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Rep. Julie Emerson

Age

29

Location

Carencro, Louisiana

Twitter

@JulieEmerson

Julie Emerson was born in a small town in rural north Louisiana. Her grandfather served one term as the mayor of Homer, Louisiana (population 3500) when she was a toddler. After one term, he was eager to get back to life as a businessman, and that’s about as political as h er life got until college. At the age of six, her family moved to the land flowing with boiled crawfish, gumbo, and alligators—the Acadiana region of South Louisiana. While not technically a native, it’s hard for her to imagine growing up in a better place.

Educated at a small Christian school in St Landry Parish where her mother was her principal, Julie was mostly a rule follower for fear of her mother’s wrath, but a fiercely independent streak always loomed. She received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (home of the Ragin Cajuns). While attending UL, a childhood friend invited her to attend the 2008 Republican National Convention. As it goes with south Louisiana, she ended up evacuating from Hurricane Gustav to attend the Convention in Minnesota. From that moment on, she was hooked. She returned to Louisiana and began to immerse herself in local and eventually state politics. Between 2008 and 2010, she volunteered for every conservative conference, convention, and campaign she possibly could.

In 2011, she founded Lagniappe Communications, which has grown into a reputable public affairs and digital communications firm with clients nationwide. She graduated with her Masters in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina in 2013. The same year, the national Southern Baptist Convention confirmed her to serve on the Board of Trustees of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where she is the youngest board member to ever serve.

In 2012, she ran for a seat on the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee, defeating a former legislator with 61% of the vote. She was an alternate delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention and an alternate presidential elector.

Approached in December 2014 about challenging a well-funded, young Democrat incumbent for her state House seat, Julie charted a new and unexpected course. Although active in the Party and campaigns for years, she was relatively unknown as a potential legislative candidate in her area. Polling at 3% in the beginning, she worked her way up to winning with 51% becoming the only Republican to defeat an incumbent Democrat in a 2015 Louisiana legislative race. In 2016, she was sworn in as the youngest member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and the youngest Republican female to ever be elected to the House.

As a legislator, Julie has built a reputation as a reliable conservative who doesn’t cave to pressure. To this point she has received a 100% lifetime voting record with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry for supporting job-creation and de-regulation, a 100% lifetime rating with Louisiana Right to Life, two “Family Advocate” awards and a “Life and Liberty” award by the Louisiana Family Forum, and a Conservative Achievement Award from the American Conservative Union for being one of the Top 5 most conservative legislators in the state. As a result of this recognition, the organizers of CPAC invited her to serve as a panelist in February of 2017. Most recently, Julie was nationally recognized by the Coalition for Public Safety for her work on justice reform from a conservative perspective.

In fall of 2016, Julie was selected by the American-Swiss Foundation as one of 25 Young Leaders under 40 to attend a diplomatic exchange trip to Switzerland, where she participated in an education panel with the US Ambassador to Switzerland. Later that same year, her congressional district was won by Clay Higgins, a former sheriff’s deputy in a rural Louisiana parish. Higgins raised $300,000 to his opponent’s $2 million, and the opponent was expected to “run away” with the election. After his historic victory, Congressman-Elect Higgins tapped Julie to lead his transition team.

In August 2017, Julie announced that she would run for Chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana. If elected, she will be the youngest person and second female to ever serve as Party Chairman. While accomplishments and recognition are nice, Julie is most excited that she has been able to bring a millennial perspective to the conservative movement and hopes to inspire other young people to get involved in government.

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