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Birthdate: Dec. 5, 1946
Birth Place: Bienville, LA, United States
Residence: Jonesboro, LA
First Elected: 2002
District: District 5
Rodney Alexander was born in Bienville, La., and now lives in Quitman. He attended Louisiana Tech University but did not earn a degree.
Alexander worked in the insurance and construction businesses and has a long history in politics.
He was a Jackson Parish police juror from 1972 to 1988, elected to that office when he was 25 years old.
He served in the Louisiana House from 1988 until his election to Congress as a Democrat in 2002. Alexander switched his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican in August 2004. He is Louisiana's only member of the House Appropriations Committee.
Alexander and his wife, Nancy, have three children.
Rodney Alexander has criticized Democratic leaders for federal deficits and health care policy and has opposed nearly all of the proposals of President Barack Obama. Alexander voted against the 2010 health care reform bill.
Though he complains about federal deficits, Alexander continues to tout his position on the House Appropriations Committee in bringing home millions of dollars in earmarks he inserts into the budget. He says he supports the positions of tea party groups, but he's received some criticism from tea partiers about his earmarks.
Alexander is the only Louisiana member of the Appropriations Committee and he has defended the earmarked projects as key to his state's economy and transportation needs. He noted in particular a $61 million earmark for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers levee work along the Mississippi River, saying the project was vital to maintaining the river as a key transportation route.
Alexander joined fellow House Republicans in condemning the 2009 $814 billion economic stimulus bill as overly reliant on spending. He called the bill "yesterday's trash."
Alexander has had little trouble winning re-election. He was unopposed in 2008 and attracted only token opposition in 2010.
Alexander won as a Democrat in his first congressional term but then voted along conservative lines. He supported President George W. Bush's tax cuts and the war in Iraq. He switched parties in 2004 at a time when Republicans controlled the House, and he was soon appointed to the Appropriations Committee.
Democrats reacted angrily to his party switch, saying Alexander betrayed voters and elected officials such as Democratic U.S. Sens. John Breaux and Mary Landrieu, who helped him win election.
Alexander campaigns as a "pro-business, pro-life and pro-gun" candidate.
The 5th District covers much of northeast and central Louisiana, including portions of 22 of the state's 64 parishes.
Source: Associated Press
113th Congress on Twitter
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