Rodney McKinnie Alexander (born December 5, 1946) is the U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 5th congressional district, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district covers twenty-two parishes in roughly the northeast quadrant of the state. As of the start of the 112th Congress, he is the dean of Louisiana's House delegation.
Early life, education and career
Alexander was born in the village of Bienville in Bienville Parish to the former Mary Crawford and James Earl Alexander. In 1964, he graduated from Jonesboro-Hodge High School in Jonesboro in Jackson Parish.
He then attended Louisiana Tech University.
Alexander was an insurance agent prior to entering Congress. He also owned a construction company from 1964-1981. He served his country in the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1965-1971. He was a member of the Jackson Parish Police Jury (equivalent to county commission in other states) from 1972-1988.
Alexander left the police jury to represent District 13 in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1988 until his election to Congress.
While in the House, he served as the chairman of the House Health and Welfare Committee. In this position, Alexander shepherded through the Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP) legislation, which assists mothers and children with basic health care and insurance needs.
U.S. House of Representatives
Alexander won his seat in 2002 as a Democrat, but ran in 2004 as a Republican, changing parties only three months before the election.
At the commencement of the 111th Congress, Alexander received new subcommittee assignments including the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS), and he retained his seat on the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administrations, and Related Agencies (Agriculture). Alexander’s Interest group ratings are high in pro-life, agriculture, budgeting and business. He has very low ratings by the NAACP and ACLU and other civil rights oriented groups or groups for minorities.
Alexander also has low ratings by environmental groups. His recent speeches include “Party of Paychecks” were he speaks on the nations food-stamp necessity increase and speaks against out-of-control government spending and unemployment. Many of Alexander’s other speeches include warning against tax increases, as well as, freedoms to practice religion and prayer in public. Alexander is endorsed by groups such as Americans for Legal Immigration, Louisiana National Federation of Independent Business, National Federation of Independent Business and National Rifle Association. Alexander’s voting record shows a history of voting against tax law amendments on a variety of matters. He has also voted “Nay” on many extensions for relief or aid, regulations, and has voted “Yay” to prohibition of tax increase.
Alexander was first elected to Congress in 2002 as a Democrat. On August 4, 2004, he registered to run as a Democrat, but changed his mind to become a Republican only 30 minutes before the filing deadline to prevent other Democrats from running.
In 2006, he defeated the Democrat Gloria Williams Hearn, wife of the psychologist George E. Hearn of Pineville, Louisiana.
Alexander defeated Richard Todd Slavant of Monroe in the Republican closed primary by a margin of nearly 9-1. He faced Independent Tom Gibbs, Jr., of Ouachita Parish in the November 2 general election and won easily. No Democratic candidate had filed for the position, once held by such long-serving members as Jerry Huckaby and Otto Passman.
Alexander joined the Tea Party Caucus during this campaign.
Alexander's wife, the former Nancy Sutton, is a long-time educator.
They have three children and several grandchildren.
On January 30, 2010, Alexander, along with the late Charlton Lyons of Shreveport, former state Representative Risley C. Triche of Napoleonville, and former State Senator Randy Ewing, also of Jackson Parish, was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.
November 20th, 2011