[AllPolitics - States]

AllPolitics is presenting the freshmen of the 105th Congress every day between now and January. Here's who we've done so far:

Jeff Sessions (R)
Tim Hutchinson (R)
Wayne Allard (R)
Max Cleland (D)
Richard Durbin (D)
Sam Brownback (R)
Pat Roberts (R)
Mary Landrieu (D)
Susan Collins (R)
Chuck Hagel (R)
New Jersey
Robert Torricelli (D)
Gordon Smith (R)
Rhode Island
Jack Reed (D)
South Dakota
Tim Johnson (D)
Mike Enzi (R)

3-Bob Riley (R)
4-Robert Aderholt (R)
1-Marion Berry (D)
2-Victor F. Snyder (D)
3-Asa Hutchinson (R)
10-Ellen Tauscher (D)
22-Walter Holden Capps (D)
24-Brad Sherman (D)
27-James E. Rogan (R)
46-Loretta Sanchez (D)
1-Diana DeGette (D)
4-Robert Schaffer (R)
5-James Maloney (D)
2-Allen Boyd (D)
11-Jim Davis (D)
19-Robert Wexler (D)
3-Leonard Boswell (D)
5-Rod Blagojevich (D)
7-Danny K. Davis (D)
20-John Shimkus (R)
7-Edward Pease (R)
10-Julia Carson (D)
1-Jerry Moran (R)
2-Jim Ryun (R)
3-Vince Snowbarger (R)
3-Anne Meagher Northup (R)
5-John Cooksey (R)
7-Chris John (D)
3-James McGovern (D)
6-John Tierney (D)
10-William Delahunt (D)
1-Tom Allen (D)
8-Debbie Stabenow (D)
15-Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D)
3-Charles "Chip" Pickering Jr. (R)
7-Roy Blunt (R)
8-Jo Ann Emerson (I)
9-Kenny Hulshof (R)
At Large-Rick Hill (R)
New Hampshire
1-John E. Sununu (R)
New Jersey
8-William Pascrell Jr. (D)
9-Steven Rothman (D)
12-Mike Pappas (R)
New York
4-Carolyn McCarthy (D)
2-Jim Gibbons (R)
North Carolina
2-Bob Etheridge (D)
4-David E. Price (D)
7-Mike McIntyre (D)
6-Ted Strickland (D)
10-Dennis Kucinich (D)
3-Wes Watkins (R)
2-Bob Smith (R)
5-Darlene Hooley (D)
5-John Peterson (R)
16-Joseph R. Pitts (R)
Rhode Island
2-Robert Weygand (D)
South Dakota
At Large-John Thune (R)
1-Bill Jenkins (R)
9-Harold E. Ford Jr. (D)
1-Max Sandlin (D)
2-Jim Turner (D)
5-Pete Sessions (R)
12-Kay Granger (R)
14-Ron Paul (R)
15-Ruben Hinojosa (D)
16-Silvestre Reyes (D)
2-Merrill Cook (R)
3-Chris Cannon (R)
5-Virgil H. Goode Jr. (D)
9-Adam Smith (D)
3-Ron Kind (D)
8-Jay W. Johnson (D)
Louisiana - 5th District

John Cooksey (R-La.)

Born: Aug. 20, 1941, Alexandria, La.
Education: Louisiana State U., B.A. 1962, M.D. 1966; U. of Texas, M.B.A. 1994.
Military Service: Air Force, 1967-69; Air Force Reserve, 1969-72.
Occupation: Physician.
Family: Wife, Ann; three children.
Religion: Methodist.
Political Career: No previous office.
Capitol Office: 317 Cannon Bldg. 20515; 225-4637.

By Congressional Quarterly

Cooksey is one of three physicians elected to the House in 1996. He has spent most of his career as an ophthalmologist and made his first bid for elective office in 1996. Yet, he is no political novice.

Cooksey says he has always been interested in government and has been an active behind-the-scenes player in helping other candidates raise money for their campaigns. Among those he has helped is fellow Louisiana Republican Rep. Jim McCrery, who won election in the newly redrawn 4th District in 1996.

Cooksey also helped lead an effort in the mid-1970s to pass legislation that capped medical malpractice awards in Louisiana at $500,000.

One of his top priorities in Congress will be to help bring jobs to his largely rural and poor district.

Cooksey says one of the best ways to help create a better climate for businesses is to build a four-lane, north-to-south highway in the district. The lack of such a highway is not only a deterrent to bringing new employers to the 5th, he says, but also creates a dangerous situation on the district's two-lane roads, which are heavily traveled by both passenger cars and trucks.

Cooksey is one step closer to achieving this goal by landing a spot on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He also was given a spot on the Agriculture Committee. Rice and cotton farming are among the key components of the 5th's agricultural economy.

The Louisiana Republican also proposes providing tax credits to encourage Americans to buy U.S. made products. He also would like to see domestic free-trade zones, which provide tax breaks to companies that launch manufacturing firms in the zones, expanded to include areas in the 5th District.

In addition, Cooksey proposes giving businesses tax credits for creating vocational and technical programs, particularly for welfare recipients, who he says should be exempted from paying income taxes for a year after getting a job.

Cooksey lines up firmly with conservatives on most issues. He favors a reduction in income and estate taxes, elimination of the Education Department, voluntary prayer in public schools, and term limits for members of Congress and federal judges.

He says he also is opposed to abortion but would not back a constitutional amendment banning abortion. Cooksey says he is concerned about the federal government getting too involved in the issue. "We don't need any more federal bureaucrats," he says.

Cooksey launched his bid for Congress after the state's congressional lines were redrawn in January 1996 by a three-judge federal panel, which ruled that one of Louisiana's congressional districts drawn to favor the election of a black representative was an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

The new 5th District included some of the most conservative areas of the state. Blacks, who generally vote Democratic, make up almost a third of the district's population, and Democrats were counting on the presidential race to draw out more of the African American vote.

Cooksey emerged on top of a six-candidate field in the all-party primary but was forced into a runoff with Democratic state Rep. Francis Thompson, who only narrowly got past former Republican Rep. Clyde C. Holloway (1987-93) for second place.

Cooksey promoted himself as a "citizen candidate" and attacked Thompson as a career politician. Thompson charged that his opponent was a "rich doctor" who did not understand the district's needs.

"He's sort of a Grey Poupon sort of guy," Thompson charged during the campaign. "I've been in the trenches here for over 30 years."

Cooksey, however, ran a well-organized campaign, distributing thousands of newspapers throughout the district touting his candidacy. He also got assistance from television ads, paid for by the state Republican Party, that attacked Thompson for voting to increase taxes in the state Legislature.

© 1997, Congressional Quarterly Inc. All rights reserved.

Louisiana - 7th District

Chris John (D-La.)

Born: Jan. 5, 1960, Crowley, La.
Education: Louisiana State U., B.A. 1982.
Occupation: Transportation business owner.
Family: Wife, Payton.
Religion: Roman Catholic.
Political Career: Crowley City Council, 1984-88; La. House, 1989-97; candidate for lieutenant governor, 1995.
Capitol Office: 1504 Longworth Bldg. 20515; 225-2031.

By Congressional Quarterly

John is following in the footsteps of another Crowley native, Democratic Sen. John B. Breaux, who represented the 7th District from 1973 until his election to the Senate in 1986.

A conservative Democrat, John came to Washington in 1997 with big plans to reduce government waste and cut the national debt. He acknowledged that his goals might have been too far-reaching, but said at the very least he hoped to play the role of a facilitator. "I'm not a press hound, and I don't go looking for quotes. . . . I'm good at negotiating," he said.

John proposed establishing panels charged with pinpointing waste in each government department and cutting program budgets by as much as 10 percent. He also wanted to adopt a page from Louisiana's fiscal procedures by seeing legislation enacted that would require a portion of federal revenues to be dedicated to reducing the national debt.

John has experience in tackling such issues. As an eight-year member of the state House, he served on the Appropriations Committee and Joint Legislative Budget Committee, which oversaw all state agency budgets.

To boost economic development, John said he wanted to work on ways to bolster trade along the 7th District's inland waterways and ports. He also hoped to increase drilling incentives for offshore oil and gas companies. At the same time, he said it was important to make sure that adequate protections for the district's delicate estuaries, fisheries and marshlands were in place. John was in a position to get involved in energy and environmental issues as a member of the Resources Committee.

Another area of concern for John would be agriculture, especially ensuring that farm legislation approved by Congress in 1996 was not detrimental to the district's rice farmers and crawfish industry.

In his House campaign, John promoted his business background and experience in creating jobs as the operator of his family's trucking company.

He received endorsements in the runoff race from two key business groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business. He also earned the backing of the man he was seeking to succeed, Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Jimmy Hayes.

Hayes gave up his seat to run for the Senate post vacated by Democrat J. Bennett Johnston, but Hayes finished fifth in a crowded all-party primary.

With no incumbent running, John's eight opponents in the state's all-party primary found him to be the next best thing. John walked into the race with an edge; he had the best name recognition in the field. He ran a statewide campaign in 1995 for lieutenant governor, which he lost.

The most pointed attacks on John came from one of his Democratic opponents, Tyron Picard, who accused John of mishandling campaign contributions related to his bid for the lieutenant governorship. John denied any wrongdoing and labeled Picard's attack as a desperate move to revive his struggling campaign.

John emerged from the primary in first place but was far short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff. John was forced into a runoff with Democratic lawyer Hunter Lundy, whose second-place finish was unsuccessfully challenged by Republican David Thibodaux, who missed a runoff spot by eight votes.

Lundy took up where Picard left off, blasting John as a career politician and accusing him of selling his vote in the state legislature. He claimed that John voted against legislation requiring mandatory sentences for people convicted of drunken driving with a child in the car because John had received campaign contributions from alcoholic beverage companies.

John said his votes reflected the views of his district. He also contended that his legislative and business experience provided him better qualifications for the job of congressman than the background of Lundy, a trial lawyer.

© 1997, Congressional Quarterly Inc. All rights reserved.

To purchase CQ's authoritative New Member Special Report, a comprehensive first look at the new 105th Congress, visit the CQ Mall.

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