Don Cazayoux

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Don Cazayoux
Don Cazayoux, official 110th Congress photo portrait, 2008.jpg
United States Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana
In office
June 22, 2010 – July 1, 2013
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byDavid Dugas
Succeeded byJ. Walter Green
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th district
In office
May 3, 2008 – January 3, 2009
Preceded byRichard Baker
Succeeded byBill Cassidy
Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
from the 18th district
In office
2000 – May 6, 2008
Preceded byRobert Marionneaux
Succeeded byMajor Thibaut
Personal details
Born (1964-01-17) January 17, 1964 (age 56)
New Roads, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Cherie Cazayoux
ParentsDonald J. Cazayoux, Sr. (father)
ResidenceNew Roads, Louisiana
EducationLouisiana State University (BS, MA)
Georgetown University (JD)

Donald J. Cazayoux Jr. (/ˈkæʒ/;[1] born January 17, 1964) is an American lawyer and politician. He served as the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana from 2010 to 2013. From 2008 to 2009, he was a Democratic United States Representative from Louisiana's 6th congressional district.[2] Cazayous is a name of southwestern France. In the local dialect in Occitan gascon Cazayous significates "The house from below, at the bottom of the village".[3]

He won a special election held on May 3, 2008, to fill the seat vacated on Republican Congressman Richard H. Baker. He defeated Republican nominee Woody Jenkins and was sworn in on May 6, 2008.[4] In the regularly-scheduled general election held later that year, Cazayoux ran for re-election but was defeated by the Republican nominee, State Senator Bill Cassidy.

Early life[edit]

A native of New Roads, Cazayoux is the son of Donald J. and Ann Cazayoux. His paternal grandparents were Jules Joseph Cazayoux Jr. (1914–2010), who was employed by the Southern Cotton Oil Company, and the late Ida Belle Glynn Cazayoux.[5] A Roman Catholic, he graduated from the Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee in 1982.[6] He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. After finishing his studies, Cazayoux practiced law and then became a prosecutor for Pointe Coupee Parish. As an assistant district attorney under the 18th Judicial Court District Attorney, Richard "Ricky" Ward, Cazayoux never lost a jury trial.

Political career[edit]

Louisiana Legislature[edit]

Cazayoux was first elected to the state legislature in 1999. He represented District 18, a heavily Democratic district that includes his home in Pointe Coupee Parish as well as Iberville, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana parishes. In the legislature, he became one of the few freshmen ever appointed to the powerful Appropriations Committee. He also worked for passage of laws to assist law enforcement in cracking down on child sexual predators.

After his reelection in 2007, Cazayoux attempted to become Speaker of the state House, but the position went to Republican Jim Tucker of the New Orleans suburbs.

Service in Congress 2008-2009[edit]

Cazayoux announced his candidacy for the 6th District shortly after Baker resigned. With the strong backing of the national party, he easily defeated fellow state representative Michael L. Jackson, who represents a portion of Baton Rouge, in the Democratic primary.

Cazayoux's Republican opponent in the special election was Louis E. "Woody" Jenkins, a newspaper publisher who represented part of Baton Rouge in the Louisiana House from 1972 to 2000, and had been narrowly defeated for election to the U.S. Senate in 1996. In the special election, Cazayoux received 49,702 votes (49.2 percent), to Jenkins' 46,741 (46.3 percent). Three minor candidates shared the remaining 4.52 percent of the ballots cast. Cazayoux clinched the seat with a nearly 5,000-vote margin in Jenkins' own East Baton Rouge Parish. Jenkins' greatest strength was in Livingston Parish, a heavily Republican suburb of Baton Rouge[7]

In his congressional bid, Cazayoux had the support of organized labor, including the United Steelworkers,[8] as well as many traditional Democratic constituency groups. Cazayoux ran several ads making sport of difficulties people may have pronouncing his Cajun last name.

Cazayoux was the first Democrat to represent the 6th since four-term incumbent John Rarick was defeated in the 1974 Democratic primary. The seat was won that fall by Republican Henson Moore, who held it for twelve years before giving way to Baker in 1987.

Cazayoux lost his attempt for a full term in November 2008 to State Senator Bill Cassidy, who took 48 percent of the vote to Cazayoux's 40 percent. Jackson ran again, this time as an independent with funding from long-time Cassidy supporter Lane Grigsby.[9] He finished third,[7] garnering 36,133 votes, more than the 25,000-vote margin between Cassidy and Cazayoux, suggesting that he siphoned off many African-American votes that would have otherwise gone to Cazayoux and threw the election to Cassidy. The Daily Kingfish published photos of Jackson meeting with Congressman-elect Cassidy just three days after the election.[10] Cazayoux was one of five incumbent House Democrats to be defeated in the 2008 congressional elections, along with Nancy Boyda (D-KS), William J. Jefferson (D-LA), Nick Lampson (D-TX), and Tim Mahoney (D-FL).

Cazayoux's 2008 campaign was endorsed by Democrats for Life of America.[11]


Cazayoux is considered a moderate-to-conservative Democrat, which is typical for most Louisiana Democrats outside New Orleans. He strongly opposes abortion and gun control.[12] The latter stance earned him an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association.[13] He also supports expanding SCHIP, and favors withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq. He calls himself "a John Breaux Democrat."[14]

Career after Congress[edit]

In April 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Cazayoux as United States Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana, following a recommendation by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu from May 2009.[15] Cazayoux was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate for the position on June 22, 2010.[16] After stepping down as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana, Cazayoux announced the opening of the Cazayoux Ewing law offices in Baton Rouge and New Roads. Lane Ewing, a former assistant U.S. Attorney, is partnering with Cazayoux, who has also tapped former longtime assistant U.S. Attorney Stan Lemelle to join the firm. Lemelle recently retired after a 35-year career as a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's Office.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Cazayoux is a former president of the New Roads branch of the Lions Club (2002–2003). He and his wife, Cherie (married 1986), have three children, Michael, Chavanne, and Katie.[18] Cazayoux is a distant relative of the late Lindy Boggs, former US Representative and US Ambassador. [19][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ DonCazayoux (15 February 2008). "Not Easy". Retrieved 23 January 2017 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ Representatives, Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of. "Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives - 404". Archived from the original on 20 June 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Cazajoux : Origine du nom Cazajoux, Nom de famille Cazajoux, Généalogie Cazajoux". Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b Advocate, The. " - The Advocate - Baton Rouge News, Sports and Entertainment". Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Jules Joseph Cazayoux Jr. obituary". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  6. ^ Louisiana House of Representatives - Internet Portal
  7. ^ a b Louisiana Secretary of State-Multi-Parish Elections Inquiry Archived 2008-09-19 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Endorsement by United Steelworkers". Archived from the original on 2008-05-04. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
  9. ^ Kraushaar, Josh (2008-10-24). "Strange bedfellows in Louisiana". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  10. ^ [1] Archived December 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "ActBlue — Democrats for Life of America". Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Cazayoux on the issues". Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
  13. ^ Newsmax. " - Breaking news from around the globe: U.S. news, politics, world, health, finance, video, science, technology, live news stream". Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  14. ^ DonCazayoux (21 February 2008). "Been Fighting". Retrieved 23 January 2017 – via YouTube.
  15. ^ "Obama names former Dem Rep. Cazayoux as U.S. Attorney". TheHill. 2010-04-14. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  16. ^ "Senate Confirms Louisiana Nominees Cazayoux, Whitehorn, Harrison | Mary Landrieu | U.S. Senator for Louisiana". Archived from the original on 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  17. ^ "Former lawmaker and US Attorney opens law offices in B.R., New Roads". 2014-03-25. Archived from the original on 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  18. ^ "Don Cazayoux for Congress | Meet Don". Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
  19. ^ "Lindy Boggs, Longtime Representative and Champion of Women, Is Dead at 97". The New York Times. 28 July 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2017.

External links[edit]

Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert "Rob" Marionneaux Jr.
Louisiana State Representative, 18th District
Succeeded by
Major Thibaut
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard Baker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th congressional district

May 6, 2008–January 3, 2009
Succeeded by
Bill Cassidy