Neil Riser represents the people of District 32 as a member of the Louisiana Senate. The district stretches from Monroe to Alexandria to the Greater Baton Rouge area, encompassing much of central and northeastern Louisiana and a small part of the Florida parishes.
Senator Riser is an independent voice and has been unafraid to challenge the status quo and stand up to the political establishment. He has stood firm for his principles while reaching across the aisle to work with people from both major parties.
Hartwell Neil Riser, Jr. is 54 years old. He was born in 1962 in Columbia, Louisiana to Hartwell Riser, Sr. (1934–1985), and the former Lillian Gore, now Mrs. Lillian R. Gentry of Monroe, wife of Herschel Gentry, Jr.
Neil began logging at age 14 and worked in the timber industry until age 23, taking breaks to attend school. He graduated from Caldwell High School in 1980. Louisiana’s former Governor, John McKeithen, and former Secretary of State, Fox McKeithen, were also from Columbia and were family friends.
Neil earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management in 1984 from Northeast Louisiana University (now the University of Louisiana at Monroe).
He is president and owner of Riser Funeral Home. The Riser family has operated the business since 1934.
He also serves as a board member of Caldwell Bank and Trust. He is a past president of Pelican State Life Insurance Company.
Neil is married to the former Vicki Smith, the daughter of Glenn and Carolyn Smith of the Fort Necessity community in Franklin Parish. She taught at River Oaks School in Monroe. Neil and Vicki have two daughters, Emilie and Allison.
In 2005, Neil decided to become a citizen candidate for Louisiana Senate in what many considered a “long-shot” bid. He worked hard for 25 months and ultimately won the 2007 election.
He has since worked closely with constituents of all political parties to fairly represent everyone in District 32. He has an open door policy and fights to protect children and the poor and elderly–those who may have a difficult time protecting themselves. He has fought hard to keep taxes low and to reform and improve education, key promises he made in his first election.
Senator Riser has served on the State Bond Commission, which the new Treasurer will chair. In the Senate, he served four years as chairman of the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee.