Walter Boasso

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Walter Boasso
Louisiana State Senator from District 1 (parts of Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and St. Tammany parishes)
In office
2004–2008
Preceded byLynn B. Dean
Succeeded byAlmond Gaston Crowe, Jr.
Personal details
Born(1960-05-10) May 10, 1960 (age 52)
Arabi, St. Bernard Parish
Louisiana, USA
Political partyDemocratic (? - mid-1990s)
Republican (mid-1990s - 2007)
Democratic (2007 - present)
Spouse(s)Cynthia Boasso
Alma materChalmette High School

University of New Orleans

ProfessionBusinessman
 
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Walter Boasso
Louisiana State Senator from District 1 (parts of Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and St. Tammany parishes)
In office
2004–2008
Preceded byLynn B. Dean
Succeeded byAlmond Gaston Crowe, Jr.
Personal details
Born(1960-05-10) May 10, 1960 (age 52)
Arabi, St. Bernard Parish
Louisiana, USA
Political partyDemocratic (? - mid-1990s)
Republican (mid-1990s - 2007)
Democratic (2007 - present)
Spouse(s)Cynthia Boasso
Alma materChalmette High School

University of New Orleans

ProfessionBusinessman

Walter Joseph Boasso (born May 10, 1960)[1] is a wealthy businessman and former Democratic state senator from Chalmette, the seat of St. Bernard Parish in south Louisiana. He was defeated in a bid for governor in the October 20, 2007, jungle primary. Boasso won 47 percent in his own St. Bernard Parish, his sole plurality showing in any of his state's sixty-four parishes. From 2004 to 2008, Boasso represented Senate District 1, which includes parts of Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and St. Tammany parishes, many of those areas having been devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Contents

Biography

A lifelong resident of St. Bernard Parish, Boasso graduated from Chalmette High School in 1978. He obtained a business degree from the University of New Orleans. Boasso began his own company cleaning storage tanks for local companies during summer vacations. He soon established a large corporation, Boasso America. The company is still headquartered in St. Bernard Parish and employs hundreds of people in several states. He described the business as being started "with a brush and a bucket of Tide." During August 2007 Boasso America Corp., was sold to a Florida company, Quality Distribution Inc. at a profit of $60 million. The company will maintain its presence in South Louisiana.

He now works in the human resources section of the Maine-based Boone Corp.

Political career

Originally a Democrat, Boasso switched to the Republican Party in the mid 1990s. He was selected as the chairman of the Port of New Orleans Authority Board of Commissioners in 2001 and to the state Senate in 2003.

On February 6, 2007, Boasso announced his plans to run in the primary for the governor. He faced opposition from the Republican U.S. Representative Bobby Jindal, also of suburban New Orleans. After the decision by Louisiana Republicans to endorse Jindal, Boasso was approached about running for governor as a Democrat.

To that end, on April 26, 2007, Boasso formally switched parties again. In addition to Jindal, he was forced to contend with rival Democrat Foster L. Campbell, Jr., of Bossier City in Bossier Parish, a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission.

Hurricane Katrina

Boasso has been lauded for his response to the disaster that struck his constituents on the morning of August 29, 2005. Katrina sent a tidal surge of up to 25–30 feet in height that drowned St. Bernard Parish in a matter of minutes. Boasso was in Baton Rouge at the time, and on being advised of the situation returned to the parish before the winds had completely died. He spent the following weeks bringing supplies, including fuel, food, medicines, and transportation to the parish. Many local residents said that Boasso and Democratic U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon were nearly the only source of help for his parish. Media coverage was aimed almost entirely at New Orleans alone. Boasso noted that rescuers from Canada were in the parish before any state response got there. Boasso has continued to push for assistance for St. Bernard Parish and has promised that Boasso America will continue to operate there.

Quotes during Hurricane Katrina

Legislation

Boasso garnered national coverage for the "Boasso Bill," his proposed state legislation that would eliminate the system of local levee boards and replace them with a professionally staffed board to prevent the levee failures that contributed to the flooding.

In 1996, Boasso succeeded the Republican state Senator Lynn Dean of Plaquemines Parish. After Boasso's defection, the seat returned to Republican hands. In the 2007 primary, state Representative A. G. Crowe of Pearl River defeated the Democrat Kenneth L. Odinet, Sr., 11,625 (52 percent) to 10,811 (48 percent). In 2008, Odinet switched to the Republican Party in an unsuccessful candidacy for the Louisiana Public Service Commission.[2]

Electoral history

State Senator, 1st Senatorial District, 2003

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, October 4, 2003

CandidateAffiliationSupportOutcome
Walter BoassoRepublican19,842 (49%)Runoff
Wayne J. LandryDemocratic12,288 (30%)Runoff
Wayne MumphreyRepublican8,538 (21%)Defeated

Second Ballot, November 15, 2003

CandidateAffiliationSupportOutcome
Walter BoassoRepublican25,233 (61%)Elected
Wayne J. LandryDemocratic16,011 (39%)Defeated

Governor of Louisiana, 2007

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, October 20, 2007

CandidateAffiliationSupportOutcome
Bobby JindalRepublican699,672 (54%)Elected
Walter BoassoDemocratic226,364 (17%)Defeated
John GeorgesIndependent186,800 (14%)Defeated
Foster CampbellDemocratic161,425 (12%)Defeated
Othersn.a.23,682 (3%)Defeated

See also

References

External links

Louisiana Senate
Preceded by
Lynn B. Dean
Louisiana State Senator from District 1 (parts of Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and St. Tammany parishes)

Walter Joseph Boasso
2004–2008

Succeeded by
Almond Gaston Crowe, Jr.