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New House speaker has kept low profile as a state lawmaker

6 years 8 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, January 13 2016 Jan 13, 2016 January 13, 2016 4:47 PM January 13, 2016 in News
Source: Associated Press

BATON ROUGE - As a rank-and-file lawmaker, Louisiana's new House Speaker Taylor Barras wasn't one to seek the spotlight. The Republican from New Iberia never chaired a committee, and he wasn't the face of high-profile debates during his first eight years in office.

Barras' election victory as House speaker this week was a surprise. His lack of history as a House leader also makes him somewhat of an unknown quantity as he takes the helm of the chamber during a deep financial crisis.

Both those who supported his win and those who voted for his opponent, Democrat Walt Leger, say they expect Barras, a mild-mannered banker, to be fair and forthright.

They don't see Barras as an obstructionist who will be consistently at loggerheads with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who supported Leger.

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