the ballot.[13]

Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana Blanket Primary, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJay Dardenne Incumbent 53.1% 504,541
     Republican Billy Nungesser 46.9% 445,049
Total Votes 949,590
Election Results via Louisiana Secretary of State


Former Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu vacated his seat after winning election as Mayor of New Orleans in 2010. His replacement, Scott Angelle, was appointed and served for a short time until a special election was held in 2010, coinciding with the general election on November 2, 2010. In the primary election, Dardenne and Democrat Caroline Fayard were the top two vote-getters, and met in a runoff election in November 2010, where Dardenne captured 57.1 percent of the vote.


2010 Race for Lieutenant Governor - General Election[14]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Jay Dardenne 57.1%
     Democratic Party Caroline Fayard 42.9%
Total Votes 1,260,520


2010 Race for Lieutenant Governor - Primary Election[15]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Jay Dardenne 27.6%
     Democratic Party Caroline Fayard 24.3%
     Republican Party Sammy Kershaw 19.2%
     Republican Party Kevin Davis 7.9%
     Democratic Party James Crowley 7.9%
     Republican Party Roger Villere 6.7%
     Democratic Party Butch Gautreaux 3.9%
     Republican Party Melaine J. McKnight 2.5%
Total Votes 655,416


2007 Race for Secretary of State - General Election[16]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Jay Dardenne 63%
     Democratic Party R. Wooley 31%
     Non-Partisan Scott Lewis 5%
Total Votes 1,196,743


2006 Race for Secretary of State - Special Election[17]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Jay Dardenne 30%
     Democratic Party Francis C. Heitmeier 28%
     Republican Party Mike Francis 26%
     Republican Party Mary Chehardy 9%
     Non-Partisan James Crowley, III 4%
     Libertarian Party Rayburn Clipper 2%
     Republican Party Allen Leone 2%
Total Votes 643,927

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Dardenne is available dating back to 1999. Based on available campaign finance records, Dardenne raised a total of $5,731,989 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 11, 2013.[18]

Jay Dardenne's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2011 Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana Won $3,487,361
2009 Louisiana Secretary of State Not up for election $179,779
2007 Louisiana Secretary of State Won $1,385,010
2005 Louisiana State Senate District 16 Not up for election $14,994
2003 Louisiana State Senate District 16 Won $503,629
1999 Louisiana State Senate District 16 Won $161,216
Grand Total Raised $5,731,989

1993, 2003, 2007

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Jay Dardenne's donors each year.[19] Click [show] for more information.


Dardenne and his wife, Catherine, have two children.

Recent news

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Jay Dardenne - Google News Feed

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Town Talk, "La. Secretary of State Dardenne wants to be lieutenant governor" 14 Feb. 2010
  2. Governing, "State Republican Officials to Watch in 2013," February 6, 2013
  3. The Advertiser, "2015 governor’s race: They’re at the gate," January 4, 2015
  4. Town Talk, "La. Secretary of State Dardenne wants to be lieutenant governor" 14 Feb. 2010
  5. The Republic, "Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne backs Mitt Romney in GOP presidential nomination race," March 20, 2012
  6. New Orleans Times-Picayune, "Ater won't run for secretary of state"
  7. Louisiana Political Report, "Heitmeier Surrenders Secretary of State"
  8. Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, "Jay Dardenne: Served as outsider, insider"
  9. The News Star, "Dardenne preparing campaign for governor," April 4, 2013
  10. Jay Dardenne Campaign, "Home," accessed January 16, 2015
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Times-Picayune, "2015 governor candidates forum: Louisiana has a roads and infrastructure problem," January 16, 2015
  12. Louisiana Ethics Administration Program, "View Campaign Finance Reports," accessed February 19, 2015
  13. The Green Papers, "2010 Gubernatorial Primaries at a Glance"
  14. Louisiana Secretary of State - November 2010 General Election Results
  15. Louisiana Secretary of State - October 2010 Primary Election Results
  16. Louisiana Secretary of State - Oct. 2007 General Election Results (timed out)
  17. Louisiana Secretary of State - Sept. 30, 2006 Special Election Results (timed out)
  18. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Jay Dardenne," accessed July 11, 2013
  19. Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015

Political offices
Preceded by
Mitch Landrieu (D)
Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Al Ater
Louisiana Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Tom Schedler (R)
Preceded by
Kenneth Osterberger
Louisiana State Senate
Succeeded by
Bill Cassidy (R)