|Bryan James Wagner|
|Member of the New Orleans City Council|
May 1980 – April 1982
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
|Parents||Wiltz W. and Helen Bell Wagner|
|Residence||New Orleans, Louisiana|
Bryan James Wagner (born 1943) is the first Republican since Reconstruction to have been elected to the New Orleans City Council. He filled a vacancy of an unexpired term in District A from May 1980 to April 1982.
Wagner is the younger of two sons of the late Wiltz W. Wagner and Helen Bell Wagner (c. 1913-2004), who taught English at the University of New Orleans. Helen Wagner graduated from H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College and Tulane University. She represented Louisiana as the "Acadian Girl" at the Paris World Exposition of 1931. She was a parishioner of Christ Church Cathedral in New Orleans, at which she served on the vestry and altar guild. Wagner's brother is Dr. Wiltz W. Wagner of Indianapolis, Indiana. Wagner operates an insurance agency on Carondelet Street in New Orleans.
In the nonpartisan blanket primary held on April 5, 1980, Wagner polled 5,513 votes (24.4 percent) and went into the May 17 general election against Democrat Florence W. "Flo" Schornstein (born August 1934), who polled 7,037 (31.2 percent). Five other Democratic candidates received 44.4 percent in the primary. Wagner secured considerable Democratic support and went on to defeat Mrs. Schornstein, 11,900 votes (51.2 percent) to 11,353 ballots (48.8 percent).
Since Wagner's tenure, only a few Republicans have been elected to the New Orleans City Council:
- Peggy Wilson, an unsuccessful candidate for state insurance commissioner in the 1991 general election, for the U.S. Senate in 1996, and for mayor of New Orleans in the 2006 nonpartisan blanket primary.
- Suzanne Haik Terrell, the last Louisiana elections commissioner and the failed Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2002 and for state attorney general in 2003.
- Jay Batt, with service from 2002 to 2006.
The electoral success of Wilson, Terrell, and Batt benefited from the Republican leanings of District A.
In 1986, Wagner was named Republican national committeeman from Louisiana to succeed Frank Spooner of Monroe, who stepped down after nine years in the position. Wagner has remained active in the state party. He headed the Louisiana delegation to the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, which nominated the McCain-Palin ticket. Spooner was also a delegate to the 2008 convention.
In 2008, Wagner served as manager for the successful campaign of Joseph Cao for Louisiana's 2nd congressional district. Cao was subsequently unseated in 2010 by the Democrat Cedric Richmond, who still holds the seat.
- "Helen Bell Wagner". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
- "Bryan Wagner Insurance Agency". plus.google.com. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
- State of Louisiana, Secretary of State, Special election returns, Orleans Parish, May 17, 1980
- "Biographical Note". nutrias.org. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
- See the articles on Joseph Cao and William J. Jefferson.