John Alario

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John Alario
President of the Louisiana Senate
Assumed office
January 9, 2012
Preceded byJoel Chaisson
Member of the Louisiana Senate
from the 8th district
Assumed office
January 2008
Preceded byChris Ullo
Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives
In office
January 1992 – January 1996
Preceded byJimmy Dimos
Succeeded byHunt Downer
In office
January 1984 – January 1988
Preceded byJohn Hainkel
Succeeded byJimmy Dimos
Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
from the 83rd district
In office
January 1972 – January 2008
Preceded by???
Succeeded byRobert Billiot
Personal details
Born (1943-09-15) September 15, 1943 (age 75)
Political partyDemocratic (before 2010)
Republican (2010–present)
Spouse(s)Alba Williamson
EducationSoutheastern Louisiana University (BA)

John A. Alario Jr. (born September 15, 1943), is the current President of the Louisiana State Senate. He has served in the Louisiana State Legislature since 1972. He was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1972 to 2008. Alario was Speaker of the House twice. In 2007, he was elected to the Louisiana State Senate. He is currently serving his third term as a senator and his second term as the President of the State Senate. He is the second person in Louisiana and fourth in United States history to have been elected as both Speaker of his state House of Representatives and President of his state Senate.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Alario was born to John A. Alario, Sr., and the former Elsie Lombas.[2][3] In 1961, Alario graduated from West Jefferson High School.[4] In 1965 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. From 1965 to 1966, he was a teacher in Jefferson Parish public schools. In 1966, he began work as an accountant. By 1972, he started his own tax consulting firm, John A. Alario, Jr. Income Tax Service. He is a member of the National Society of Public Accountants. In 1973, he became a delegate for the Louisiana Constitutional Convention. From 1979 to 1985, he was chairman of the Louisiana Exposition Authority.[3][4]

Alario has membership in the Knights of Columbus, Louisiana Epilepsy Association, Louisiana International Deep Water Gulf Transfer Terminal Authority and the Westwego Volunteer Fire Department. He was a delegate at the 1972, 1996 and 2000 Democratic National Conventions.[3][4] He is a recipient of the Hale Boggs Memorial Award, named for the late Democrat U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 2nd congressional district.[5]

Alario and his wife, the former Alba Williamson, have four children, John W., Jan M., Christopher Brian, and Kevin George Alario.[5]

State Representative[edit]

Alario became a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1972. As a Representative, Alario was the chairman of the Appropriations, House Executive, and Ways and Means committees. He also served as chairman to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget and the Joint Legislative Committee on Capital Outlay. He was a member of the House Commerce, House and Governmental Affairs, Legislative Budgetary Control, Municipal, Parochial, and Cultural Affairs, Natural Resources, Judiciary B, and Judicial committees.[3][4]

He was selected by Governor Edwin Edwards as Speaker of the House twice, from 1984 to 1988 and from 1992 to 1996.[3] As the House Speaker, Alario was described by a colleague, Ron Gomez of Lafayette, as "a master of adding just the right degree of levity to defuse almost any potentially explosive situation."[6] In 1986, Alario removed Representative Kevin P. Reilly, Sr., of Baton Rouge from the chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee after thirteen years of service when Reilly, an unsuccessful candidate for state treasurer the following year, criticized Governor Edwards.[7]

With the election of Buddy Roemer as governor, Alario was replaced as Speaker by Jimmy N. Dimos of Monroe. Ron Gomez explained that Alario and Senate President Sammy Nunez of Chalmette nevertheless attempted to maintain their leadership posts. He explained: "Alario immediately had the backing of organized labor, the black caucus, many member from the New Orleans and Jefferson Parish delegations and a healthy number of other House members whom he had helped and to whom he had ingratiated himself over the years."[8]

Overall, Alario served nine terms in the House of Representatives before being term limited from the body in 2007.[3]

State senate[edit]

In 2007, Alario was elected to the Louisiana State Senate. He began his first term as Senator in 2008. As Senator, Alario served on the Senate Finance and Commerce Committees.[3] On October 25, 2011, Governor Bobby Jindal endorsed Alario for the position of President of the Senate. This came one year after he changed his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican and despite previous GOP hostility toward Alario.[9] On election by his senatorial colleagues, Alario joined John Hainkel as the only men in Louisiana to have been presiding officers of both houses of the state legislature.[1][9]

Ultimately, only one of the thirty-nine senators, freshman Republican Barrow Peacock of Shreveport, voted against the Alario selection.[10] Jindal had supported Peacock's Republican rival, term-limited State Representative Jane H. Smith of Bossier City, in the general election for the District 37 seat held on November 19, 2011.[11]

In June 2017, political science Professor Jeffrey D. Sadow of Louisiana State University in Shreveport wrote an article critical of two Moderate Republicans in the state legislature: Rob Shadoin, a representative from Ruston, and Senate President Alario, who Sadow contends, sends conservative legislation, such as support for Confederate monuments, to committees with Democratic majorities. Sadow went on to claim that this works to the advantage of Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards because Edwards does not have to veto popular measures to please his base.[12]

In April, 2018, Alario was one of 10 senators who voted against criminalizing sexual abuse of animals.[13] Despite Alario's opposition, the bill passed with 25 votes in favor of the ban.


  1. ^ a b Mallory Horne of Florida, John Hainkel of Louisiana, and Libby Mitchell of Maine were the previous achievers of the feat. [1]
  2. ^ "John A. Alario, Sr. The Man Behind The Name 1924--1985". Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Senator John Alario, Jr.'s Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d "Senator John A. Alario - District 8". Louisiana State Senate Biography. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Louisiana: Alario, John, Who's Who in American Politics, 2007-2008 (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2007), p. 648
  6. ^ Ron Gomez, My Name Is Ron And I'm a Recovering Legislator: Memoirs of a Louisiana State Representative, Lafayette, Louisiana: Zemog Publishing, 2000, ISBN 0-9700156-0-7, pp. 59-70
  7. ^ Gomez, p. 162
  8. ^ Ron Gomez, p. 188
  9. ^ a b "Ed Anderson, "Gov. Bobby Jindal endorses Sen. John Alario as his choice for Senate president", October 25, 2011". Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  10. ^ "John Maginnis, "Standing Up to Jindal", January 23, 2012". Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  11. ^ "4th time is the charm -- Peacock defeats Jindal-backed candidate for Senate seat". Archived from the original on June 6, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  12. ^ Jeffrey D. Sadow (June 3, 2017). "Republican pretenders - of RINOs - really serving Gov . Edwards in legislature". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  13. ^ "SBS 3rd Reading and Final Passage SBS 236 By Morrell Crime/Punishment Final Passage Roll Call". Louisiana State Legislature. April 9, 2018. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
Political offices
Preceded by
John Hainkel
Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Jimmy Dimos
Preceded by
Jimmy Dimos
Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Hunt Downer
Preceded by
Joel Chaisson
President of the Louisiana Senate