Jay Dardenne

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Jay Dardenne
Jay Dardenne.jpg
Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
In office
November 22, 2010 - Present
Term ends
January 9, 2015
Years in position 5
PredecessorMitch Landrieu (D)
Base salary$115,000
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 19, 2011
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, who left the seat after winning election as Mayor of New Orleans.[1]

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


An attorney by trade, Dardenne served as a United States Magistrate for a year after completing law school. He worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Frank Polozola in the District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana for two years, and began his own law practice, Kennon, Odom & Dardenne, LLC, the following year.

Dardenne received the National Republican Legislator of the Year Award in 2003. He and his wife, Catherine, have two children.


  • 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.[3]

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. [4]

Louisiana Secretary of State (2006 - 2010)

Dardenne ran in the September 30, 2006 special election 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. [5]

Dardenne won the election by default. His opponent, 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. [6]

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.[7] 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.



Dardeene is considered a potential candidate for Governor of Louisiana in 2015. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) is term limited and cannot run. 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."[8]


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 run-off. However, if one candidate wins a majority, he or she is considered to have won the election. Dardenne captured more than 50% of the vote and won re-election outright. The Louisiana general election took place Saturday, November 19, 2011[9] but the office of lieutenant governor did not appear on the ballot.

Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana Primary, 2011
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJay Dardenne Incumbent 53.1% 504,541
Billy Nungesser 46.9% 445,049
Total Votes 949,590


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% of the vote.


2010 Race for Lieutenant Governor - General Election [10]
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 [11]
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 [12]
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 [13]
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.[14]

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.[15] Click [show] for more information.

Recent news

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See also

External links

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