Garret Graves

Garret Graves
Garret Graves official portrait, 2015.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byBill Cassidy
Personal details
Garret Neal Graves

(1972-01-31) January 31, 1972 (age 47)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Carissa Vanderleest
EducationUniversity of Alabama
Louisiana Tech
American University
WebsiteHouse website

Garret Neal Graves (born January 31, 1972) is 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, former Governor Edwin Edwards.

Early life[edit]

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] Congressman Graves attended the University of Alabama, Louisiana Tech, and American University from 1990-1996.[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[5]. He also worked for Democratic former U.S. Senator John Breaux, a protege of Edwin Edwards and Vitter's predecessor in the Senate.[6] He served as a chief legislative aide to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.[7]

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.[6] He resigned the position, effective February 17, 2014.[7]



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 U.S. Senator Democrat Mary Landrieu.[8]

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.[6] In a runoff election on December 6, 2014, Graves received 139,209 votes (62.4 percent) to Edwards's 83,781 (37.6 percent).[9]

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.[10]

Congressional matters[edit]

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."[11]

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.[12]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Graves resides in his native Baton Rouge.[16][7] His wife is Carissa Vanderleest.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). Roll Call. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Questions remain about potential conflict". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  3. ^ "Members of Congress: Religious Affiliations". Pew Research Center. January 16, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  4. ^ "Garret Graves - Ballotpedia".
  5. ^ Dao, Emily (2019-07-29). "This Republican Congressman Wants to Change How His Party Views Climate Change". The Rising — Covering how changes in the environment impact business, technology, and politics. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  6. ^ a b c "Edwin Edwards, Garret Graves headed for runoff in 6th Congressional District". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Jindal coastal adviser Garret Graves resigns, effective Feb. 17". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  8. ^ "Former Jindal adviser running for Congress". Archived from the original on March 22, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  9. ^ "Runoff election returns, December 6, 2014". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  10. ^ "Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  11. ^ Greg Hilburn (April 21, 2017). "Who will challenge Gov. Edwards in 2019?". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  12. ^ Rebekah Allen (April 20, 2017). "U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, Gov. John Bel Edwards sniping about flood recovery, again". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  13. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  14. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  16. ^ "New coastal director has strong local knowledge". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  17. ^ "Sixth district". Official Congressional Directory 114th Congress, 2015-2016. p. 120.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Cassidy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th congressional district

New office Ranking Member of the House Climate Crisis Committee
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ruben Gallego
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Glenn Grothman