Gary Beard

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Gary James Beard

Louisiana State Representative for District 69 (East Baton Rouge Parish)
In office
August 20, 2001​ – January 14, 2008​
Preceded by Chuck McMains
Succeeded by Erich Ponti

Born April 7, 1956​
​Place of birth missing

Resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Diana Hay Beard
Alma mater Louisiana State University
Occupation Engineer; Filmmaker
Religion Roman Catholic

Gary James Beard (born April 7, 1956) is an engineer and filmmaker who served from 2001 to 2008 as a Republican state representative in District 60 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[1]


Beard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. ​He is married to the former Diana Hay (born 1958).[2] He has been involved in the development of a music and film studio which produces family-oriented films.[3] His Fountain Bridge Productions develops film scripts in Baton Rouge.[4]

Political life

On August 19, 2001, Beard won a special election to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Republican State Representative Chuck McMains. Five Republicans contested the vacancy in a district strongly geared to the GOP. Beard and David Boneno, a member of the Baton Rouge Metro Council, advanced to the runoff because no one polled a majority in the initial balloting. Beard then defeated Boneno, 4,093 (59 percent) to 2,847 (41 percent).[5] Boneno had the support of McMains and Republican Governor Murphy James "Mike" Foster, Jr. Beard countered with the backing of the "Christian right." He took his seat on August 30, 2001.[6]

On October 4, 2003, Beard won a full term in the state House with 11,317 votes (69 percent) in the nonpartisan blanket primary over the "No Party" candidate, Robelynn Hood Abadie, and his fellow Republican, Don Simmons, who polled 3,091 (20 percent) and 1,421 (9 percent), respectively. ​[7]

On June 4, 2007, Beard announced his candidacy for the state's second-highest constitutional office. [8]The lieutenant governor in Louisiana is the overseer of the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism and no longer presides over the state Senate, as is the custom in many states. Beard said that had he been elected he would have become involved in issues beyond tourism. Beard estimated that his campaign cost about $1.8 million. Beard finished in third place in the nonpartisan blanket primary. He polled 130,035 votes (11 percent). The incumbent, Democrat liberal Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, later a two-term mayor of the Crescent City, was reelected with 57 percent of the vote. Another Republican in the race was Country music singer Samuel Paul "Sammy" Kershaw (born 1958) of Abbeville in Vermilion Parish in southwestern Louisiana, who drew 30 percent of the ballots. [9]

Beard described himself as a "family-values" candidate. He supports Right to Life, having introduced bills to ban human cloning and to outlaw partial-birth abortion. He also was initially elected to the legislature on a strongly anti-tax platform.​

Two Republicans met in the low-turnout general election on Nvember 17, fill Beard's state House seat. Building contractor Erich Ponti, with 6,772 votes (63 percent), defeated retired Entergy Corporation executive William L. "Bill" Benedetto (born 1941), who polled 4,059 ballots (37 percent). [10]Two eliminated primary candidates, Brian P. McNabb and Joseph Robert "Bob" Thibodeaux, both Republicans, had polled a combined 40 percent of the original vote.​

In 2012, Beard was named to the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Board.[3] It is unclear if he is still a board member.


  1. Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2024 (East Baton Rouge Parish). Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on May 19, 2020.
  2. Gary Beard. Retrieved on May 19, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gary J. Beard. Retrieved on May 19, 2020.
  4. Fountain Bridge Productions L.L.C.. Retrieved on May 19, 2020.
  5. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, August 19, 2001.
  6. [​ Beard to Be Sworn in: New District 69 State Rep. to Take Oath Tomorrow]. Louisiana House of Representatives (August 29, 2001). Retrieved on May 19, 2020.
  7. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns (Legislative), October 4, 2003.
  8. Beard to run for lieutenant governor," Baton Rouge Advocate, June 4, 2007.
  9. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 20, 2007.
  10. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 17, 2007.

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