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Tanner Magee, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 53 and Speaker Tempore, has recently announced his decision to not seek reelection for another term. After 8 years of dedicated public service, Magee reflects on his biggest accomplishments, challenges, and plans for the future as he leaves his representative seat.
Magee first ran for office in 2015 with no political experience, eventually winning the District 53 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives and assuming office in January of 2016. “I had no political background– I just wanted to make Terrebonne Parish a better place for my family and kids,” explained Magee. “I was lucky enough to win so that I could work to do just that.”
Magee explained that he assumed office during an extremely tough time for Louisiana. “When I came in, we were $2 billion in debt at the state level, looking at horrific closures for hospitals, schools, and more, and we were constantly in special sessions trying to fix things and figure out solutions. We cut money where we could, but it was truly one thing after another. However, despite the negative situation we inherited, I am happy to say that things started to turn around a few years in and we are in a much better place–Louisiana currently has a $3 billion in surplus, compared to beginning with $2 billion in debt, which is excellent.”
Many of the highlights of Magee’s time in office are profound, having significant affects on the state of Louisiana and Terrebonne Parish. Over the past 8 years, Terrebonne Parish has received more money from the state of Louisiana than any other parish, which has helped construct levees, Morganza to the Gulf, quality of life improvements, and more. Magee has personally had a hand in significant legislature throughout his career–the representative passed two bills which are the largest investments in roads and bridges in Louisiana history (without raising taxes), and also helped pass three separate pay raises for teachers. In his 8 years in office, Magee passed an impressive 41 bills. “It hasn’t been easy, but I’m proud of all the things we have been able to reform,” said Magee. “We have seen improvement at every level which is excellent.”
Magee explained that despite the challenges and successes of his time in office, the main reason he has decided not to seek reelection is to prioritize his family and 14-year-old triplets. “My kids have four years left in high school and I just really wanted to be available for them,” said Magee. “People often don’t realize how time consuming the job is when you’re really trying to do it right. I want to make sure that I can focus on my kids for the next four years.”
While the majority of his decision to leave office revolves around his family, Magee expressed that the changing climate in the Louisiana House of Representatives did not make him want to stay, either. “Recently the attitude in the House has been growing uglier since I was first elected,” said Magee. “It’s much more like D.C., and it feels like people are not necessarily motivated by accomplishments and compromise anymore. People are celebrating the fight, not the solutions.”
Magee is currently planning to continue practicing criminal defense law and spend as much time with his family as possible. “8 years is a long time, and I never wanted to do this job forever,” said Magee. “I came to the conclusion that my heart wasn’t in it anymore because it was becoming less and less possible to do the job the right way. So I decided the best thing to do would be to step aside, and let someone else do their best.”
Thank you to Representative Tanner Magee for his 8 years of service to Louisiana and Terrebonne Parish!