Tom Schedler

Tom Schedler
Secretary of State of Louisiana
Assumed office
November 22, 2010
Governor Bobby Jindal
John Bel Edwards
Preceded by Jay Dardenne
Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
from the 11th district
In office
Preceded by Gerry Hinton
Succeeded by Jack Donahue
Member of the Slidell City Council
from District F
In office
Preceded by ???
Succeeded by Michael Molbert
Personal details
Born John Thomas Schedler
(1950-01-24) January 24, 1950
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Stephanie Gele Schedler
Children Michelle
Alma mater University of Louisiana, Lafayette
Religion Roman Catholicism

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, 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 had sought 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] Jindal did not run in 2012 but made a bid for president in the 2016 campaign.

Electoral history

Louisiana State Senate 11th District Primary Election, 1995
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Patricia "Pat" Brister 7,691 21
Republican "Tom" Schedler 6,122 17
Republican Alvin Singletary 6,115 17
Democratic "Mike" Cooper 5,704 16
Republican "Bob" Womack 3,724 10
Republican "Pat" Dammon 2,704 7
Democratic John Fahey 1,411 4
Independent "Mike" Holoway 1,205 3
Republican "Bill" Pappas 1,075 3
Republican Dennis Davis 860 2
Louisiana State Senate 11th District Runoff Election, 1995
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican "Tom" Schedler 23,354 57
Republican Patricia "Pat" Brister 17,876 43
Louisiana State Senate 11th District Primary Election, 1999
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican "Tom" Schedler (inc.) n/a 100
Louisiana State Senate 11th District Primary Election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican "Tom" Schedler (inc.) 22,366 65
Republican Bruce Authement 11,920 35
Louisiana Secretary of State Primary Election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican "Tom" Schedler (inc.) 449,616 50
Republican "Jim" Tucker 441,170 50
Louisiana Secretary of State Primary Election, 2015
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican "Tom" Schedler (inc.) 649,540 62
Democratic "Chris" Tyson 394,587 38

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]

In his bid for a second full term as secretary of state in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 24, 2015, Schedler defeated Chris Tyson, an African-American Democrat from Baton Rouge,[21] 649,153 (62.2 percent) to 394,153 (37.8 percent).[22]

Dispute with Lieutenant Governor Nungesser

In July 2016, Schedler rebuked comments made by Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, a fellow Republican, regarding allegations of abuse of early voting in Louisiana. Schedler called Nungesser

at a minimum uninformed. [He] quite possibly [made] an insult to not only my office, but also our hard-working clerks of court and registrars of voters who are our trusted partners for every election.

Lieutenant Governor Nungesser implied that voters can show up by the busload at any early voting site, even if they are not registered, sign a sheet of paper and have their vote count. But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth, and in practice, his claim is impossible to execute. ...

If [the person is] not a registered voter, the process for voting on a machine does not move forward. Louisiana does allow for provisional voting in federal elections, which allows voters to cast a conditional paper ballot if questions arise as to their eligibility. But make no mistake, by law, these votes are not counted until the voter is proven to be eligible, not before." [23]

Nungesser said his comments were taken out of context because he was referring to a local election in Plaquemines Parish in 2005. He said that he admires how Schedler handles the office of secretary of state.[23]


  1. New Orleans Times-Picayune, December 6, 2007
  2. 1 2 Anderson, Ed (2010-11-03). "Dardenne tops Fayard in lieutenant governor race: He rolls up big victory after intense campaign". Times-Picayune (Metro Edition). p. A14.
  3. Anderson, Ed (2010-11-04). "Dardenne will explore tightening belt at new office: Positions could be merged, slashed". Times-Picayune (Saint Tammany Edition). p. A3. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
  4. "Louisiana primary election returns, October 22, 2011". Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  5. 1 2 "Senate District 11". Retrieved November 4, 2009.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Biography of Senator John T. "Tom" Schedler"". Retrieved November 4, 2009.
  7. "Our Campaigns: Candidate David Vitter". Retrieved November 7, 2009.
  8. "Senate Resolution No. 156". Retrieved November 7, 2009.
  9. "Estate Taxes by State: Does Louisiana Have an Estate Tax?". Retrieved November 7, 2009.
  10. "Louisiana election returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. October 21, 1995. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  11. "Louisiana election returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. October 4, 2003. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  12. "Louisiana election returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. March 26, 1994. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  13. "Louisiana election returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. April 20, 1996. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  14. Sam Caruso cited in this source: Thibodeaux, Ron (2011-01-16). "Schedler hits stride in Baton Rouge". Times-Picayune (Metro). p. B5. Retrieved 2011-01-16.
  15. "Jack Donahue for Senate". Retrieved November 5, 2009.
  16. "Louisiana election returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. October 20, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  17. 1 2 Michelle Millhollon, "Official pulls out of Jindal group", The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, June 16, 2009
  18. "Term-limited Tucker seeking Secretary of State". Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  19. "Walter Hines". Retrieved August 29, 2011.
  20. "Many La. incumbents get a free pass, September 9, 2011". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  21. "Candidates Qualified in Statewide Elections". KEEL (AM). Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  22. "Results for Election Date: 10/24/2015". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  23. 1 2 Bonnie Bolden (July 12, 2016). "Schedler: Nungesser got it wrong". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
Civic offices
Preceded by
Member of the Slidell City Council
from District F

Succeeded by
Michael Molbert
Louisiana Senate
Preceded by
Gerry Hinton
Member of the Louisiana Senate
for the 11th district

Succeeded by
Jack Donahue
Political offices
Preceded by
Jay Dardenne
Secretary of State of Louisiana
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