Governor Buddy Roemer
Governor Buddy Roemer
Charles E. “Buddy” Roemer III, born in Shreveport Louisiana 69 years ago. Graduated valedictorian from Bossier High School in 1960 and gained two degrees at Harvard University. A BA in Government and Economics in 1964 and an MBA in Finance and Banking from Harvard Business School in 1967.
Founded a software computer company (Innovative Data Systems) in 1970, and founded a commercial bank (Red River Valley Bank) insured by FDIC in 1972. Was elected to help re-write the Louisiana Constitution in 1972, and was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1980 as a conservative Democrat, where he served for 4-terms until elected to become Governor of Louisiana in 1988. In the Congress, Roemer headed a group of Democrats labeled the Boll Weevils who often voted with President Ronald Reagan. As Governor, Roemer targeted jobs bringing the unemployment rate from 13% to 6.3% in 4-years attracting capital from around the globe, focused on education with teacher evaluation coupled with pay incentives, passed the strongest campaign reform laws in the State’s history, and funded and re-organized the State’s efforts to clean up its air and water.
After his re-election defeat in 1992 (Roemer finished third to Edwin Edwards and David Duke, both of whom went to the Federal Penitentiary in the years following the election.), Roemer taught at Harvard as a Kennedy Fellow, and returned to Louisiana to form The Business Bank in 1998 which he sold in 2004. In 2006 he founded the Business First Bank, which today is a $700 million Bank serving small and medium sized businesses throughout Louisiana and into Texas and Mississippi.
Roemer served as Business First Bank CEO and President until he ran for President in the Republican Primary in 2011 and 2012.
Roemer was the only candidate running for President who had been elected Governor and Congressman. And was the only candidate who made Campaign Reform his primary issue, refusing to take Pac or SuperPac money or Corporate money or checks of more than $100 and publishing all contributions within 48-hours of their collection.
Roemer now serves as Chairman Emeritus of Business First Bank and as Chairman of an equity bank named RRM, founded in 2010 to build businesses in the Gulf South with equity capital and management.
He is married to Scarlett Roemer, has three children (Caroline, Chas and Dakota), and three grandchildren (Adeline, Charles and Owen), two dogs (Maddie and Earl), is a Methodist, and lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His loves are all those mentioned above and baseball and reading.