Pete Schneider (Louisiana politician)

Matthew Peter "Pete" Schneider, III
Louisiana House of Representatives (District 90 -- St. Tammany Parish)
In office
Preceded by Mitch Landrieu of Orleans Parish (New House seat for St. Tammany Parish after 1990 census)
Succeeded by George Gregory "Greg" Cromer
Personal details
Born (1953-12-02) December 2, 1953
Place of birth missing
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Lussen Schneider

Matthew Peter Schneider, IV
Christopher L. Schneider

Kathryn Elizabeth Schneider
Residence Slidell
St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana
Alma mater

Slidell High School
Louisiana State University

Texas Christian University
Occupation Businessman
Religion Presbyterian
In 1991, Schneider emerged victorious from among eight candidates for a new state House seat created for growing St. Tammany Parish and held his seat without serious opposition until term-limited from the post in 2008. He was badly defeated in a 2007 nonpartisan blanket primary for a state Senate seat that includes part of neighboring Tangipahoa Parish.

Matthew Peter Schneider, III, known as Pete Schneider (born December 2, 1953), is a Slidell, Louisiana, businessman who served four terms between 1992 and 2008 as a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 90, which encompasses his St. Tammany Parish.[1] Known for his anti-crime legislative endeavors, Schneider, who was term-limited in the House, was handily defeated in a contest for the District 11 seat in the Louisiana State Senate (St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes) in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 20, 2007.

Personal and civic matters

Since 1978, Schneider has been the president and general manager of St. Joe Brick Works, Inc., in Slidell, a company founded in 1891. He is the fourth generation of his family to run the firm. He is also a former member of the board of the interest group, the Brick Industry Association Manufacturer’s Council.[2]

Schneider graduated from Slidell High School and thereafter attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Schneider has been married since 1979 to the former Elizabeth Lussen, and the couple has three children, Matthew Peter, IV, Christopher, and Kathryn. He is Presbyterian.[2]

He is affiliated with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, the Louisiana Wild Life Federation, the Sugar Bowl Committee, the National Rifle Association, the St. Tammany Association for Retarded Citizens, the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation, the St. Tammany Homebuilder’s Association, and several chambers of commerce. He is a Paul Harris Fellow of Slidell Rotary International. He is a past trustee of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, a "good government" civic group.[2]

Legislative career

Among the fastest-growing state House districts in Louisiana, District 90 is the only one in the state in which registered Republicans outnumber Democrats. There is also a considerable registration of Independents. The district is populated by business and professional persons, some of whom commute to New Orleans or Metairie or to the Martin Marietta aerospace facility. Others are employed at the John C. Stennis Space Center across the state line in Mississippi. The district also contains retirees from metropolitan New Orleans.[3]

Representative Schneider attracted national attention as the author of the "Scarlet Letter Law" which requires convicted child molesters to notify the community once they are released from prison.[4] He also worked to pass legislation to give juries the option to issue the death penalty to a person convicted of raping a child under the age of twelve. He worked for passage for the "three-strikes-and-you’re-out" law which authorizes the life imprisonment of habitual felons upon conviction of their third violent crime. Schneider worked to establish a state-wide DNA database.[4]

In 2007, Schneider became the first legislator in the United States to write adopted legislation which authorizes state public pension systems to divest from foreign companies that do business in nations sponsoring terrorism. The law authorizes the governor to contract with Wall Street companies to develop a terror-free investment index in which the state can place its pension funds.[5]

Schneider opposed higher taxes on personal income and small businesses. He fought to permit St. Tammany Parish voters the right to block casino gambling and video poker by supporting local option. He sponsored bills to dedicate lottery proceeds to education and law enforcement.[4] He also worked to secure funding for highway and drainage projects in Slidell, Lacombe, and Mandeville.[4]

As a state House member, Schneider was cited in 1994 as "Outstanding Legislator" by the Victims and Citizens Against Crime, “Conservative of the Year” in 2003 by the Louisiana State Troopers Association, “Special Friend” of the Louisiana Municipal Association in 2002 and 2003, “Friend of the Family” by the Louisiana Christian Coalition, and the “Guardian of Small Business Award” (1995) by the state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business.[2] In the House, Schneider was chairman of the Retirement Committee and served on the Natural Resources panel.[2]

Election results

Schneider's House district was newly established within St. Tammany Parish after the 1990 census.[1] In his initial election to the legislature on October 19, 1991, with all thirty-four precincts officially reporting, Schneider led an eight-candidate field of seven Republicans and one Democrat. He received 2,436 votes (19.3 percent). The runner-up, Republican Mark Jolissaint of Mandeville, trailed with 2,166 ballots (17.1 percent). The other eight candidates shared the ciritical 8,054 votes.[6] In the runoff on November 16, 1991, the same election in which Edwin Washington Edwards defeated David Duke for governor, Schneider defeated Jolissaint, 8,552 (56.7 percent) to 6,519 (43.3 percent)[7] Schneider defeated an Independent candidate by a wide margin to win reelection in the primary in 1995. He was unopposed in both 1999 and 2003.

In 2007 state Senate primary, with all 99 precincts officially reporting, Schneider, with 12,287 votes (32.8 percent), trailed the successful Republican candidate, Jack Donahue of Covington, the St. Tammany parish seat of government, who garnered 24,200 (64.5 percent). A contractor who spent heavily on his own campaign, Donahue carried the support of term-limited Senator Tom Schedler of Mandeville, the current Louisiana Secretary of State. Campaign finance reports filled by the Donahue campaign indicate that the Donahue campaign spent in excess of $835,000 by the end of the campaign. Schneider was supported by former Lieutenant Governor Jimmy Fitzmorris of New Orleans.[8] The remaining 1,041 ballots (2.8 percent) went to a third Republican, A.M. "Ace" LeBleu.[9]

In 2015, Schneider was again defeated for public office, this time in a bid for the District 1 seat in the Louisiana State Senate vacated by the retiring A.G. Crowe. He lost to another Republican, Sharon Hewitt, who succeeds Crowe in January 2016. Hewitt received 15,144 votes (58.7 percent) to Schneider's 10,645 (41.3 percent).[10]


  1. 1 2 "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012" (PDF). Retrieved October 7, 2009.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Biography of Representative Pete Schneider". Retrieved October 7, 2009.
  3. "District Profile". Retrieved October 9, 2009.
  4. 1 2 3 4 ""Promises Made" by Pete Schneider". Retrieved October 7, 2009.
  5. "Erika Andersen, "Give Me Your Pension"". Retrieved October 9, 2009.
  6. "Louisiana Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. October 19, 1991. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  7. "Louisiana Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. November 16, 1991. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  8. ""Donahue spending big in Senate race", October 16, 2007". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
  9. "Louisiana Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. October 20, 2007. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  10. "Results for Election Date: 10/24/2015". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mitch Landrieu (New district for St. Tammany Parish after 1990 census)
Louisiana State Representative from District 90 (St. Tammany Parish)

Matthew Peter "Pete" Schneider, III

Succeeded by
George Gregory "Greg" Cromer
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