Jeff R. Thompson

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Jefferson Rowe Thompson
Louisiana State Representative for District 8 (Bossier Parish)
In office
2012–2014
Preceded byJane H. Smith
Succeeded byMike Johnson
Division B Judge of the Louisiana 26th Judicial District Court
Assumed office
January 2015
Preceded byFord E. Stinson Jr.
Personal details
Born
Jefferson Rowe Thompson

(1965-03-10) March 10, 1965 (age 54)
Alexandria, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Toni Estelle Hurst Thompson
Children2
ResidenceBenton, Louisiana
Alma materUniversity of Louisiana at Monroe
Tulane University School of Law
OccupationLawyer and Judge

Jefferson Rowe Thompson, known as Jeff R. Thompson (born March 10, 1965), is a judge of the Louisiana 26th Judicial District Court for Bossier and Webster parishes, who is a Republican former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 8, a position which he held from January 2012 to January 2015.

A resident of Bossier City, Thompson ran without opposition in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on November 4, 2014, to succeed the retiring Division B Judge Ford E. Stinson Jr., a Democrat, on the 26th District Court.[1][2]

Background[edit]

A graduate of Jena High School in Jena in Central Louisiana, Thompson obtained degrees in real estate and insurance from the University of Louisiana at Monroe (1988) and the Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School in New Orleans (1995). He was affiliated with Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. While living in Monroe, he was from 1989 to 1992 the ULM (then Northeast Louisiana University) Associate Director of Development. He was also a reserve officer with the Monroe Police Department and an insurance agent for Troy & Nichols Mortgage Company. After obtaining his law degree with honors from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, he relocated to Bossier City to engage in the practice of law and is active in the bar association. He is a member of the large Cypress Baptist Baptist Church of Benton. He is affiliated with the National Rifle Association and was a district director of the Norwela Council of the Boy Scouts of America. In 2004, he was the president of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce.[3]

Thompson and his wife, the former Toni Estelle Hurst, reside in Benton, the Bossier Parish parish seat, where the 26th Judicial District Court convenes. The couple has two children, Lillie and Rowe Thompson.[3]

Political life[edit]

Thompson was elected to the House in 2011, when the term-limited incumbent, fellow Republican Jane H. Smith of Bossier City, ran instead, unsuccessfully, for the Louisiana State Senate. Thompson defeated fellow Republican, Michael Durrell "Duke" Lowrie (born April 1970), 4,991 (56.8 percent) to 3,803 (43.3 percent).[4] Smith, meanwhile, was defeated by the Republican businessman Barrow Peacock of Shreveport for the Senate seat vacated by B. L. "Buddy" Shaw.

In 2008, Thompson was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States House of Representatives for Louisiana's 4th congressional district. The seat opened when the incumbent Jim McCrery stepped down to become a lobbyist. Thompson finished in third place in the primary. The position went to the Republican physician and businessman John C. Fleming of Minden, who held it until 2017.

In the spring of 2012, Representative Thompson amended an anti-bullying bill sponsored by Patricia Smith, a Democrat from Baton Rouge. Conservative opponents of the bill claimed the measure is at odds with freedom of speech rulings by the United States Supreme Court. Thompson offered an amendment, which removed those sections of the bill that specify prohibitions against bullying in regard to only sexual orientation, disabilities, and race. Smith said that the Thompson amendment effectively killed the focus of the legislation, and she withdrew it from further consideration. Thompson opposed bullying in schools for any reason and worked to protect the educational opportunities of all children.[5]

Representative Thompson served on the House Education, Homeland Security, Ways and Means, and Military and Veterans Affairs committees. He also sits on the Joint House and Senate Committee on Homeland Security. Thompson was a leader in the Louisiana legislature to address the over 17 millions pounds of propellant improperly and illegally stored at Camp Minden near Doyline, Louisiana.[3]

Mike Johnson, a Republican lawyer from Benton, was unopposed in the special election held in February 2015 to choose Thompson's successor in the House. Johnson is not the U.S. representative for the 4th congressional district.

Court activities[edit]

In 2017, plaintiffs James Wheat and Danny Brinson, after their arrests in Bossier City for violating a state statute forbidding panhandling, filled a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana against Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Curtis Whittington and all judges of the 26th Judicial District Court, including Chief Judge Parker Self and Judge Thompson. Wheat and Brinson allege that Bossier Parish unjustly jails defendants who cannot pay for bail or the required $40 fee to the office of the public defender. Nor does Bossier Parish permit defendants to seek a lowering of the bail amount, which is instead automatically set by the court. The suit claims that the parish has for years violated a "bedrock principle of our legal system that a person cannot be detained or imprisoned solely for their inability to pay a fee. Such an incarceration violates the substantive due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution."[6][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Thompson announces bid for district judge". Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  2. ^ Vickie Welborn. "Final day of qualifying in DeSoto, Webster". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Jeff R. Thompson". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  4. ^ "Election returns, October 22, 2011". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  5. ^ Will Sentell (May 1, 2012). "Changes doom bullying proposal". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Archived from the original on May 14, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  6. ^ Sarah Crawford (March 21, 2017). "Lawsuit: Bossier Parish routinely violates rights of poor". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  7. ^ "James M. Wheat and Danny Brinson v. Judges Mike Craig, Jeff R. Thomposn, Jeff Cox, E. Charles Jacobs, Mike Nerren, and Parker Self and Sheriff Julian Whittington" (PDF). KSLA Images. March 20, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jane H. Smith
Louisiana State Representative from District 8 (Bossier Parish)

Jefferson Rowe Thompson
2012–2014

Succeeded by
Mike Johnson
Preceded by
Ford E. Stinson, Jr.
Judge of Division B of the Louisiana 26th Judicial District Court

Jefferson Rowe Thompson
2015–

Succeeded by
Incumbent