Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor last fall, finishing a disappointing fourth in the primary and engendering a bit of griping from party faithful who didn’t like the fact that he was both chairman of the party and a candidate for a statewide position at the same time.
But after a string of GOP victories in Louisiana races starting in November and continuing through several special elections since, not to mention several high-profile party-switches from former Democrat officials, Villere is on a roll – and he’s now taking his act nationally.
It was announced Thursday that Villere had been elected to the Republican National Committee’s Executive Committee in a regional vote. Villere is now one of 28 members of the Executive Committee, which serves as a supervisory board for the party.
“I am honored to have the support of my fellow members of the Republican National Committee and I look forward to working with the RNC’s Executive Committee to help our Republican candidates across the country achieve victory in 2011 and 2012,” Villere said in a statement. “Most importantly, I’m eager to help Chairman (Reince) Priebus position our party to take back the White House and put an end to Barack Obama’s failed big-government agenda.”
With his election, Villere now becomes one of two Louisiana Republicans serving on the Executive Committee. The other, Louisiana National Committeewoman and RNC Vice-Chairman for the Southern Region Ruth Ulrich, was effusive at the news of Villere’s win.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have two Louisianians serving on the RNC Executive Committee,” she said. “Chairman Villere has clearly demonstrated his ability to help Republicans win elections here in Louisiana and the RNC will benefit greatly from his insights and experiences.”
Villere took over as the chairman of the state party in Louisiana in 2004, and he has presided over significant Republican gains over the past seven years. On Villere’s watch, GOP officeholders at the statewide level have gone from one out of seven to all seven, congressional seats from four out of seven to six out of seven, U.S. Senate seats from none to one, seats in the state House of Representatives from 37 to 53 and seats in the state senate from 16 to 23. Some of the gains can be attributed to an utter collapse of the Louisiana Democrat Party following former Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s perceived incompetence in handling the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the highly unpopular policies of President Obama within Louisiana, but there’s no question Villere has built a record of success for the Louisiana GOP.
That success didn’t go unnoticed by the national bigwigs. Wednesday evening after the election, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus – who had built a similar record of success as a state chairman in Wisconsin, including a staggering electoral win last November featuring Scott Walker’s election as governor, new GOP majorities in both houses of the state legislature and Ron Johnson’s Senate win over Democrat incumbent Russ Feingold – threw Villere a nice bouquet…
“I would like to congratulate Roger Villere from Louisiana on his election to the RNC Executive Committee,” Priebus said. “Having him on board puts us one step closer to rebuilding the RNC into an organization that can keep pace with Barack Obama’s billion dollar campaign. As a veteran leader of one of our state parties, Roger understands that it will take a fully-funded, fully-functional RNC to win in 2012. I look forward to working closely with Roger as we continue to grow our Party and fight to return the Senate and the White House to the hands of steady, conservative leadership.”