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Tom Schedler

John Thomas "Tom" Schedler
Louisiana Secretary of State
Assumed office
November 22, 2010
Preceded by Jay Dardenne
Louisiana State Senator from District 11 (St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes)
In office
Preceded by Gerry E. Hinton
Succeeded by Jack Donahue
Member, Slidell City Council
In office
Succeeded by Michael J. Molbert
Personal details
Born (1950-01-24) January 24, 1950 (age 64)
New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Stephanie Gele Schedler
Children Michelle, Rachael, and Jennifer
Residence Mandeville
St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana
Alma mater De La Salle High School

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Occupation Businessman
Religion Roman Catholic

John Thomas Schedler, known as Tom Schedler (born January 24, 1950), is a politician from suburban St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, USA, who served as the District 11 Louisiana state senator from 1996 to 2008, when he was term-limited after twelve years. Thereafter, he was named chief deputy to Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, a former Senate colleague of Schedler's from Baton Rouge.[1] When Dardenne became lieutenant governor-elect, Schedler began acting as secretary of state.[2] Dardenne's elevation to lieutenant governor was delayed formally and officially to November 22, 2010, to obviate a statutory requirement to hold a special election to fill the position of secretary of state. Thus on November 22, Schedler became the official secretary of state.[3]

Schedler narrowly won a full term as Secretary of State in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 22, 2011. He defeated Jim Tucker of Terrytown, the outgoing Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 449,370 (50.5 percent) to 440,872 (49.5 percent). Schedler carried only twenty-six of the sixty-four parishes, and his margin of victory could be attributed to his home parish of St. Tammany, which he won by greater than a two-to-one margin.[4]

Education, military, occupation

A native of New Orleans, Schedler graduated in 1967 from De La Salle High School. In 1999, he was honored by De La Salle as one of the school's 125 outstanding graduates over the first half-century of the institution. In 1971, Schedler received his Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, then known as the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1971 to 1976 and the Louisiana National Guard. His business concerns have been in the fields of banking, real estate, and health-care management. In the middle 1990s, he was a hospital foundation director.[5] From 1990 to 1996, he was the director of managed care services and business development at a hospital in St. Tammany Parish.[6]

A member of the Republican State Central Committee, Schedler was a George W. Bush-committed delegate to the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was also chairman of the State Senate Republican delegation.[6]

From 1984 to 1990, Schedler was chairman of the Slidell Board of Zoning and Adjustment. In 1995, he was the president of the St. Tammany Municipal Association. From 1990 to 1996, Schedler served on the Slidell City Council, having been vice president and then president of the body. In 1990, at the age of forty, he was named "Slidell Citizen of the Year". In 1991, he graduated from the civic program "Leadership Louisiana",[5] sponsored by the interest group Council for a Better Louisiana. Schedler is a former president of Slidell Rotary International, having also been a Paul Harris Fellow, an honor named for the founder of the organization. He has been affiliated with the Slidell Chamber of Commerce and the Lions Club. He is married to the former Stephanie Gele (born March 3, 1950) of Lafayette, an administrator of hospice programs in the Greater New Orleans area. The Schedlers have three grown daughters. They attend St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Slidell.[6] The Schedlers now reside in Mandeville in St. Tammany Parish.

Legislative service

In addition to his own St. Tammany Parish, Schedler's district included neighboring Tangipahoa Parish. Schedler served on the Health and Welfare, Judiciary C, Retirement, and Local and municipal Affairs committees. He is a former chairman of the Legislative Audit Advisory Council and the Louisiana Commission on Mental Health. He was also among the members of the select committee which handled legislative oversight of the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission.[6]

In 1999, Schedler was twice named "Legislator of the Month" by the Louisiana Municipal Association and received the Outstanding Legislator Award from the Victims and Citizens Against Crime. He was named "Legislator of the Year" by both the Louisiana Hospital Association and the Metro Hospital Council of New Orleans. He also received the Fred Henderson Memorial Award from the Louisiana Chapter of the National Association of Mental Illness. In 2000, the Alliance for Good Government, the President's Committee on Mental Retardation, the Louisiana Hospital Association, and the Louisiana Association for Mental Health named him "Legislator of the Year". In 2001, Schedler received the Franklin Smith Award from the Association for Retarded Citizens of Louisiana for his work with children with mental disabilities.[6]

In 2002, Schedler was named "Legislator of the Year" by the Rural Hospital Coalition and the Louisiana. School Counselor Association. He was also honored by the Rural Health Association and, again, the Louisiana Municipal Association. In 2003, he was named "Legislator of the Year" by the Black Bag Medical Society for his work in health care policy and workforce issues[6]

Schedler and then State Representative and later U.S. Senator David Vitter co-authored the repeal of the Louisiana inheritance tax,[7][8] which took effect in July 2004.[9] He authored or co-authored legislation in the areas of tort reform, ethics, and health care. In 1997 and 2000, he attempted to call a state constitutional convention to address the Louisiana tax code. He wrote legislation that generated approximately $1 billion of additional Medicaid funds for the elderly and disabled, all of which were placed in trust. After thirteen failed attempt, he obtained passage of the Preferred Drug Bill, estimated to save Medicaid $60 to $100 million per year in Louisiana. In 2003, Schedler led the passage of the first major reform bill dealing with the state charity hospital system, which dates to the era of Governor Huey P. Long, Jr.[6]

Election results

Gerry E. Hinton, a chiropractor and a three-term Republican state senator from Slidell, did not seek reelection in nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 21, 1995. Schedler and nine other candidates hence entered the race. Schedler finished second and entered the Louisiana general election with Pat Brister, later the state chairman of the Louisiana GOP. He received 6,122 (16.72 percent) to her 7,691 (21 percent). A third candidate, Republican Alvin D. Singletary (born 1942), Schedler's fellow Slidell city council member, ran third, having trailed Schedler by only seven votes, 6,155 (16.7 percent). Four other Republicans, two Democrats, and an unaffiliated contender, polled the remaining 46 percent of the primary ballots.[10] In the second balloting on November 18, Schedler won 23,354 (56.6 percent) to Brister's 17,876 (43.4 percent). Schedler was unopposed in the 1999 primary. On October 4, 2003, he convincingly defeated a fellow Republican, Bruce S. Authement of Covington, 22,366 votes (65.2 percent) to 11,920 (34.8 percent).[11]

Schedler held the single-member District F seat on the Slidell City Council from June 1990 to January 1996. On March 26, 1994, he was reelected to the city council in a primary with fellow Republican Mark D. Fridge (born 1957), 632 to 476.[12] He resigned from the council in 1995 to become state senator. In a runoff election on April 20, 1996, Michael J. Molbert (born 1945), with 552 votes (52 percent) defeated Mark Fridge, who polled 509 ballots (48 percent) to finish Schedler's second city council term.[13] Sam Caruso, mayor of Slidell during Schedler's service in the Senate cited Schedler as being "noticeably more effective than most people" and "willing and able to swim against the tide."[14]

As his successor, Schedler endorsed a fellow Republican, Jack Donahue (born 1944), a Mandeville contractor[15] who easily won the Senate seat in the 2007 primary election over the term-limited more conservative Republican State Representative Pete Schneider of Slidell.[16]

In June 2009, Schedler was listed as a directors of a national presidential fund-raising effort promoting Governor Bobby Jindal. According to the campaign treasurer, Dan Kyle, former Louisiana legislative auditor, the group hopes to raise $60 million to persuade Jindal to seek the 2012 Republican nomination.[17] Others on the committee are former State Representative Woody Jenkins and U.S. Representative Steve Scalise. Schedler had his name removed from the group, not because he opposes Jindal but because such fund-raising activity could conflict with his role as Dardenne's deputy.[17]

Louisiana secretary of state

Schedler became the acting secretary of state when Dardenne was sworn in as lieutenant governor. Dardenne had defeated Democrat Caroline Fayard in the 2010 State of Louisiana elections.[2]

Schedler faced opposition in the race for secretary of state from fellow Republican Jim Tucker of Terrytown, the outgoing Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives. Caroline Fayard had also been expected to seek the position but did not file.[18] Departing State Representative Walker Hines of New Orleans announced that he too would run for secretary of state but then withdrew his candidacy.[19]

Schedler said that it has been difficult to raise money for the race because the position of secretary of state is "one that's particularly difficult to get people excited about."[20]


Preceded by
Gerry E. Hinton
Louisiana State Senator from District 11 (St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes)

John Thomas "Tom" Schedler

Succeeded by
Jack Donahue
Political offices
Preceded by
Slidell City Council, District F

John Thomas "Tom" Schedler

Succeeded by
Michael J. Molbert
Political offices
Preceded by
Jay Dardenne
Louisiana Secretary of State

John Thomas "Tom" Schedler

Succeeded by
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