Diane Winston

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Diane Grisham Winston​

Louisiana State Representative
for District 77 (St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes)
In office
1996​ – 2008​
Preceded by Edward J. Deano, Jr.[1]
Succeeded by John Schroder[2]

Born August 13, 1948​
​Place of birth missing
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Robert Bryant “Bob” Winston​
Children Two children
Residence Covington, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana​
Alma mater Thomas Jefferson High School (Dallas, Texas)​

Louisiana State University
​ University of New Orleans​

Occupation Businesswoman
Religion Lutheran
  • Businesswoman Diane Winston narrowly lost a special election in 2005 to succeed the late state Senator John Hainkel. She was ineligible to seek a fourth term in the 2007 nonpartisan blanket primary.​

Diane Grisham Winston (born August 13, 1948) is a businesswoman from Covington in St. Tammany Parish in suburban New Orleans, Louisiana, who served as a Republican state representative from 1996 until term-limited in 2008. Her District 77 then included parts of St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes. In 2012, however, the district became based only in St. Tammany Parish.​


Winston graduated in 1966 from Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas, Texas. She first attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and thereafter received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Orleans. She is a fellow of the Institute of Politics of Loyola University in New Orleans, along former Representative Garey Forster and government watchdog Charlton Bath "C. B." Forgotston, Jr. (1945-2016).

Prior to her legislative service, Winston was the executive director of the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce from 1988 to 1996. She also operated her own retail business in Covington. She has been active in the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Louisiana Breast Cancer Task Force, Habitat for Humanity, and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. Married to Robert Bryant “Bob” Winston (born April 15, 1945), she is Lutheran.[3]

Political life

In the 1995 election for the Louisiana House, Winston led a three-candidate field with 5,824 votes (35.6 percent). Trailing her was the then Democrat Jack Arthur "Jay" Blossman, Jr., and a second Republican, Denis P. Bechac, who received 5,642 (34.5 percent) and 4,897 (29.9 percent), respectively.[4]

In the ensuing general election Winston defeated Blossman, 9,549 votes (52 percent) to 8,800 (48 percent). On that same day Republican Shirley Duvigneaud Bowler won a second term in the neighboring 78th District House seat by an identical margin over a Democratic opponent.[5]Shortly after his defeat by Winston, Blossman switched party affiliation and was elected in 1996 to the regulatory body, the Louisiana Public Service Commission.[6] Winston was unopposed in the 1999 and 2003 House primaries.​

In 2005, Winston ran in a special election to succeed the late state Senator John Joseph Hainkel, Jr., a Democrat-turned Republican who had also been a state representative. She was defeated by a fellow Republican, Julie Quinn, a young Metairie attorney who resigned from the Jefferson Parish School Board to enter the Senate race. Winston led the first round of balloting with 5,611 votes (31.6 percent), trailed by Quinn’s 4,243 (23.9 percent). Five other candidates, including former Public Service Commissioner John F. Schwegmann, received the remaining 45 percent of the ballots.[7] In the second balloting, Quinn polled 8,843 (51.5 percent) to Winston’s 8,333 (48.5 percent).[8] During a portion of her legislative career, Winston voted for more than $1.3 billion in additional taxes and fees, an issue used against her by opponent Quinn.[9]​In 2007, Winston announced that she would challenge Julie Quinn for a full term in the state Senate but thereafter withdrew from the contest, and Quinn prevailed.[10]

In the House, Winston served on the Appropriations; Education; Retirement; and Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs committees. She was a member too of the Budget Subcommittee on Civil Service, Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, and the Select Committee on Fiscal Affairs.[11]

Winston frequently lectures in public forums on the role of women. In 2001, she addressed the "Women's History" forum at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond in Tangipahoa Parish.[11] In 2005, she addressed the annual banquet in Covington of the interest group, the National Association of Women in Construction, formed in 1953 to promote the interest of women in the construction industry. She geared her address to the construction needs stemming from Hurricane Katrina.[12]

Shortly after her House term ended, Winston donated to the congressional campaign of a former conservative colleague Steve Scalise, who in a special election won the U.S. House seat vacated by then incoming Governor Bobby Jindal and formerly held by U.S. Senator David Vitter and former Representative Bob Livingston.[13]


  1. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 19, 1991.
  2. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 17, 2007.
  3. House District 77. enlou.com. Retrieved on October 18, 2009; website no longer on-line.
  4. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 21, 1995.
  5. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 18, 1995.
  6. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, September 21, 1996.
  7. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, June 4, 2005.
  8. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, July 9, 2005.
  9. July 2005 Commentary Archives. C.B. Forgotston.com. Retrieved on October 18, 2009; no longer on-line.
  10. Diane Winston, zoominfo.com, accessed October 18, 2009; no longer on-line.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Rep. Diane Winston Presents Next SLU Women’s History Month. selu.edu (March 5, 2001). Retrieved on February 7, 2020.
  12. Louisiana State Rep. Diane Winston to emcee Women in Construction banquet. allbusiness.com. Retrieved on October 18, 2009; no longer on-line.
  13. Diane Winston Political Campaign Contributions, 2008. Campaignmoney.com. Retrieved on February 7, 2020.