|Ranking Member of the House Climate Crisis Committee|
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Louisiana's 6th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Bill Cassidy|
Garret Neal Graves
January 31, 1972
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
Garret Neal Graves (born January 31, 1972) is an American politician serving as the United States representative from Louisiana's 6th congressional district since 2015.
Garret Graves was born on January 31, 1972, to John and Cynthia (née Sliman) Graves, who was of Lebanese descent; his father owns an engineering firm. He is a Roman Catholic. Graves attended the University of Alabama, Louisiana Tech, and American University, but did not earn a degree.
Graves served as an aide for nine years to former U.S. Representative Billy Tauzin of Louisiana's 3rd congressional district. He was also a legislative aide to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which Tauzin chaired. In 2005, he became an aide for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, serving Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter. He was the staff director for the United States Senate's Subcommittee on Climate Change and Impacts. He also worked for Democratic former U.S. Senator John Breaux, a protege of Edwin Edwards and Vitter's predecessor in the Senate. He served as a chief legislative aide to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
In 2008, Governor Bobby Jindal appointed Graves to manage the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. In the position, he negotiated on behalf of the state with British Petroleum over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He resigned the position, effective February 17, 2014.
In March 2014, Graves announced his intention to run in the 2014 election to the United States House of Representatives for Louisiana's 6th congressional district; incumbent Republican Bill Cassidy successfully challenged incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.
In the 2014 nonpartisan blanket primary, Edwin Edwards finished in first place with 30% of the vote; Graves was the runner-up with 27%. Graves and Edwards advanced to the December 6 runoff election. In the runoff, Graves received 139,209 votes (62.4%) to Edwards's 83,781 (37.6%).
In the nonpartisan blanket primary held in conjunction with the national elections on November 6, 2018, Graves handily won his third term in the U.S. House, having led a four-candidate field with 186,524 votes (69%). Democrat Justin Dewitt trailed with 55,078 votes (21%). Two other candidates, Democrat "Andie" Saizan and Independent David Lance Graham, received the remaining 3%.
In April 2017, Graves became engaged in a public dispute with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards about the disbursement of federal assistance for Louisiana's 2016 flooding victims. Graves, who had been mentioned as a potential challenger to Edwards in the 2019 gubernatorial election, claimed that he was "focused on flood recovery ... none of the governor's talk is helping flood victims."
Edwards attributed the delay in disbursement of the funds, which began on April 10, to the state's financial shortfall, which prevented the quick retaining of a disaster management firm. Edwards's executive counsel, Matthew Block, explained that the state had no money in 2016 to pay the contractor. Edwards projected a $440 million budget deficit for the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2017.
Graves resides in his native Baton Rouge. His wife is Carissa Vanderleest.