Robert Adley (Louisiana politician)

Robert Roy Adley (born September 3, 1947), a businessman and politician from Benton, is the newest Republican member of the Louisiana State Senate, having switched from Democratic allegiance effective December 10, 2007. Ironically, just fifty-six days earlier in the October 20, Nonpartisan blanket primary, Adley had defeated another Republican, Tyler Marx Nezat (born 1986), also of Benton, the seat of Bossier Parish, 24,371 (73 percent) to 9,004 (27 percent), to secure his second full term from historically Democratic District 36. Nezat's 27% was obtained with virtually no campaign or funding. Adley won all five parishes in the district: Bossier, Bienville, and Webster and portions of Red River and Claiborne parishes in northwestern Louisiana.

Education, military, occupation, family

Adley graduated in 1965 from Airline High School in Bossier City and thereafter entered the United States Marine Corps. He served two years, including a stint in the Vietnam War. He is a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars. After military service, Adley procured an associate's degree from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, the seat of Lincoln Parish in north Louisiana. He is a past president of the Louisiana Jaycees.

Adley has owned Pelican Gas Management Company, Inc., since 1993. He was President of ABCO Petroleum from 1972-1993. Prior to 1972, he was a securities broker. Adley is affiliated with the interest group the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association. Adley is divorced from the former Dawn Womack (born December 29, 1948) of Bossier City. His second wife is the former Claudia Henagan (born November 14, 1950), formerly of DeQuincy in Calcasieu Parish near Lake Charles. He has a son, the veterinarian Brandon Adley (born 1971) of Bossier City. Another son died in his teens. Both sons were from the first marriage.

Adley is active in the United Methodist Church as a lay leader and speaker.

Party switching

Adley served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1980-1996. He vacated his legislative seat to run unsuccessfully for Governor of Louisiana in the 1995 primary election. He finished in seventh place, and the office was won by outgoing State Senator Murphy J. "Mike" Foster, Jr., another convert to the Republican Party. There is speculation that Adley will seek the Fourth Congressional District seat being vacated after two decades in 2008 by Republican James Otis "Jim" McCrery, Jr., of Shreveport. Adley said that he expects to work closely with incoming Republican Governor Bobby Jindal. At a news conference in his native Bossier City, Adley said that regardless of party his focus in Baton Rouge, the state capital, has "always been conservative reform. I'm excited we have a new governor with the same philosophy, and I want to be as effective as possible in working with him." Adley noted that his becoming the sixteenth Republican state senator (among thirty-nine members) will create a more bipartisan and balanced Senate.

Legislative accomplishments

In the 2007 legislative session, Adley voted to secure some $50 million from the state for the Cyber Command Center at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City. The Cyber Command Center, with an annual payroll of some $750 million, is expected to employ as many as twenty thousand persons. The Air Force is considering a 58 acre tract adjacent to the east side of Bossier Parish Community College as a potential location (along with 17 others) for the new Cyber Command (to be decided in October 2008). The funds that Adley helped to obtain will potentially be used to enhance U.S. Highway 80 to include traffic signals and turn lanes.

In the 2007 legislative session, Adley sponsored a bill to provide capital improvements for Louisiana's technical colleges and community colleges. He maintains that a "strong system of community and technical colleges is essential to creating a skilled workforce." Lawmakers also adopted provisions of another Adley bill which reforms the Ethics Commission by prohibiting the director from earning outside income through contract work for parties having political interests with the state. Adley worked closely to develop income-disclosure legislation and has endorsed the Blueprint for Louisiana, a list of reforms pushed by a "good-government" group. Adley is vice chairman of the Senate Environmental Quality and the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs committees and is a member of the Senate Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee.

Election history

Adley's public career began in 1977, when he won a special election for an at-large unexpired term on the City Council of Bossier City. He was elected to the Louisiana House from District 8 (Bossier Parish) in 1979 and served four terms until he ran for governor in 1995. In the gubernatorial race, Adley polled only 27,534 votes (2 percent). In the 1987 legislative primary, Adley, with 5,835 ballots (50 percent) polled 36 more votes than his two rivals combined: Democrat Sandra M. Loridans, 2,334 votes (20 percent) and former Republican turned independent Freddy M. Shewmake (born 1940), 3,465 ballots (30 percent). Adley was unopposed in the 1991 primary.

Adley was initially elected to the state Senate on February 15, 2003 to fill the remaining months of the term vacated by Foster L. Campbell, Jr., also of Bossier Parish, who was elected to the Louisiana Public Service Commission. He defeated Jerry Lott, another Democrat, 8,172 (68 percent) to 3,903 (32 percent). At the time Red River Parish was not in the district. Adley was unopposed for a full term in the regular 2003 primary. Foster Campbell, who had succeeded conservative state Senator Harold Montgomery of Doyline in Webster Parish in 1976, ran unsuccessfully for governor in the 2007 primary won by Jindal.

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