George A. Burton
|George Aubrey Burton, Jr.|
|Finance Commissioner of Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana|
December 1971 – December 1978
|Preceded by||Dwight E. Saur|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished by change in city charter|
June 21, 1926 |
Texarkana, Miller County, Arkansas, USA
|Spouse(s)||(1) Joan Cunningham Burton (deceased)
(2) Gloria Brantley Burton
|Children||George A. Burton, III (deceased)
Sandra Burton Batten
|Residence||Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana|
|Occupation||Certified Public Accountant|
George Aubrey Burton, Jr. (born June 21, 1926), is a Certified Public Accountant and the last elected finance commissioner in Shreveport. Burton is the first Republican since Reconstruction to have been elected to municipal office in Shreveport, having served as finance commissioner from 1971-1978. He was also president of the Caddo Parish Board of Election Supervisors.
Early years, education, military
Born in Texarkana to George A. Burton, Sr. (1903–1980) and the former Theo Simmons (1908–1983). The Burtons resided in Alexandria relocating to Shreveport in 1936, when George was ten. Burton's grandfather was a railroad employee, and his father was secretary-treasurer of Cahn Electric Company in Shreveport.
In 1941, Burton graduated from C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport at age 15. He enlisted in the United States Navy and entered the Seabees, serving in the Central Pacific theater of World War II from 1943-1946. He obtained a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Centenary College in Shreveport and passed the C.P.A. examination in 1952.
Burton runs for office
A lifelong Republican he ran unsuccessfully for Caddo Parish School Board.
In September 1971, Shreveport Finance Commissioner Dwight E. Saur (a Democrat) died after serving less than a year of his term. Burton won a special election to fill the remaining three years of the term. Despite his overt Republicanism, Burton carved his niche with his Democratic colleagues. In 1974, Burton was reelected finance commissioner with 17,488 votes (68.8 percent) over Democrat (later Republican) David R. Carroll (1926-2011), a Mississippi native and a Caddo Parish police juror, received 7,938 ballots (31.2 percent). That year, Burton had the tacit support of Democratic Mayor Littleberry Calhoun Allen, Jr., who won a second term. Under the commission form of government then in effect, the mayor was technically the "commissioner of administration."
Running with Burton in 1974 was another Republican, Billy J. Guin, waging his second campaign against the late Public Utilities Commissioner William "Bill" Collins. Guin drew 43 percent of the vote. Collins resigned near the end of his second term, and Guin won the seat in a 1977 special election. Guin was in effect only the second Republican in modern times to hold municipal office in Shreveport.
Family and civic commitments
Burton married the former Joan (pronounced JO ANN) Cunningham (1928–2002), who lived in Amory, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee, before her parents, William and Lucille Cunningham, moved to Shreveport. The couple had two children, son George A. Burton, III (1948–2010), a poet in Shreveport, and wife Melissa Fowle Burton, and daughter Sandra Burton "Sandy" Batten (born 1950), wife of Rick Alan Batten (born 1954) of Maumelle, near Little Rock, Arkansas. After Joan's death, Burton married Gloria Brantley (born 1930), the widow of Bernard Garvin (1927–1997) of Shreveport.