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Friday, April 19, 2024

Former Speaker of the House Joe Salter and wife Bettye are shown above shortly after leaving the House floor where he was honored by the Louisiana Legislature on Thursday.

Joe Salter, center right, was surrounded by family at the House event on Thurday. In addition to wife Bettye, he was joined by son Brantley's family. Joe is shown here with, from left, daughter-in-law Tammy, grandson Riley, granddaughter Haylee, and son Brantley.

Wishing the former Speaker well immediately after he was presented a House Concurrent Resolution were Rep. Francis Thompson, left, who did the honors, Rep. Neil Riser, center right, and Rep. Rodney Schamerhorn, right, who serves the area once represented by Joe Salter, District 24.

Among the guests joining Joe Salter and his family on the House floor were Sec. of State Nancy Landry, right, Sen. Alan Seabaugh, a sponsor of the resolution, center right, former Senate Pres. John Alario, center left, and his wife, Trina Edwards Alario, left.

Florien native Joe Reece Salter was honored by the Louisiana House of Representatives Thursday afternoon.  The presentation was made upon Joe’s retirement after many years of public service in many different fields.

Members of the house stood in honor of the former Speaker as Rep. Francis C. Thompson of Delhi read a special resolution.

Afterward, Joe was honored with a reception in the House members’ lounge.  About 100 people, including relatives, friends and former work associates, came by to offer Joe their best wishes.

Joining Joe and Bettye Salter and their grandson Riley at the celebration, were 11th Judicial District Judge Verity Gentry, left, and Third Circuit Court of Appeal Chief Judge Elizabeth Pickett, right.

House staff member and Sabine native Patricia "Trish" Lowrey visited with Sen. Alan Seabaugh, District 31, after the event.

Sabine Parish folks who attended were Court of Appeal Judge Elizabeth Pickett, Sabine Judge Verity Gentry, former Many Mayor and Mrs. Ken Freeman, Pete Abington, Mr. and Mrs. William Ruffin, Many natives Trish Lowrey and Colby Cook, and Robert and Laurie Gentry.

Former Many Mayor Ken Freeman, right, and wife Mary Ellen, center right, were delighted to join Joe and Bettye Salter, left, for Joe's presentation on the House floor.

Sabine Parish Police Jury President William Ruffin, right, visits with Joe and Bettye Salter at the reception following the event.

Judge Verity Gentry, right, and Ms. Gloria Ruffin of Many had a great visit after the House event honoring Joe Salter.

Among those who came to share their best wishes were Sen. Alan Seabaugh, a sponsor of the resolution, Rep. Rodney Schamerhorn, and many other present and former lawmakers.

Sen. Alan Seabaugh, District 31, right, and his Legislative Assistant, Laurie Gentry, left, enjoyed honoring Joe's many contributions across this region and to the state.

Also representing Sabine on Joe's special day were Pete Abington, left, and Many native Colby Cook, center. They were joined here by Judge Verity Gentry, right.

Sec. of State Nancy Landry, who was among the well-wishers, noted that she had asked Joe to stay on after having served as Chief of Staff under Sec. of State Kyle Ardoin, but he declined, instead opting for retirement and a more leisurely pace at the end of 2023. Joe officially retired on Dec. 31 of last year.

We congratulate Joe on this well-deserved honor and thank him for his many years of faithful friendship and committed service to his fellow man.

The full text of the House Concurrent Resolution follows:

2024 Regular Session




To commend Joe R. Salter, former speaker of the House, on the occasion of his retirement from public service.

WHEREAS, Joe is a native of the village of Florien in Sabine Parish, Louisiana, and he graduated from Florien High School; he received both a bachelor's and master's degree from Northwestern State University in addition to completing thirty additional hours of graduate studies;

WHEREAS, Mr. Salter is an incredibly civic-minded individual who has served the state of Louisiana in various capacities; he is a former alderman of the village of Florien, a former teacher in Sabine Parish and Vernon Parish, a former auditor for the Caddo Parish School System, a former principal of Florien High School, and a former assistant superintendent of Sabine Parish schools; and

WHEREAS, Joe represented District 24 in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1986 until 2008; he also served with great distinction as the sixty-second speaker of the House; during his time in the legislature, he served as chair of the House Legislative Bureau and the Rural Legislative Task Force, as vice chair of the House Committee on Education, and as a member of numerous committees including the House Committee on Appropriations, the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, and the Joint Committee on Capital Outlay; and

WHEREAS, as speaker, Joe demonstrated his outstanding leadership skills by expertly guiding the House and Louisiana's citizens during the aftermaths of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita; he provided strength, dignity, and determination throughout the unprecedented recovery process and helped the citizens of Louisiana to endeavor to rebuild the state; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Salter has been the deserving recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Champion of Senior Citizen Issues in Louisiana Special Award from the Louisiana Council on Aging, the Fleur de Lis Health Care Leadership Award, the Guardian of Small Business Award, and the Louisiana Public Broadcasting President's Award; he is a three-time Legislative Golden Apple Award winner, and he has been twice honored by the Louisiana Federation of Teachers with the Representative of the Year Award; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Salter is affiliated with a number of professional, civic, and business organizations including the National Conference of State Legislatures and its education committee; the advisory council of the Southern Regional Education Board; the Education Commission of the States; the board of directors of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts; the advisory board of Northwestern State University at Fort Polk in Leesville; the Coushatta-Red River and Sabine Parish Chambers of Commerce; the Florien Lions Club; the Many Rotary Club; Phi Kappa Phi; the Blue Key Honor Fraternity; Phi Delta Kappa; the Toledo Bend Citizens Advisory Committee; and the Toledo Bend Lake Association; and

WHEREAS, after the end of his House service, Mr. Salter continued his state public service as the director of governmental relations for the state Department of Education; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Salter's wife, Bettye, and their children and grandchildren celebrate with him as he enters the next chapter of their lives together; and

WHEREAS, Representative Francis Thompson paid tribute to Mr. Salter on his election as Speaker: "I don't believe I have met anyone with more integrity, honesty, loyalty, and ability to get along with people than Joe Salter"; and

WHEREAS, Joe most recently served as the first assistant to the Louisiana Secretary of State; for nearly four decades, he has committed his unique blend of intelligence, compassion, and dauntless courage to the service of the state, and he is most deserving of the highest recognition for his work.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby commend Joe R. Salter on the occasion of his retirement from public service and does hereby extend sincerest wishes that he continue to prosper in all of his endeavors as he begins a new journey in retirement.


Phillip DeVillier



John Cameron Henry Jr.






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