Page Cortez

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Patrick Page Cortez​

President of the Louisiana State Senate
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 13, 2020
Preceded by John Alario

Louisiana State Senator for
District 23 (Lafayette Parish)​
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 9, 2012​
Preceded by Michael J. Michot

Louisiana State Representative for
District 43 (Lafayette Parish)​
In office
January 14, 2008​ – January 9, 2012​
Preceded by Ernest Joseph "Ernie" Alexander, Jr.​

Born August 25, 1961​
Lafayette, Louisiana​
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Angela Stoma Cortez
Children Matthew and Maria Cortez
Occupation Businessman

Former educator and coach​

Note
  • Page Cortez gained vital name recognition in his 2007 race for the Louisiana House of Representatives through his furniture advertising on television and his earlier service as a high school coach.​

Patrick Page Cortez, known as Page Cortez (born August 25, 1961), is a businessman in his native Lafayette, Louisiana, who is a Republican state senator for District 23 in Lafayette Parish. On November 29, 2019, it was reported that Cortez has obtained pledges of support from twenty of the thirty-nine senators to be chosen in January 2020 as state Senate President. As it developed, all Senate Republicans united behind Cortez, who will succeed Moderate Republican John Alario,[1] a Democrat-turned-Republican from Westwego in Jefferson Parish who supported the reelection in 2019 of Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards, rather than the Republican candidate, Eddie Rispone.

Cortez is also the former District 43 member of the Louisiana House of Representative, a post which he filled for only one term. He vacated the seat in January 2012 to become a state senator

Background

Cortez is a descendant of Louisiana Isleño people. He graduated from Lafayette High School and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, from which he received bachelor's degrees in both education and general studies. A former classroom teacher and coach, he is a former member of the Lafayette Parks and Recreation Commission. He is married to the former Angela Stoma (born 1964), and they have two children, Matthew and Maria Cortez.[2]

Cortez is a co-owner and operator of La-Z-Boy Furniture and Stoma's Furniture and Interiors in Lafayette. He gained name identification in the community through his furniture advertising on local television stations as well as his earlier profile as a coach.[3]

Political life

Cortez sought the House seat when the Republican Ernest Joseph "Ernie" Alexander, Jr., was contemplating seeking a third term, but had made a two-term pledge in his initial election to the House in 1999. Cortez has been allied with former state Senator Michael J. Michot, a son of former Louisiana Education Superintendent Louis J. Michot, a former Democrat who had been Cortez's fraternity brother at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. he was also allied with the then Independent (since Republican) former District 45 state Representative Joel Craig Robideaux (born 1962), both of whom actively supported Cortez in the race against Patrick LeBlanc through an organization called "Leadership for Louisiana." In the 2007 House primary, Cortez defeated fellow Republican Patrick LeBlanc, an architect who owned the private-prison company LCS Corrections Services. In the campaign Cortez questioned prison contracts which LeBlanc obtained through sheriffs in Bastrop in Morehouse Parish and San Antonio, Texas. No charges of wrongdoing by LeBlanc were ever filed.[4]

Cortez received 7,742 votes (55.5 percent) compared to LeBlanc's 6,218 ballots (44.5 percent).[5] Less than five months after the election, LeBlanc and his pilot died in a small-craft airplane crash near Abbeville in Vermilion Parish.[6]

Ernie Alexander and then U.S. Representative Charles Boustany, a Lafayette physician and former Democrat in Louisiana's since disbanded 7th congressional district, endorsed Patrick LeBlanc for the state House seat, rather than Cortez. Boustany and LeBlanc also endorsed the failed 2008 candidacy of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the Republican presidential nomination. His opponents questioned LeBlanc regarding facilities in Bastrop in Morehouse Parish in north Louisiana and in San Antonio, Texas. No charges, however, were brought against LeBlanc from wrongdoing regarding the prisons.

When Senator Michot was term-limited, Cortez succeeded him the position. Jerry Luke LeBlanc, the former commissioner of administration under Governor Kathleen Blanco and an Independent, declined to run for the seat in 2012 and left Cortez without an opponent for the Senate seat.​

As a House member, Cortez served on these committees: Appropriations, Insurance, and Retirement and the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, and the Energy Council.[2]

Cortez's early votes in the legislature were successful measures to restrict gifts to elected officials, banning public funds for human cloning, and prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving. He opposed the "Anti-Bullying" bill, which the state House rejected in April 2008.[7] Cortez supported a failed measure in 2008 which would have made it easier for juvenile offenders who commit heinous crimes to become eligible for parole, a position counter to his ally Robideaux.[8] However, Cortez played an instrumental role in helping victims' rights supporters to defeat the same legislation in committee in 2009.[9]​ ​ When he moved up to the Senate, Cortez was succeeded in the House in 2012 by Stuart James Bishop (born 1975), a Lafayette businessman without previous political experience. Bishop also ran unopposed in his House primary, as did a third Republican, former state Representative Ronnie Johns, a Moderate Republican from Sulphur in Calcasieu Parish near Lake Charles, who succeeded the term-limited Willie Landry Mount (female) in the District 27 Senate seat.[10]

References

  1. Tyler Bridges (November 29, 2019). Page Cortez of Lafayette slated to be next state Senate president. The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved on November 30, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Senator Page Cortez – Biography. representativepagecortez.com. Retrieved on November 30, 2019.
  3. Kevin Blanchard, "Alexander's not running: Republican honoring commitment to two-term limit," The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, July 28, 2007.
  4. "Ethics Candidate" Linked to Scandals Involving Louisiana and Texas sheriffs. KNOETV (October 1, 2007). Retrieved on November 30, 2019.
  5. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 20, 2007.
  6. Home – IND Media. theind.com. Retrieved on February 16, 2018; no longer on-line.
  7. Page Cortez: The Voter's Self Defense System. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on November 30, 2019.
  8. The Conservative Cajun. conservativecajun.blogspot.com. Retrieved on February 16, 2018; no longer accessible.
  9. The Conservative Cajun. Retrieved on February 16, 2018; no longer accessible.
  10. "Many La. incumbents get a free pass," The Alexandria Town Talk, September 9, 2011.

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