The Louisiana city of Slidell ranked No. 7 on our 2014 List of the Best Cities for Conservatives, and for good reason. Part of St. Tammany Parish, which boasts more than 160,000 registered Republicans, Slidell has become a hub for right-leaning voters and conservative values. In the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney carried 75 percent of the votes in Slidell and the surrounding parish.
You can’t talk about Slidell without mentioning the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The city sits on the northeast shore of Lake Pontchartrain and was battered by the Category 5 storm. Fortunately, Slidell did not suffer the caliber of damage its across-the-lake neighbor New Orleans suffered, but the city has nonetheless spent the last decade investing in infrastructure and rebuilding projects that have helped it flourish. While many south Louisiana cities have lost major pockets of their population, Slidell has actually grown in size to a thriving city of 30,000.
The city’s Republican leadership has led the charge in the rebuilding efforts. As soon as Republican Mayor Freddy Drennan was elected, he began to oversee repairs to the city’s water, sewage and draining system. Drennan pushed to get every dime of federal aid the city was promised, culminating in a $60 million check from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2016 to complete the last of the infrastructure repairs. Drennan has been praised for his fiscal responsibility during the city’s rebuilding phase, and was recognized for his support of conservative values by the Slidell Republican Women’s Club.
Some of the members of the Republican Teens of Slidell aren’t even old enough to vote, but that doesn’t stop them from getting involved in local and national political campaigns. The group assisted in the grassroots campaigns of U.S. Senator David Vitter and U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, who represents Louisiana’s 1st district that includes Benton. Scalise currently serves as U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip and is the chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee, which advocates for spending cuts, gun rights and socially conservative policies. More than half of Slidell residents are pro-life advocates, and 63 percent are against gun control measures.