Jamar Adcock

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Jamar William Adcock
Louisiana State Senator from Ouachita Parish
In office
1960–1972
Preceded by James D. Sparks
Succeeded by William Denis Brown, III
Personal details
Born (1917-08-09)August 9, 1917
Richland Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died December 22, 1991(1991-12-22) (aged 74)
Monroe, Ouachita Parish
Louisiana
Resting place Mulhearn Memorial Memorial Park in Monroe, Louisiana
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Frances Aycock Adcock
Children Jan Adcock Melton

Two grandsons

Residence Monroe, Louisiana
Alma mater Louisiana State University
Occupation Banker
Religion Baptist
Military service
Service/branch United States Army

Jamar William Adcock (August 9, 1917 – December 22, 1991) was a high-profile banker and a Democratic state senator from Monroe, Louisiana, who served from 1960 to 1972. He was Senate president pro tempore in his third term from 1968 to 1972.[1]

A native of Richland Parish,[2] located east of Monroe, Adcock attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where he met two future political giants, John Julian McKeithen and Russell B. Long, both a year his junior.

He served in the United States Army as major in the infantry during World War II.[3]

Running for lieutenant governor, 1971[edit]

In 1960, Adcock, along with Senator Russell Long and Louisiana Attorney General Jack P.F. Gremillion, was an at-large Louisiana delegate to the Democratic National Convention, which met in Los Angeles, California, to nominate the Kennedy-Johnson ticket.[4] He had been an alternate to the 1956 convention which met in Chicago to field the Adlai E. Stevenson-Estes Kefauver ticket.[5]

As a state senator, Adcock worked closely with the administration of Governor John McKeithen in regard to taxes and spending. In 1968, Adcock quarreled with Adras LaBorde, the managing editor of Alexandria Daily Town Talk, who wrote a controversial column that maintained that Louisiana could save $100 million annually by trimming its state employees. LaBorde noted that no other Southern state had nearly so many state workers as Louisiana. Adcock retorted that those who make "blanket accusations ought to come down here and help us solve the problems."[6]

Early in 1971, Adcock pondered making his own gubernatorial bid to succeed McKeithen but declared that the state had so many problems that it might be "ungovernable." He proposed overall tax reform, changes in property tax assessments, and making more revenues available to municipalities. Adcock said that had he run for the top spot he could "only promise pain and suffering as we straighten these things out."[7]

After three terms, Adcock relinquished his Senate seat to seek his party's nomination, not for governor, but for lieutenant governor in the 1971 primary election. He was seeking to succeed three-term incumbent Clarence C. "Taddy" Aycock of Franklin, the seat of St. Mary Parish. Aycock was running for governor but was not in the top tier of candidates despite his visibility and experience in state government.

Two young men active in the Adcock campaign for lieutenant governor were Earl Casey of KNOE-TV in Monroe and later with CNN, and James Carville, a consultant originally based in New Orleans.[8] Adcock ran strongly enough in the first primary to gain a runoff berth with the front-running former New Orleans city councilman James Edward "Jimmy" Fitzmorris, Jr. In fact, with 250,850 votes, he trailed Fitzmorris by just over 6,000 votes. Eliminated in the primary were two candidates from Webster Parish east of Shreveport, state Representative Parey Branton, of Shongaloo and Edward Kennon, a Minden contractor and a nephew of former Governor Robert F. Kennon. Another unsuccessful candidate was P.J. Mills, like Adcock a banker and an outgoing state representative from Shreveport. Fitzmorris was a convincing winner in the second Democratic primary and went on to win all sixty-four parishes in his race with the Republican candidate, former State Representative Morley A. Hudson of Shreveport, in the general election held on February 1, 1972.

After his ill-fated race for lieutenant governor, Adcock continued to support other Louisiana Democrats, including the state's then two powerful Democratic U.S. Senators Russell B. Long and J. Bennett Johnston, Jr.

Successful banker[edit]

Adcock and his long-time friend and associate, William R. "Billy" Boles, Sr. (1927–2008), launched the American Bank in Monroe, which ultimately became Regions Bank. He also served on the board of Fidelity Mortgage Company. Adcock and Boles also started Fidelity Bank in Slidell, the Colonial Bank in New Orleans, and Progressive Bank in Metairie in Jefferson Parish. They bought into the Bossier Bank and Trust Company in Bossier City and the Jena Bank in Jena in La Salle Parish. Boles met Adcock when they were LSU students. At the time of his election, Boles was the youngest member of the Louisiana State Senate. He represented Richland Parish from 1952 to 1956, and then he returned full-time to northeast Louisiana to practice law. Boles, a behind-the-scenes political insider for a half century and staunch Democrat, was friendly with both Governors McKeithen and Edwin Washington Edwards.

Adcock was also a past chairman of the Louisiana Tax Commission.

Last rites[edit]

Adcock died at the age of seventy-four at Saint Frances Medical Center in Monroe. Services were held on Christmas Eve morning, 1991, at the Northminster Church in Monroe with the Reverends Harold D. Hughens and Donald W. Nixon officiating. Burial was in the Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery in Monroe.

Adcock was survived by his wife, the former Frances Aycock (born 1921) of Monroe, a native of Rayville; a daughter and son-in-law, Jan Adcock Melton (born 1943) and Paul Anders Melton, Sr. (born 1942), of Baton Rouge, and two grandsons, Jamar Adcock Melton (born 1970), a pediatrician, and Paul A. Melton, Jr., (born 1972), a businessman, both of Baton Rouge.

Adcock and a group of friends formed the Northminster Church in 1989. It is closely affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists, a fellowship dedicated to the preservation of historic Baptist principles and freedoms. He was a Sunday school teacher and a deacon.

Billy Boles, in a 2004 interview with Sam Hanna, Jr., of the weekly newspaper, the Ouachita Citizen in West Monroe, recalled his friend Jamar Adcock: "I miss Jamar every day. He was just a great friend. There was not one thing that I could ask and he wouldn't do."[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-2004". legis.state.la.us. Retrieved March 21, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Adcock Will Headline Fair Opening Tuesday", Minden Press-Herald, Minden, Louisiana, September 24, 1970, p. 1
  3. ^ Minden Press-Herald, September 24, 1970
  4. ^ "Louisiana delegation to the 1960 Democratic National Convention". politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved May 2, 2009. 
  5. ^ Political Graveyard website: Jamar Adcock: http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/adamske-aedanus.html#1LS1B2SXO
  6. ^ http://www.reggiefamilyarchives.com/876-9/20/1968.html
  7. ^ "Adcock says state 'ungovernable'", Minden Press-Herald, January 19, 1971, p. 1
  8. ^ Leo Honeycutt, Edwin Edwards: Governor of Louisiana, 2009, p. 76
  9. ^ The Ouachita Citizen, published by the late Sam Hanna, Sr., and then Sam Hanna, Jr., West Monroe, Louisiana, 2004

External links[edit]

Preceded by
James D. Sparks
Louisiana State Senator from Ouachita Parish

Jamar William Adcock
1960–1972

Succeeded by
William Denis Brown, III