John C. Ensminger

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John Clifford Ensminger, Sr.
Louisiana State Representative from Ouachita Parish (now District 14)
In office
1972–1991
Preceded by James L. Dennis

James Peyton Smith

Succeeded by Charles McDonald
Louisiana State Senator from District 34 (Ouachita Parish)
In office
1991–1992
Preceded by Lawson Swearingen
Succeeded by Charles D. Jones
Personal details
Born 1934
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Gladys G. Ensminger
Children John C. Ensminger, Jr.
Residence Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, USA
Alma mater Neville High School
Occupation Insurance agent
In his last election, Ensminger defeated E. Frank Snellings, the husband of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, for a one-year unexpired term in the Louisiana State Senate from Ouachita Parish.

John Clifford Ensminger, Sr. (born 1934), is a State Farm Insurance agent in Monroe, Louisiana,[1] who served for two decades in both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature. Ensminger was elected in 1972 as a conservative Democrat to the Louisiana House of Representatives from Ouachita Parish, now District 14. He succeeded James L. Dennis, who was elected as a judge on the Fourth Judicial District Court based in Monroe.

During the 1980-1984 term, Ensminger and the sergeant-at-arms, Richard L. Barrios, were compelled to grab a colleague, Shady R. Wall of West Monroe, when Wall pulled out a pistol from a boot holster during a fit of rage at Carl N. Gunter, Jr., of Rapides Parish, who had accidentally shut off Wall's conference ongoing telephone call with Wall's bank in Monroe.[2]

In 1985, Ensminger switched to Republican affiliation, as did his colleague, the late Jock Scott of Alexandria. In 1987, in his first election as a Republican, he was forced into a general election with the Democrat Billy Daniel, whom he then defeated, 6,195 (57.4 percent) to 4,607 (42.6 percent).[3] For a time, he was the chairman of the House Commerce Committee, with his friend Ron Gomez of Lafayette, serving as vice-chairman.[4]

In 1991, Ensminger resigned his House seat[5] after he won a special election to complete the remaining months in the term of State Senator Lawson Swearingen,[6] a Democrat who left office to become the president of the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Ensminger won the special election with 10,799 votes (53.3 percent) over two Democrats, E. Frank Snellings (8,937 or 44.1 percent), and John H. Powell (524 or 2.7 percent).[7] Snellings (born 1949) is the husband of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who was then the state treasurer.[8] Thereafter, Ensminger did not seek a full term in the state Senate in the nonpartisan blanket primary held in October 1991. The seat, redistricted after the 1990 census, was then won by the Democrat Charles D. Jones.[9]

Ensminger is the son of Rex William Ensminger (1901–1990) and Irma G. Ensminger (1904–1996) of Monroe.[10] He and his wife, Gladys G. Ensminger (born 1938), have a son, John Ensminger, Jr. (born 1955), who is also in the insurance business.[11]

Ensminger graduated in 1952 from Neville High School in Monroe. Though he has left political office, he remains active in business. He is also a frequent donor to Republican candidates and party organizations. In 1998, however, he donated to Democratic U.S. Senator John Breaux, who won his final term by a wide margin over the Republican Jim Donelon, since the Louisiana insurance commissioner.[12] In 2008, he donated to the campaign of his former House colleague, Woody Jenkins, the Baton Rouge Republican, who failed in a special election for the United States House of Representatives. Jenkins had been Mary Landrieu's Republican opponent in 1996.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Ensminger, Sr.". State Farm Insurance. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ Ron Gomez, My Name Is Ron And I'm a Recovering Legislator: Memoirs of a Louisiana State Representative, Lafayette, Louisiana: Zemog Publishing, 2000, p. 70
  3. ^ "Louisiana election returns, November 21, 1987". 400.sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved January 15, 2010. [dead link]
  4. ^ Ron Gomez, p. 144
  5. ^ "Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1880-2008". legis.state.la.us. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-2008". legis.state.la.us. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  7. ^ Louisiana secretary of state, Special election returns, February 23, 1991
  8. ^ "U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu to speak at LSU's Spring 2009 Commencement". LSU. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 19, 1991". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved January 15, 2010. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  11. ^ People Search and Background Check
  12. ^ "Monroe, LA, Political Contributions by Individuals , 1998". city-data.com. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Monroe, LA, Political Contributions by Individuals, 2008". city-datea.com. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 


Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
James L. Dennis (Ouachita Parish)

James Peyton Smith (Morehouse Parish)

Louisiana State Representative from Ouachita Parish (now District 14)

John Clifford Ensminger, Sr.
1972–1991

Succeeded by
Charles McDonald
Preceded by
Lawson Swearingen
Louisiana State Senator from District 34 (Ouachita Parish)

John Clifford Ensminger, Sr.
1991–1992

Succeeded by
Charles D. Jones