Earlier, Fayard attracted statewide attention as a candidate for lieutenant governor in the 2010 election. In the runoff election on November 2, 2010, Fayard lost to Jay Dardenne with 43% of the vote (540,649 votes) after only a three and a half month campaign.
Her father, Calvin Cifford Fayard, Jr. (born 1944), is a plaintiff's lawyer with an office in Denham Springs in Livingston Parish. The family is wealthy and has financially supported national and local political figures. Fayard's mother is the former Cynthia Felder, who is divorced from Fayard's father. Mrs. Fayard resides in Springfield, Louisiana. The family is eponymous of Fayard Hall on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. On November 2, 2010, Fayard lost the election to Jay Dardenne, who in January 2016 became the commissioner of administration under newly-elected Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.
Fayard grew up in Denham Springs. She was the valedictorian of the Class of 1996 in nearby Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge. She participated in Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. She received a baccalaureate degree from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in 2000 and a juris doctor from the University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor in 2005. She is licensed to practice law in Louisiana and New York State. She served as a congressional page and interned in the White House under President Bill Clinton and then worked for Goldman Sachs and Williams & Connolly before returning to Louisiana as a law clerk for Stanwood R. Duval Jr., a judge for the Federal Eastern District of Louisiana. She has served on the law faculty of Loyola University New Orleans and as of 2010 is in private practice. She has been actively involved in Louisiana Appleseed, Federal Bar Association, Junior League of New Orleans, and Delta Delta Delta.
In a September 2010 interview with Action News 17's Ken Benitez, Fayard claimed to have begun in politics with the elements of the Democratic Party associated with Senators J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., and John Breaux and United States Representative Billy Tauzin, a Democrat-turned-Republican.
In 2015, Fayard worked alongside her brother Trey Fayard to launch Glo Airlines, a regional airline based at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans (MSY) with daily flights Shreveport, Little Rock, Memphis and Destin, FL. Fayard currently serves as legal counsel for the airline. Glo Airlines has created 40 new jobs.
Fayard is Roman Catholic. She is a member of Saint Thomas Catholic Church in Springfield, Louisiana. In New Orleans, she attends Most Holy Name of Jesus Church adjacent to the campus of Loyola University.
On October 2, in a field of eight candidates, Fayard (24 percent) ran ahead of Republican Sammy Kershaw (19 percent) for second place behind Dardenne (28 percent). Dardenne and Fayard then met in the November 2 general election. Fayard received 43% of the vote (540,000 votes) in the November 2nd runoff. With such a strong showing in her first statewide race, she was considered a rising star among Democratic politicians. Kershaw and Saint Tammany Parish president Kevin Davis (an eliminated Republican candidate who drew 8 percent of the vote) endorsed fellow Republican Dardenne while Fayard gained the endorsement of eliminated candidate and fellow Democrat State Senator Butch Gautreaux (4 percent).
Fayard's party on the evening of October 2 was attended by a number of Republicans intent on seeing the young and previously unknown Democrat.
In the showdown against Dardenne, the Republican sought to associate Fayard with President Obama, same-sex marriage, and opposition to the death penalty. Fayard countered that Dardenne represented "the same old crowd" of Louisiana politicians.
Dardenne and Fayard appeared on the October 15 Louisiana: The State We're In magazine televised by Louisiana Public Broadcasting and on an October 22 forum sponsored by the Baton Rouge League of Women Voters.
On October 4, Southeastern Louisiana University political scientist Michael Kurt Corbello commented on Fayard's achieving 24 percent as a first-time candidate in a field of eight aspirants:
She has really got to be the surprise in all of this.... She has made this a real race.... This is going to be a very interesting, competitive race.
Despite being outspent by the Louisiana Democratic Party while the Republican Party remained financially uncommitted, Dardenne won the 2010 November 2 election and was sworn into office on November 22. The chief deputy secretary of state. Tom Schedler, succeeded Dardenne as secretary of state and still holds the position.
On 2010 October 22, Fayard's name surfaced on talk-radio program Think Tank with Garland Robinette, as a potential competitor for then Governor Bobby Jindal in his presumed 2011 reelection campaign. The discussants cited Jindal's high approval ratings and already in-the-bank $7 million campaign fund as unapproachable assets for Democrats other than Fayard. The speculation continued after the election, with Fayard remaining uncommitted.Despite some initial suggestions that she might run for Louisiana Secretary of State in 2011, she ultimately declined to run.
Ultimately, she decided not to run for office. Fayard subsequently focussed on building a successful law practice helping Louisianans recover from the devastating effects of the BP oil spill. She also helped launch Glo Airlines with her brother, Trey Fayard.
Caroline Fayard was inducted into the New Leaders Council. She has been an outspoken advocate for youth and young adults to get active in politics.
Fayard has remained active in local organizations in southeastern Louisiana.
Fayard first announced her candidacy in early February 2016, becoming the first Democrat to enter the race. Fayard faced a handful of Republican candidates, including State Treasurer John Neely Kennedy, and U.S. Representative Charles Boustany of Lafayette. U.S. Representative John C. Fleming of Minden, former KKK leader and State Representative David Duke, and retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness also competed. Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, a Democrat and former State Senator, ran as well. Due to Louisiana's unusual Nonpartisan blanket primary, Fayard ran on the same ballot with the other 23 candidates on November 8.
Fayard built her campaign on her outsider status in Louisiana politics, her personal accomplishments in the legal and business world, and her advocacy for pay equity for women, Paid family leave, and expansion of charter schools. According to Fayard, voters are looking past party identification in 2016 and are seeking new leadership, arguing that "people don’t believe that government, regardless of who’s in charge, is adequately serving their needs". Her main criticism of her opponents, aside from fundamental policy concerns, was based on their status as career politicians. On the campaign trail Fayard noted the amount of time they have held public office, a political liability in a "change" election.
As evidence for her effectiveness as a legislator should she be elected, Fayard touted her role in the settlement negotiations following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Fayard has compared the process of negotiating settlements in plaintiff's cases to policymaking in the U.S. Government, saying that "In reaching the settlement, you never get 100 percent of everything that what you want, but often a good compromise is almost always better than a bad win." She has also made the case that her experience in the private sector, including her role in GLO Airlines, has given her an appreciation for the need to find common ground and cut deals with people with whom she disagrees.
Pay equity for women, paid family leave, and education reform are counted among the issues Fayard most prominently addressed in her campaign. She publicly pledged to keep only 65% of her salary, equal to the gender pay gap in Louisiana, while donating the rest to charities that support women and children; this is meant to show solidarity and raise awareness for the issue of pay equity. Fayard also garnered much of her support based on her advocacy for charter schools, which was named a prominent reason behind New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's endorsement of her bid for the U.S. Senate.
Her campaign style and apparatus has been compared to that of former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. Fayard's campaign staff included several former aides to Senator Landrieu, and Senator Landrieu herself sits on the advisory board of Democrats for Education Reform, which has endorsed Fayard's candidacy.
On September 12, Fayard was endorsed by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Citing her commitment to New Orleans and the state, Landrieu said of Fayard "She will bring new energy to Washington. Caroline will keep flood protection and coastal restoration a top priority. She also understands that investments in public safety and infrastructure will make our city and state stronger. Lastly, I am confident she will also support public charter schools, which is vital to keeping our city and state moving forward." Fayard has also received the support of many other prominent figures in Louisiana, including veteran Democratic strategist James Carville, the Alliance for Good Government, Democrats for Education Reform- Louisiana.
The most recent independent polling from the race, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove, has indicated that Fayard is tied for 2nd place among all voters. The poll, conducted between August 29 and September 1, found Fayard at 13%, tied with U.S. Representative Charles Boustany. Leading the pack was Louisiana State Treasurer John Neely Kennedy at 18%. Fayard significantly outpaced her Democratic opponent, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, who was at 7%. All other candidates received below 7%. As of September 25, FiveThirtyEight's polling aggregator for the election has Fayard tied with Foster Campbell for 2nd place at roughly 17% of the vote each; both are 11 points behind State Treasurer John Kennedy, who is at 28%. Fayard's position in the race increased greatly since the spring of 2016, when she began the race in 6th place.
Her campaign is headquartered in New Orleans, LA.
Fayard is strongly in favor of legislation that seeks to end the Gender pay gap in the United States, and has made pay equity for women workers a centerpiece for her 2016 campaign for the United States Senate. Due to the fact that Louisiana women on average earn 65 cents on the dollar compared to men, Fayard has pledged to take only 65% of her salary if elected to the Senate as a show of solidarity with women in Louisiana. Fayard pledges to do this until the Paycheck Fairness Act is passed. Further, due to the rising costs of child care, Fayard also supports increased government subsidization of low-cost childcare for working mothers."In Louisiana, our female workforce is the worst paid in the nation, earning 65 cents for every dollar a man makes. Consequently, Louisiana families are losing nearly $11 billion a year in what they would otherwise be earning. This isn’t about ego, it’s about eating," Fayard says on the issue. Further, Fayard supports the passage of legislation that provides paid family leave on the federal level. Fayard believes employer-provided paid leave will ease the burden on working families, especially concerning the high cost of childcare.
Fayard supports charter schools as a means to increase competition, choice, and quality of schools. Louisiana currently ranks fifth to last in high-school graduation. Along with expanding sufficiently regulated charter schools, Fayard supports more ambitious educational standards while retaining local control of education. Fayard's endorsements by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Democrats for Education Reform-Louisiana make her a leading voice in Louisiana Democratic Politics on the issue of school choice. Fayard argues that STEM education will be necessary for Louisiana's economic future, and better primary and secondary education is necessary to fill those openings. Additionally, to accomplish this goal, she proposes increasing the abundance and availability of federal grants for students who are seeking higher education in STEM fields.
Fayard is in favor of substantially reforming federal student debt policy. Among the reforms she proposes, Fayard highlights "the right to refinance student loans to allow borrowers to take advantage of market interest rates, while eliminating the $2,500 cap on student loan interest deductions". Aside from benefiting students, Fayard believes reforms that increase purchasing power of young students will help bolster consumer spending, which will benefit the Louisiana economy. Predatory lending practices also factor into Fayard's position on higher education. She believes that further regulation of for-profit universities and their financiers is needed to reign in the power of these institutions.
Fayard has called on the federal government to take swift and decisive action against transnational terrorism, especially when motivated by radical Islam. Fayard has noted on multiple occasions that her witnessing the September 11 attacks was pivotal in shaping the way she views the world and inspired her to commit to public service.
Fayard has advocated a strong pro-Israel position during her campaign for the U.S. Senate. She has called the relationship between the United States and Israel "a cultural and strategic partnership that is mutually essential for the safety and security of both nations." Fayard opposes the BDS Movement, which seeks to pressure Israel to withdraw its settlements and occupation from Palestinian territory.
Fayard is a supporter of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and views its activities as crucial to combating global terrorism, preventing humanitarian crises, and ensuring global stability.
Fayard supports comprehensive criminal justice reform to address the problems that currently exist in the U.S. Criminal Justice System. Louisiana, having the highest incarceration rate in the United States, has a justice system in a state of disrepair according to Fayard. Fayard argues for Criminal Justice Reform on the grounds of fiscal responsibility and civil rights. Fayard's ideal criminal justice system would entail "empower[ing] judges with flexibility to make the punishment fit the crime, while directing the proper resources to efficient and effective drug treatment, mental health, and rehabilitation programs, will put Louisiana on a better path to the future."
Fayard opposes the practice of solitary confinement for juvenile offenders, which remains legal in 10 states, including Louisiana. This puts Fayard in line with President Barack Obama, who banned the practice in federal prisons in January 2016. Moreover, Fayard believes that private prisons are detrimental to society and produce inhumane conditions for prisoners while not substantially reducing costs. As a result, she believes that private corporations should not be able to profit off of the incarceration of American citizens.
Despite being in favor of overhauling the criminal justice system, Fayard has billed herself as a partner with the Law Enforcement community. Fayard supports additional funding for community policing and using federal dollars to implement programs to better train officers on effective engagement in the community to stem the tide of tensions between police and the communities they serve and restore a sense of trust and cooperation. In the aftermath of the July 17th shooting of five police officers in Baton Rouge, Fayard wrote on Facebook "This vile, unimaginable violence must stop. Attacks on any of us are attacks on all of us, including the memories of those we've lost, and this simply cannot stand. My family and I stand shoulder to shoulder in prayer with the Baton Rouge Police Department, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, the people of Baton Rouge, and the entire state of Louisiana."
Fayard has called on private institutions as well as the government to increase efforts to prevent sexual assault on college campuses and domestic violence against women and children. Fayard has criticized colleges and universities over what she calls a "disturbing failure" to implement appropriate prevention, protection, and response mechanisms on campus. "Educating students and staff about sexual violence, preventing sexual assaults, and providing an appropriate response when sexual assaults occur should be a concerted focus for all higher education institutions around the country."
Fayard advocates for increased federal funding for "[s]helters, domestic violence clinics, and general women, children and infant care programs" to help victims of domestic abuse as well. She also has said that private corporations should take responsibility and adopt internal policies designed to root out forced labor and human trafficking. "Americans cannot call their country free in good conscience as long as this issue endures," Fayard writes on her website.