John Berlinger Breaux (pronounced /ˈbroʊ/; born March 1, 1944) is a former United States senator from Louisiana who served from 1987 until 2005. He was also a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1972 to 1987. He was considered one of the more Conservative national legislators from the Democratic Party. Breaux was a member of the New Democrat Coalition.
Breaux was born in Crowley, Louisiana, on March 1, 1944. He graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now called the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) in Lafayette in 1964 and from Louisiana State University Law School in Baton Rouge in 1967. After graduation, he practiced law, and then served as an assistant to U.S. Representative Edwin Edwards. He also is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.
Breaux was elected as a Democrat to the 92nd United States Congress in a special election on September 30, 1972, to fill the vacancy caused by Edwards' resignation. At the age of 28, he was then the youngest member of the House of Representatives. Breaux was re-elected to the seven succeeding Congresses and served until January 3, 1987. He was not a candidate for re-election to the House of Representatives in 1986, but was instead elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1986. In the 1986 jungle primary, Breaux finished second (447,328 or 37.3 percent) to Sixth District Republican Congressman W. Henson Moore, III, of Baton Rouge (529,433 or 44.2 percent). State Senator Samuel B. Nunez polled another 73,504 votes (6.7 percent). In the general election, Breaux turned the tables on Moore: 723,586 (52.8 percent) to 646,311 (47.2 percent), a margin of 77,275 ballots. Thereafter, Moore took a sub-Cabinet position with the administration of George H. W. Bush, and Breaux took the Senate seat that he would hold for eighteen years. Breaux was not seriously opposed in the 1992 and 1998 elections.