Birthday: September 16, 1966
Age: 54 Years, 54 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Virgo
Born in: Amite, Louisiana, U.S.
Famous as: 56th Governor of Louisiana
political ideology: Democrat
Spouse/Ex-: Donna Hutto
father: Frank M. Edwards Jr.
mother: Dora Jean Miller
siblings: Daniel H. Edwards, Frank Millard Edwards
children: John Miller Edwards, Samantha Edwards, Sarah Edwards
U.S. State: Louisiana
education: U.S. Military Academy, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
Democrat John Bel Edwards is the 56th governor of Louisiana. After graduating from the United States Military Academy, he went on to serve his country for eight years as an airborne ranger in the U.S. Army. As an attorney and politician, John Bel has been an active civilian for his state and country. He assumed the office of governor in 2016 after winning the gubernatorial election of 2015 against Republican nominee David Vitter. John always knew that his chances of victory as a democrat was low and scarce so he requested the voters not to vote for a candidate on the basis of party but select the individual first, citing the example of ex- republican governor Bobby Jindal. At campaigns his life-story became an inspiration for many, and voters were impressed with the disciplined life John lived. He is not known to be one with great humor, and he doesn’t tell the best of jokes and has a more serious and “no-nonsense” demeanor. Many of the Louisiana folks believe that their state is presently in need of a governor who cracks less jokes and implements reforms for the betterment of its people. He is also revered for being a staunch catholic and is a Eucharistic minister, altar server and liturgical reader.
Childhood & Early life
John Bel was born on 16th September, 1966 in Amite to Dora Jean Miller and Frank M. Edwards. His father was the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff. His family has four generations running as the parish sheriff, and his father filled in for the third.
Since his father was a part of the administration of Louisiana, he imbibed the principals of service and leadership from a tender age. His parents have been pious Christians and inculcated the same values in him.
He had seven siblings, including one sister and six brothers. All the children in the family grew up in a closely knit environment. John Bel attended Amite high School.
He was a bright student and acquired straight-A’s in class. He was good in both academics and sports. While in school, he played as a pitcher in the baseball team and played football as well.
He graduated in 1984, as a valedictorian from high school. His teachers recall him to be a down-to-earth student, who would always extend help and respect to his elders and seniors.
He went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in 1988 from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Here he received his first leadership training as a vice chairman of the panel which monitored the West Point Honor Code.
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Service in the U.S Army
After his graduation from the United States' Military Academy, he extended eight years of service to his country while working as an Airborne Ranger.
During bis military career, he had to train at international camping sites, including Korea. He also commanded a rifle company in North Carolina while in the 82nd‘Airborne Division at Fort Bragg’.
After his service and upon returning from the army he pursued law at Louisiana State University Law Center and began practicing as a civil law attorney at his hometown.
The World of Politics
John’s family had always been a part of administration of the state so it was very natural for him to turn to politics. In 2008, he found himself battling it off with George Tucker for a seat in the ‘Louisiana House of Representatives’ from District 72.
It wasn’t a surprise that he won the election owing to his reputation and background. In the House he worked efficiently and looked into the ‘Veterans Affairs Committee’.
Because of his spectacular achievements he was made chairman of the Democratic House Caucus, which wasn’t a common phenomenon for an amateur in politics.
During his span in the senate, he criticized the then-governor Bobby Jindal for his overseas trips at the cost of finances for higher education. He became one of Jindal’s biggest opponents.
He managed to retain his seat in the Senate election of 2011, beating Johnny Duncan in the race with a massive 83 % votes. This made him the Louisiana House Minority Leader while he represented his hometown, Greensburg, Kentwood and Hammond.
56th Governor of Louisiana
John served in the Senate for eight long years and then turned to governorship. In 2013 he announced that he would run for governor in the gubernatorial elections in 2015. According to him, his state had to rise from ashes.
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In the general elections of 2015, he beat Vitter by a 56 to 44 margin. The news came as a shock to many Republicans in America, as the turnout in this southern state hadn’t been as speculated.
John Bel skillfully used the scandalous episode of Vitter’s involvement in a prostitution ring against him. Though Bel wasn’t considered a threat to the Republicans since Louisiana had a liking for the Republicans but the Conservative Democrat didn’t give up.
He continued to emphasize on “personality over party” and won the election fair and square. His campaign was 'pro-life' and 'pro-gun rights'.
During the Presidential election of 2016, he openly supported Hillary Clinton. However, after the results and Donald Trump’s election, he stated full support and eagerness to work with the Trump administration, especially concerning “Medicaid expansion” as pledged to his natives.
He has taken steps to provide relief to those who suffered during the previous republican government. In April, 2016 he signed an order protecting bisexual, homosexual and transgender individuals of Louisiana from harassment in state organizations.
However, the order does not imply that religious organizations would have to abide by this order if it encroaches upon religious beliefs, but it requests such organizations to place humanity first.
With this order he cancelled the executive order passed by Bobby Jindal in 2015 that supported and protected businesses and non-profit organizations opposing same-sex marriages.
Even though he holds the opinion of a conservative Democrat, he is an old schooled democrat when it comes to education. He is presently working to promote public education over chartered schools.
Personal Life & Legacy
John married his high school love, Donna Hutto. The couple is blessed with three children. They have two daughters, Sarah and Samantha, and a son, John Miller.
John Bel is an active parishioner of St. Helena Roman Catholic Church and similar to his upbringing in a religious home, he has instilled catholic values in his children.
His brothers have established ranks in Louisiana. While Daniel H. Edwards is the parish sheriff, his brother Frank M. Edwards is Chief of Louisiana Police. His sister is married to Juvenile Judge and Republican, Blair Downing.
John Bel believes in strong family ties and has credited his father for having taught him the skills of decision making and taking all aspects into consideration before affecting the lives of his natives.
John is a serious yet a compassionate individual. He is known to speak to the point and finds it difficult to entertain punch lines in his speeches. He knows that he must focus on recovering from fiscal deficits and refrain from wasting time by cracking jokes.
John’s middle name “Bel” is named after his grandmother’s maiden surname. In his family, often a child’s middle name is taken from the surname of a family member other than his father. Thus, even his son is named John Miller Edwards - “Miller” being the maiden surname of John Bel’s mother.