Hollis Downs

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Hollis H. Downs
Louisiana House of Representatives from District 12 (Lincoln and Union parishes)
In office
January 2003 – January 9, 2012
Preceded by Jay McCallum
Succeeded by Rob Shadoin
Personal details
Born (1946-10-02) October 2, 1946 (age 67)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Catherine Downs
Alma mater Louisiana Tech University
Occupation Businessman
Professor at Louisiana Tech University
Religion United Methodist

Hollis H. Downs (born October 2, 1946) is a finance professor at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana, and a Republican former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 12 (Lincoln and Union parishes).

A native of Farmerville, the seat of neighboring Union Parish, Downs graduated from Louisiana Tech in 1968. He served in the United States Army from 1968 to 1974 and the Louisiana National Guard from 1974 to 1976. He is a financial planner in Ruston, where he resides with his wife, Catherine Downs. He is United Methodist.[1]

Downs won a special election to the state House held in January 2003 created by the resignation of Democratic Representative Jay McCallum. He won the contest by 36 votes over fellow Republican Chuck Earle, 3,838 to 3,802.[2]

Downs then won four-year terms in the elections of 2003 and 2007 without opposition.[3][4] However, Downs did not seek a third full term in the primary election held on October 22, 2011.[5]

In 2011, Downs sponsored House Bill 448 which would have charged college students for fifteen credit hours, up from the current twelve semester hours. According to the Legislative Fiscal Office, the change would raise about $74 million a year. Downs said that previous policy in which students pay only for twelve hours encourages them to enroll in additional courses that they frequently drop by the time of withdrawal day. Therefore, colleges must hire more faculty and staff than they would otherwise need. Downs said that the 15-hour requirement would encourage students to take more classes and to graduate earlier. The additional funds raised would compensate too, he said, for other budget cuts in higher education.[6] However, the full House overwhelmingly rejected Hollis's bill and a similar measure by Republican Representative Frank Hoffmann of West Monroe.[7]

In his last legislative session, Downs broke with his party and joined a House minority in supporting an "anti-bullying" bill that would seek to halt physical abuses in public schools. Critics, including the Louisiana Family Forum, said that the legislation would be misconstrued and used to promote homosexual life-styles.[8]

Downs will be succeeded in the House by fellow Republican Robert Ermon Shadoin (born 1953), a Ruston attorney. In the general election held on November 19, 2011, Shadoin defeated another Republican, Jason Paul Bullock (born 1977), also of Ruston, 4,186 (54.4 percent) to 3,513 votes (45.6 percent).[9]

In the primary held on October 22, Bullock had led the balloting with 45 percent, and Shadoin trailed with nearly 39 percent of the vote. A third Republican candidate, Jacob "Jake" Halley, held the remaining but critical 16 percent of the primary vote. No Democrat sought the seat.[10]

Ruston insurance agent R. G. "Skip" Russell, a District 8 Republican member and past president of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury, the parish governing body, had also announced for the House seat Hollis vacated but never filed.[11] Russell is a former aide to Democratic former U.S. Representative Jerry Huckaby.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rep. Hollis Downs, R-LA". ezpetition.com. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  2. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Special election returns, January 18, 2003
  3. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, State Legislative Returns, October 4, 2003
  4. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012". legis.state.la.us. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Scott Beder, "Downs won't run for third term; Russell to seek open House seat", April 28, 2011". The Farmerville Gazette. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Jan Moller, "Tuition-raising measures clear first committee hurdle"". New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 1, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  7. ^ "2 bills designed to raise Louisiana college costs derailed," June 7, 2011". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Anti-bullying killed by La. House". schoolbullyingcouncil.com. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  9. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, General election returns, November 19, 2011
  10. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Primary election returns, October 22, 2011
  11. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Lincoln Parish returns, October 20, 2007
Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jay McCallum
Louisiana State Representative from District 12 (Lincoln and Union parishes)

Hollis H. Downs
2003–2012

Succeeded by
Rob Shadoin