John Georges

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John Georges
JohnGeorgesJan2010.jpg
Personal details
Born (1960-10-16) 16 October 1960 (age 54)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Political party Democratic (Before 2010)
Independent (2010–present)
Spouse(s) Dathel Coleman
Children Zana
Liza
Nike
Alma mater Tulane University
Religion Greek Orthodoxy

John Georges (Greek: Υιάννης Γεωργής) born October 16, 1960 is a businessman from New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who formerly served on the Louisiana Board of Regents, the body which supervises higher education in his native state.

On April 30, 2013, Georges completed the purchase of the The Advocate, the largest daily newspaper in Louisiana. He is the new publisher of The Advocate, a paper founded in 1842. In March 2013, Georges signed a letter of intent to purchase The Advocate, whose circulation in 2013 is 98,000 (daily) and 125,000 (Sunday) as a result of its entry and 20,000 subscriptions in the New Orleans market following the decision of the New Orleans Times-Picayune to become an on-line publication.[1]The Advocate serves readers not only in the capital city and its environs but a swath of territory from Lafayette to New Orleans. It is among the relatively few newspapers in the United States whose print circulation is growing. Since 1909, The Advocate has been owned by Charles P. Manship, Sr., and his subsequent heirs. Georges named Dan Shea as general manager of The Advocate and Peter Kovacs as the editor.[2]

Georges is a commissioner of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad and the chairman of Georges Enterprises. In 2007, Georges ran for governor as an Independent. He received 186,000 votes and procured a plurality in Orleans Parish. In 2010, he sought the office of mayor of New Orleans as a Democrat; he finished a distant third behind two other Democrats.

In 1992, Georges was appointed by the governor to the Board of Regents, which has budgetary responsibility for Louisiana’s public higher education, including nineteen public colleges, universities, and professional schools. He has served as a member of the University of New Orleans Foundation, LSU Medical Foundation, and Tulane President’s Council. The Public Belt Commission exerts management of the publicly owned terminal-switching railroad in New Orleans and maintains the railroad portion of the Huey P. Long Bridge over the Mississippi River. In 2008, the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad celebrated the opening of its refurbished main facility.

Georges is known for his philanthropic work and for the millions of dollars he has contributed to non-profits, universities, museums and civic groups. He supports a diverse group of charities, with an emphasis on education, the arts, preservation, and faith-based initiatives. He played a significant role in recovery efforts for the University of New Orleans and its Arena after Hurricane Katrina. Fluent in Greek, Georges was the President of the New Orleans Greek Community during Katrina. He is an active member of his church, The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity on Bayou St. John. He was instrumental in rebuilding his own and other churches after Hurricane Katrina. In October 2009, he hosted Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians from around the world.

Early life[edit]

John Georges was born in New Orleans to Dennis and Anita Georges. His father was a Greek immigrant who put John to work at the age of eleven sweeping the warehouse for the family business. At the age of fifteen, he began making deliveries in a truck. Georges maintained leadership roles throughout his education, ranging from high school class president and student body president to president of his fraternity in college. He continued working throughout college and graduated in 1983 on the dean's list from Tulane University.

Family[edit]

John met his wife, the former Dathel Coleman, on a blind date set up by their best friends. They have two daughters, Zana and Liza, and a son, Nike.

Career[edit]

John Georges is now chairman of Georges Enterprises, which includes grocery distribution, offshore marine services, video and arcade entertainment, food services, and investments. Georges Enterprises began as Imperial Trading Company in 1916. Imperial Trading is a wholesale grocery company that distributes goods ranging from candy to health and beauty products. When Georges n joined Imperial it was a $29 million business; today, he claims the estimated sales at nearly $1 billion annually.

2007 campaign for governor[edit]

John Georges came in third place in the 2007 Louisiana gubernatorial election, despite having never run for public office previously. As an Independent, he finished third in the balloting with 186,800 votes (14 percent). He achieved a plurality in his hometown of New Orleans. Republican Bobby Jindal, making his second bid for governor, won outright in the primary with 54 percent of the vote. Democrats Walter Boasso, a departing state senator from St. Bernard Parish near New Orleans, and Foster Campbell, a Louisiana Public Service Commissioner from Bossier Parish, finished second and fourth, respectively. Jindal prevailed in sixty parishes.[3] Georges won 36 percent of the vote in Orleans Parish; that was his only plurality showing among the state's sixty-four parishes.[4]

Attention from the press[edit]

Georges began running television ads for his campaign the last week in July.[5] Georges candidacy has attracted the attention of the Greek press in the United States.[6][7] The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate reported that Georges would tout himself as a political outsider and newcomer to state politics.[8]

Campaign finance[edit]

Georges contributed around $5 million of his own money into his campaign account.[9] Georges reports that he has over $7 million as of late July. About $120,000 came from donations from others to his campaign. Jindal, by comparison, reports around $7.5 million. However, Jindal has raised money from a greater number of donors.[10] Georges spent almost $12 million on his campaign and garnered 186,800 votes. His spending amounted to $64 per vote, which represents the highest spending per vote for a gubernatorial candidate in any state in 2007.[11]

Veteran Louisiana political reporter John Hill notes that Georges made the largest known buy of television ads in the 2007 election. He purchased $2 million in advertising in August. The next largest known expenditure in this election was Walter Boasso's $1.3 million purchase for June. Jindal's campaign did not disclose its media expenditures.[12]

2010 campaign for mayor[edit]

Georges announced his candidacy in the New Orleans mayoral election, 2010 on 4 November 2009. [1] Despite spending more on his campaign the any other candidate [2], Georges finished a distant 3rd with 9.21% of the vote [3] in the election which saw a victory by Mitch Landrieu in the first round of voting [4].

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Georges signs letter of intent to buy The Advocate". The Advocate (Louisiana). March 25, 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  2. ^ "Georges buys 'The Advocate'". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, April 30, 2013, p. 1. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State-Multi-Parish Elections Inquiry
  4. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State-Parish Elections Inquiry
  5. ^ Sabludowsky, Stephen (2007-07-17). "Louisiana Election Buzz: Rain On Jindal Parade; Boasso Poll". Bayou Buzz. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  6. ^ Sabludowsky, Stephen (2007-07-06). "Louisiana Politics: Jindal As Ahmadinejad? Georges, Boasso, Campbell and Fred Thompson". Bayou Buzz. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  7. ^ "JOHN GEORGES RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA". Hellenic News of America. 2007-07-05. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  8. ^ Millhollon, Michelle (2007-07-26). "Georges 'applying for a job' as governor, new ad says". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  9. ^ Barrow, Bill (2007-07-21). "3 months out, gubernatorial campaigns remain bland". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  10. ^ Barrow, Bill (2007-07-23). "Jindal raises more, but Georges has most to spend in governor's race". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  11. ^ "John Georges says smart money on him". The Times Picayune. 2009-10-02. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  12. ^ Hill, John (2007-07-24). "Gubernatorial candidates launch TV battle". The Shreveport Times. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-26.