Craig Francis Romero (born September 25, 1954) is a New Iberia corporate salesman who represented District 22 in the Louisiana State Senate from 1993 to 2008. The district includes the parishes of Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, and Vermilion. Romero was president of the Iberia Parish government from 1984 to 1992. He unsuccessfully ran as a Republican for the U.S. House of Representatives in Louisiana's Third Congressional District in both 2004 and 2006.
Craig Francis Romero
|Louisiana State Senator from District 22 (Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, and Vermilion parishes)|
|Preceded by||Oswald A. Decuir|
|Succeeded by||Troy Hebert|
|Iberia Parish Commission|
|Born||September 25, 1954|
|Spouse(s)||Pamala Hulin Romero|
|Children||Nicholas, Hannah, Jacob, Sarah (the favorite),Bethany, Danielle, and Isaac|
In 2004, Romero ran for the Third District seat but finished third in the state's unique jungle primary. The seat in question was formerly held from 1980 to 2005 by Wilbert Joseph "Billy" Tauzin, Jr., a Democrat-turned-Republican. In the 2004 race, Romero faced the retiring Tauzin's son, Republican Billy Tauzin III and Democrat Charlie Melancon of Napoleonville, the seat of Assumption Parish, a sugar lobbyist and former State Representative with a long family history in Louisiana's sugar industry. The race was highly controversial, as the elder Tauzin convinced the state Republican party to endorse his son, upsetting many of Romero's supporters and fueling charges of nepotism. In the home stretch of the race, the Tauzin campaign released several advertisements accusing Romero of being a liberal, most notably claiming that he supported the legalization of sodomy. Under the jungle primary system, if the leading candidate does not receive over 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers in a race - regardless of party affiliation - advance to a runoff election, which is held several weeks after the national general election. On election day, Romero missed the primary by a razor-thin margin, receiving 22 percent of the vote to Melancon's 23 percent and Tauzin's 32 percent. Another factor contributing to Romero's defeat may have been his refusal in 2003 to endorse the Republican candidate for governor, Bobby Jindal, who lost to the Democrat Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Lafayette. Romero remained upset with Tauzin over his campaign's negative attacks and the manner in which the state party endorsed him, and thus remained neutral for the runoff, refusing to endorse Tauzin. Melancon defeated Tauzin by just over 500 votes, leading many political observers to speculate that the rift with Romero and his supporters cost Tauzin the election.
In 2006, Romero ran for the seat again as the only GOP candidate. (map). In a year adverse to Republicans nationally, Romero was handily defeated by freshman incumbent Democrat Melancon in the November 7, 2006, midterm election. In addition to a political atmosphere hostile to Republicans and the natural advantage of incumbency, some pundits have speculated that Melancon benefited from a "halo effect" for what was perceived to be a strong response to Hurricane Katrina.
Romero is a political science graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, formerly known as the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He is affiliated with the Louisiana Cattleman's Association and the Charolais Breeders Association. He is a member of the Louisiana Worker's Compensation Board. He is a former member of the Legislative Audit Advisory Council. He is a former appointee to the advisory committee to the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. Romero is a former member of the Louisiana Parks and Recreation Commission and the Police Jury (county commission in other states) Association. Previously, he was named "Man of the Year" by the New Iberia Jaycees. He has also been affiliated with St. Edwards Church School in New Iberia. He is Roman Catholic. Romero is married to the former Pamela Hulin (born 1956).They have seven children, Nicholas, Hannah, Jacob, Sarah, Bethany, Danielle, and Isaac. Isaac died at age 23 in a single-vehicle car crash on August 25, 2018.
Romero was ineligible to seek reelection in 2007. He was succeeded by a Democrat, outgoing State Representative Troy Hebert of Jeanerette, who narrowly defeated Republican Jeff Landry of New Iberia, 14,876 votes (51 percent) to 14,208 (49 percent) in the November 17 general election. Landry was a legislative aide to Romero and the outgoing's senator's preferred choice as his successor. Landry is a candidate in 2010 for the Republican nomination for the Third District U.S. House seat.
Romero was originally elected as a Democrat to the Senate seat in 1993 to succeed Democrat Oswald A. Decuir, who resigned. He switched to Republican affiliation on September 6, 1995.
- Louisiana State Senate info on Romero
- [permanent dead link]
|Louisiana State Senate|
Oswald A. Decuir (D)
| Louisiana State Senator from District 22 (Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, and Vermilion parishes)
Craig Francis Romero (R)
Troy Hebert (D)