Dick Guidry

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Richard P. "Dick" Guidry
Louisiana State Representative from Lafourche Parish
In office
1950 (?) – 1954 (?)
In office
1964–1976
Preceded by Dudley A. Bernard

Woolen J. Falgout

Succeeded by L. G. LaPlante, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1929-09-22)September 22, 1929
Galliano, Lafourche Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died March 26, 2014(2014-03-26) (aged 84)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Phyllis Guidry
Children Six children
Residence Galliano, Louisiana
Alma mater Golden Meadow High School in Golden Meadow, Louisiana
Occupation Businessman
Religion Roman Catholic
For the Louisiana advocate of the French language, see Richard Guidry.

Richard P. Guidry, known as Dick Guidry (September 22, 1929–March 26, 2014) was a businessman from Galliano, Louisiana, who was a Democrat former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Lafourche Parish.[1] He is considered the youngest member ever elected to the Louisiana House.

Political life[edit]

On February 1, 2014, less than two months before his death, Guidry and seven others were inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield. In the same ceremony, Guidry's state senate colleague, Harvey Peltier, Jr., of Thibodaux, received posthumous induction.[2]

The Hall of Fame claims that Guidry was elected to the House by a margin of seventeen votes in 1950, when he was twenty-one. According to the state government listing of legislators, however, a "Richard D. Guidry", not "Richard P. Guidry", served from Lafourche Parish from 1952 to 1956. There is no mention of a special election in 1950 for an aberrant term from 1950-1954, which would have required a special election in 1950, followed by a regular election in 1951, followed by a resignation in 1954. The official records are hence unclear in regard to Guidry's first term in the House.

Francis Dugas, a lawyer from Thibodaux, held a House seat from Lafourche Parish from 1956 to 1960. Guidry thereafter took office in May 1964 and left the House permanently in 1976 after three more terms. In the first ever nonpartisan blanket primary held on November 1, 1975, Guidry was either defeated, placed into a runoff election which he then lost, or did not run again. In his last term from 1972 to 1976, he served alongside future U.S. Representative Billy Tauzin of Louisiana's 3rd congressional district and later State Senator Leonard J. Chabert.[1]

In 2012, at the Former Legislators Day ceremony in the Louisiana State Capitol, Woody Jenkins, owner of the Central City News in Central in East Baton Rouge Parish, photographed many of his former colleagues, including Guidry. The photographs are posted on the Internet.[3]

In 1970, Representative Guidry obtained designation of the South Louisiana Tidal Water Control Levee District, signed into law that year by Governor John McKeithen. In 1978, the entity was renamed the South Lafourche Levee District. Located in Galliano, the hurricane protection system consists of forty-eight miles of ring levee, 33,400 acres within the flood protection system, six pumping stations, and total acreage of nearly 440,000.[4]

On April 29, 1975, in a "personal privileges" speech on the floor of the Louisiana House, Guidry, considered a Conservative Democrat, decried the communist takeover of the former South Vietnam. He became so outraged over the turn of fortunes against the United States in Southeast Asia that he questioned whether the country could survive until its 300th birthday. Guidry said that voters have the mentality of "an eighteen-year-old". He suggested that actress Jane Fonda and former Black Panthers figure Eldridge Cleaver, before the latter's conversion to conservatism, were "re-gloating and celebrating" the communist triumph.[5]

Theater owner[edit]

Guidry owned the Jet Drive-in Theater, located on Louisiana Highway 1 in Cut Off and the Jet Cinema in Galliano. In the 1980s, the Jet Drive-In was closed because of the falling of the screen tower. For years a popular meeting place for young people, the Jet could accommodate five hundred cars, had a screen 150 feet in height, and a snack bar specializing in chili. Guidry also owned several other area theaters; the Jet became so popular that it drove most of his competitors out of business.[6] He died on March 26, 2014 at the age of 84.[7]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2016". house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved May 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Who's famous?, October 2, 2013". Bossier Press-Tribune. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Former Louisiana Legislators Day". Central City News. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ "History of South Lafourche Levee System". slid.org. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Guidry predicts downfall", Minden Press-Herald, Minden, Louisiana, April 30, 1975, p. 1
  6. ^ "Nikki Buskey, Drive-in was social center for south Lafourche teens: One in a series on local landmarks and traditions that no longer exist, December 31, 2010". Houma Today. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ Staff (March 26) "Legendary Lafourche politician dies," Houma Today (Houma, La.) March 26, 2014 captured at 9:44 pm CST. http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20140326/HURBLOG/140329617/0/PREPS?p=1&tc=pg
Preceded by
Dudley A. Bernard

Woolen J. Falgout

Louisiana State Representative from Lafourche Parish

Richard P. "Dick" Guidry
1964—1976

Succeeded by
L. G. LaPlante, Jr.