Pete Schneider (Louisiana politician)
|Matthew Peter "Pete" Schneider, III|
Louisiana State Representative for District 90 (St. Tammany Parish)
1992 – 2008
|Preceded by||Mitch Landrieu|
|Succeeded by||Greg Cromer |
|Born|| December 2, 1953|
Place of birth missing
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Lussen Schneider|
|Children|| Matthew Peter Schneider, IV
Christopher L. Schneider
St. Tammany Parish
|Alma mater||Slidell High School|
Matthew Peter Schneider, III, known as Pete Schneider (born December 2, 1953), is a businessman from Slidell, Louisiana, who served four terms between 1992 and 2008 as a Republican state representative for District 90, which encompasses St. Tammany Parish in suburban New Orleans.
Known for his anti-crime legislative endeavors, Schneider, who was term-limited in the House, was handily defeated in a contest for the District 11 seat in the state Senate in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 20, 2007.
Personal life and civic matters
Since 1978, Schneider has been the president and general manager of St. Joe Brick Works, Inc., in Slidell, a company founded in 1891. He is the fourth generation of his family to run the firm. He is also a former member of the board of the Brick Industry Association Manufacturer’s Council.
Schneider graduated from Slidell High School and thereafter attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Schneider has been married since 1979 to the former Elizabeth Lussen, and the couple has three children, Matthew Peter, IV, Christopher, and Kathryn. He is a Presbyterian.
He is affiliated with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, the Louisiana Wild Life Federation, the Sugar Bowl Committee, the National Rifle Association, the St. Tammany Association for Retarded Citizens, the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation, the St. Tammany Homebuilder’s Association, and several chambers of commerce. He is a Paul P. Harris Fellow of Rotary International. He is a past trustee of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, a "good government" civic group.
Among the fastest-growing state House districts in Louisiana, District 90 is the only one in the state in which registered Republicans outnumber Democrats. There is also a considerable registration of Independents. The district is populated by business and professional persons, some of whom commute to New Orleans or Metairie in suburban Jefferson Parish to the Martin Marietta aerospace facility. Others are employed at the John C. Stennis Space Center, named for a former U.S. Senator and located across the state line in Mississippi. The district also contains retirees from metropolitan New Orleans.
Representative Schneider attracted national attention as the author of the "Scarlet Letter Law" which requires convicted child molesters to notify the community once they are released from prison. He also worked to pass legislation to give juries the option to issue the death penalty to a person convicted of rape of a child under the age of twelve. He worked for passage for the "three-strikes-and-you’re-out" law which authorizes the life imprisonment of habitual felons upon conviction of their third violent crime. Schneider worked to establish a state-wide DNA database.
In 2007, Schneider became the first legislator in the United States to write adopted legislation which authorizes state public pension systems to divest from foreign companies that do business in nations sponsoring terrorism. The law authorizes the governor to contract with Wall Street companies to develop a terror-free investment index in which the state can place its pension funds.
Schneider opposed higher taxes on personal income and small businesses. He fought to permit the voters of St. Tammany Parish the right to block casino gambling and video poker by supporting local option. He sponsored bills to dedicate lottery proceeds to education and law enforcement. He also worked to secure funding for highway and drainage projects in Slidell, Lacombe, and Mandeville, all in St. Tammany Parish.
As a state House member, Schneider was cited in 1994 as "Outstanding Legislator" by the Victims and Citizens Against Crime, “Conservative of the Year” in 2003 by the Louisiana State Troopers Association, “Special Friend” of the Louisiana Municipal Association in 2002 and 2003, “Friend of the Family” by the Louisiana Christian Coalition, and the “Guardian of Small Business Award” (1995) by the state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business. In the House, Schneider was chairman of the Retirement Committee and served on the Natural Resources panel.
Schneider's House district was newly established within St. Tammany Parish after the 1990 census. In his initial election to the legislature on October 19, 1991, with all thirty-four precincts officially reporting, Schneider led an eight-candidate field of seven Republicans and one Democrat. He received 2,436 votes (19.3 percent). The runner-up, Republican Mark Jolissaint of Mandeville, trailed with 2,166 ballots (17.1 percent). The other eight candidates shared the critical 8,054 votes. In the runoff on November 16, 1991, the same election in which Edwin Edwards defeated the unendorsed Republican candidate, David Duke, for governor, Schneider defeated Jolissaint, 8,552 (56.7 percent) to 6,519 (43.3 percent) Schneider defeated an Independent candidate by a wide margin to win reelection in the primary in 1995. He was unopposed for House reelection in both 1999 and 2003.
In 2007 state Senate primary, with all 99 precincts officially reporting, Schneider, with 12,287 votes (32.8 percent), trailed the successful Republican candidate, Jack Donahue of Covington, the seat of government for St. Tammany Parish, who garnered 24,200 votes (64.5 percent). A contractor who spent heavily on his own campaign, Donahue carried the support of term-limited Senator Tom Schedler of Mandeville, later the Louisiana Secretary of State. Campaign finance reports filled by the Donahue campaign indicate that the Donahue campaign spent in excess of $835,000 by the end of the campaign. Schneider was supported by former Lieutenant Governor Jimmy Fitzmorris, a Democrat from New Orleans. The remaining 1,041 ballots (2.8 percent) went to a third Republican, A.M. "Ace" LeBleu.
In 2015, Schneider was again defeated for public office, this time in a bid for the District 1 seat in the Louisiana State Senate vacated by the retiring Republican Almond Gaston "A. G." Crowe, Jr. He lost to another Republican, Sharon Hewitt, a conservative who succeeded Crowe in January 2016. Hewitt received 15,144 votes (58.7 percent) to Schneider's 10,645 (41.3 percent).
- Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2024 (St. Tammany Parish). Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on January 29, 2020.
- Biography of Representative Pete Schneider. peteschneider.com. Retrieved on October 7, 2009; no longer on-line.
- District Profile. peteschneider.com. Retrieved on October 9, 2009; no longer on-line.
- "Promises Made" by Pete Schneider. peteschneider.com/promises. Retrieved on October 7, 2009; no longer on-line.
- Erika Andersen. Give Me Your Pension. Human Events. Retrieved on October 9, 2009, no longer accessible on-line.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 19, 1991.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 16, 1991.
- Donahue spending big in Senate race. The New Orleans Times-Picayune (October 16, 2007). Retrieved on November 6, 2009; no longer on-line.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 20, 2007.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 24, 2015.