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Arab Americans

Charles Boustany


Charles William Boustany, Jr. (/bʊˈstæni/; born February 21, 1956), is an American politician and physician who has served as the U.S. Representative for Louisiana’s 3rd congressional district since 2013. He has served in Congress since 2005. The district, numbered as the 7th District from 2005 to 2013, is located in the southwestern portion of the state and includes Lafayette and Lake Charles. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life, education, and medical career

Boustany was born in Lafayette, the son of Madlyn M. (née Ackal) and Charles W. Boustany, Sr., M.D. (1930–2009); his paternal grandparents, Alfred Frem Boustany and the former Florida Saloom, were immigrants from Lebanon.[1] His maternal grandparents were also Lebanese.[2] In 2006, he was one of four Arab-American members of Congress.[3]

The senior Boustany, a Democrat, served for sixteen years as coroner of Lafayette Parish. Congressman Boustany has nine siblings: James Boustany, Jon Boustany, Ron Boustany, Dr. Stella Boustany Noel, Terese Reggie, Kathryn Scurlock, Madlyn Juneau, Adele Weber, and Cheryn Eppley.[4] He is also a cousin of Victoria Reggie Kennedy, widow of the late U.S. SenatorEdward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.[5]

Boustany, Jr., attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order fraternity. He earned his medical degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans. He is a retiredcardiovascular surgeon, who completed his residency in RochesterNew York before returning to Louisiana to take a job atCharity Hospital in New Orleans.

U.S. House of Representatives



In 2004, incumbent Democrat U.S. Congressman Chris John of Louisiana’s 7th congressional district decided to retire in order to run for the U.S. Senate. John had held the district for eight years without serious difficulty, even though it had been trending increasingly Republican at the national level. Boustany jumped into the race with another Republican, the lateDavid Thibodaux of Lafayette, Democratic state senator Willie Mount of Lake Charles and Democratic state representativeDon Cravins, Jr. of Opelousas. In the open primary election, Boustany ranked first with 39 percent, with Mount garnering 25 percent for second place.[6] Under Louisiana’s nonpartisan blanket primary system, in the event no candidate wins a “50 percent plus one vote” total, a runoff is conducted between the two top candidates, regardless of party.

Vice President Dick Cheney campaigned on behalf of Boustany. In the December 4 run-off election, Boustany defeated Mount 55–45 percent.[7] He became only the second Republican to represent the district, the first having been Jimmy Hayes, who switched from Democratic affiliation in 1995.


Proving just how Republican this district had become, Boustany won re-election to a second term with 71 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Mike Stagg, despite the national tide that favored Democratic congressional nominees.[8]


Boustany won re-election to a third term defeating Cravins, now a state senator, 62–34 percent.[9]


Boustany won re-election to a fourth term unopposed.[10]


After Louisiana lost a district in redistricting, most of Boustany’s territory became the 3rd District. He faced freshman fellow Republican and 3rd District incumbent Jeff Landry of New Iberia. Although the district was numerically Landry’s district, it was geographically and demographically more Boustany’s district. Indeed, the new 3rd contained almost two-thirds of Boustany’s former territory, while Landry retained only the western third of his former district.

Endorsed by the interest groupCitizens United, Landry led Boustany in third-quarter 2011 fundraising, $251,000 to $218,000. According to Federal Election Commission, Boustany led in cash-on-hand lead, $1.1 million – $402,000.[11] In addition to Boustany and Landry, a third Republican, state Representative Chris Leopold ofPlaquemines Parish, announced through Facebook his candidacy for the seat,[12] but he never filed.

The Boustany-Landry race attracted most of the political attention in Louisiana in 2012, as it was seen as pitting an establishment Republican against a candidate identifying with the Tea Party. Though most politicians shunned involvement in the heated race, but Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Michael G. Strainendorsed Boustany, who he described as particularly helpful to the agricultural sector while serving as a U.S. representative. Landry, meanwhile, carried the backing of most of the Republican parish executive committees in the district.[13] Landry also was endorsed by Phyllis Schlafly‘s Eagle Forum political action committee.[14]

In the November 6 election, technically a nonpartisan blanket primary for Congress, Boustany led Landry by 45,596 votes. In a five-candidate field, Boustany received 139,123 votes (45 percent); Landry received 93,527 votes (30 percent). Democrat Ron Richard procured the critical 67,070 votes (22 percent). The remaining 7,908 votes (2 percent) and 3,765 ballots (1 percent) were cast, respectively, for Republican Bryan Barrilleaux and the Libertarian Jim Stark. Because no candidate received a majority, Boustany and Landry met in a runoff contest held on December 8.[15]

Boustany won the runoff election against Landry with 58,820 votes (61 percent). He had large margins in seven of the ten parishes in the district, particularly in Acadia,Calcasieu, and Lafayette but lost the three parishes that Landry represents, St. MartinIberia, and St. Mary.[16]


Boustany’s plan for reinvigorating the economy of his district is known as the Prescription for Prosperity.[17]

Representative Boustany presented the Republican response to President Barack H. Obama’s joint address to Congress on Wednesday September 9, 2009.

Boustany was the sponsor of H.R. 1173, the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011. The bill would repeal title VIII of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which established a voluntary long-term care insurance program. It passed the house 267–159 on February 1, 2012[18] but was never passed by the Senate.

In 2013, Boustany was a sponsor of the United States farm bill, where Representative showed support for the five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill. However, the bill was rejected 234–195 in votes, with sixty-two Republicans voting against.[19]

Committee assignments

Personal life

Boustany’s wife, the former Bridget Edwards, is a daughter of the late Acadia Parish assistant district attorney Nolan Edwards (1930–1983) of Crowley and Eleanor Merrill of Longboat KeyFlorida, who remarried after Nolan was shot to death in his law office by a disgruntled client.[20][21] Bridget Boustany is hence a paternal niece of Democratic former Governor Edwin Washington Edwards.[22]

Boustany purchased a bogus European title from fraudsters Achilleas Kallakis and Alex Williams. The fraud was uncovered, however, and Kallakis and Williams were convicted in 1995 of selling bogus titles to wealthy Americans.[23]

The Boustanys have two children, Erik Boustany and Ashley Joan Boustany Dugal[24]

See also


  1. Jump up^ 1
  2. Jump up^ [1]
  3. Jump up^ [2]
  4. Jump up^ “Obituary of Charles Boustany, Sr., M.D.”Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved March 17, 2009.
  5. Jump up^ “Crowley native, wife of Kennedy at center of national spotlight”. RetrievedNovember 21, 2012.
  6. Jump up^
  7. Jump up^
  8. Jump up^ Boustany secured a second term with 71 percent of vote, The Daily Advertiser
  9. Jump up^
  10. Jump up^ Unopposed Candidates in Acadiana,
  11. Jump up^
  12. Jump up^ “Chris Leopold for Congress”. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  13. Jump up^ “Jordan Blum, “Boustany gets Strain’s support””Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  14. Jump up^ “Candidates endorsed by Eagle Forum PAC, October 31, 2012”. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  15. Jump up^ “Louisiana election returns, November 6, 2012”. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  16. Jump up^ “Louisiana election returns, December 8, 2012”. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  17. Jump up^
  18. Jump up^ “The Library of Congress – Thomas”.
  19. Jump up^ Weston, Elona (June 20, 2013). “Louisiana officials weigh in on farm bill’s failure”KPLC. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  20. Jump up^ “Boustany, Dugal to unite in holy matrimony, May 2011”Crowley Post Signal. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  21. Jump up^ “Former client kills self, ex-governor’s brother in Louisiana”Lakeland Ledger,Lakeland, Florida, August 19, 1983. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  22. Jump up^ Jim Brown, “Internal Republican Battles Affect La. Congressional Races” fromJim Brown’s Journal.
  23. Jump up^ *Serial fraudster known as the Don who posed as property tycoon to mastermind Britain’s biggest ever mortgage con worth £750MILLION is jailed for seven yearsDaily Mail, January 17, 2013
  24. Jump up^ “Boustany Dugal exchange vows at St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church”.