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Panelist Bio


Charles E. “Buddy” Roemer, III
Former Governor and Presidential Candidate

Charles E. “Buddy” Roemer, III was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on October 4, 1943, and is one of five children raised by his parents on a cotton and cattle farm in North Louisiana.He graduated from Bossier High School (1960), Harvard College (1964 in Economics) and Harvard Business School (1967 with an MBA in Finance), and came back to Louisiana to form Innovative Data Systems (Computer software) and Red River Valley Bank.

In 1973 he was elected a delegate to re-write the Louisiana Constitution. In 1980, Buddy was elected to the U.S. Congress from Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District. Roemer also served as a leader of the Conservative Democrats (Boll Weevils) in the U.S. House during the Reagan Presidency.

In 1987, Roemer was elected as Governor of Louisiana and served from 1988 to 1992. While Governor, he worked to create jobs, cleanup the environment, improve education, rebuild highways, and set high ethical standards for public servants. In March 1991, while serving as Governor, Roemer switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party.

Roemer founded The Business First Bank in Baton Rouge in 2006 and is Chairman Emeritus of the $650 million business bank serving business clients throughout Louisiana. The bank is unique, insured by the FDIC, profitable, received no bailout from the Federal Government, and operates on the four principles of success in the 21st Century: FAST, FOCUSED, FLEXIBLE, and FRIENDLY.

After his run for the Republican nomination for President in 2012, Roemer heads the not-for-profit The Reform Project organization, designed to highlight the institutional corruption of Washington DC by unlimited, undisclosed special interest money.

Roemer is on the board of Directors of the Baton Rouge General Hospital and The Salvation Army. He is a member of First Methodist Church of Baton Rouge, and he and his wife Scarlett are active in the Chapel on the Campus Church where Scarlett played the piano for 20-years. He has three children (Caroline, Chas, and Dakota) and three grandchildren (Adeline, Charles, and Owen).

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