Schexnayder announces candidacy for State Representative

Staff reports
Clay Schexnayder

Local business owner Clay Schexnayder has announced he will seek election for State Representative in District 81 in the Oct. 22 primary election.

Schexnayder is a 42-year-old registered Republican who cites his business experience, public service in law enforcement and broad family connections and interests throughout the newly drawn district as his qualifications and interest for the job.

The District 81 includes the portion of Livingston Parish south of Interstate 12, the southeastern portion of Ascension Parish, as well as precincts on the east bank of St. James and St. John parishes, between Gramercy and Reserve.

“I know and understand the issues that face this area, and I want to give the people of District 81 a true voice in what is said and done in state government,” Schexnayder said.

“I will work to bring more jobs to the state, to strengthen our K-12 education systems, community colleges and universities so our children can compete in today’s workforce, and to invest in infrastructure to help us manage growth and traffic flow in our area,” he said.

Schexnayder currently lives in the Sorrento area, but attended school in St. Amant and French Settlement, and graduated from French Settlement High School – his mother’s alma mater – in 1989.  His parents are Perry and Dorthy Demars Schexnayder.

His grandfather, Harold “Pocahontas” Schexnayder, worked throughout the district as a game warden with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department.

Schexnayder has owned and operated Car Craft Automotive in Sorrento since 1998.  He also is a part-time deputy for the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office and serves on the mounted division.  He provides patrol duty and helps to manage traffic during local events and during emergency situations. Prior to starting his own business, he worked as a certified mechanic and manager of Firestone for eight years.

He is a 1991 graduate of the Allen Institute of Atlanta, where he earned high marks in computer and basic automotive training and received his Automotive Service Excellence certification. In addition to his experience in general automotives, Schexnayder also has experience as a race car driver, racing and working with IMCA/UMP modified race cars in the Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas circuit.

He and his wife Phoebe Keller Schexnayder have four children, one daughter-in-law and three grandsons, including new twins who were born on July 4. They are Jonathan and Julia Diez, parents of Aiden, Jett and Jax; Beau Diez; Chaning Schexnayder and Cambre Schexnayder.

Schexnayder is involved in local community projects, enjoys working with cars and horses, and is a member of the National Rifle Association.

For more information about him and to see a map of the new district, visit