Stephen J. Ortego is best known for defending Louisiana's rich culture, fighting for Louisiana's historic Charity Hospital system, and working hard to improve education for Louisiana's children. Lafayette's Daily Advertiser calls him a "fresh face” whose “ideas for improving the state's education system and making us competitive on a global level come from a well-rounded education and top-notch training". The Independent said "Rep. Stephen Ortego dove head first into the political arena … when he led the Acadiana delegation's charge to save University Medical Center from some of the most devastating budget cuts to ever come down from the state"
In 2011, Stephen Ortego was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives campaigning on putting Louisiana families first through cultural and economic initiatives. Stephen learned the importance of serving working families as a Catholic missionary leader in Honduras where he designed and built homes. He is an architect and the founder of EcoLafayette, a design-build firm specializing in energy-efficent homes and communities in Acadiana.
Stephen, whose father has worked for years in the energy business, understands first hand how important the energy industry is for Louisiana families. While visiting with his father, Stephen had the idea and authored a law requiring most new state vehicles to operate on natural gas or propane. Many in the natural gas and propane industries credit him for his leadership in the Louisiana legislature for passing laws to encourage the use of alternative fuel vehicles.
Stephen was raised in Carencro, Louisiana. After graduating from Carencro High School he went on to earn a Bachelor and a Master of Architecture from Tulane University in New Orleans. He has been at the forefront of promoting education bills that make Louisianan children competitive on a global level. In 2013 he was the lead author on updates to the Immersion Choice Act, making it a right to language immersion education.