Junior Rodriguez

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Henry Joseph Rodriguez, Jr. Aka Junior Rodriguez (born September 27, 1935), is a local politician from St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, in the Greater New Orleans area. He is of Isleño descent and is registered as an Independent. He served as Councilmember on the St. Bernard Parish Council from 1976 to 2004 and as President of the St. Bernard Parish Council, from 2004 to 2008. St. Bernard Parish is a Louisiana Parish (the equivalent of counties in other states) that is adjacent to New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood.

During Katrina, he and his councilors requested boats and rescued hundreds of people who took refuge on rooftops when the flood occurred.[1] However, Rodriguez reached national fame in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as a regular guest to CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°. Hurricane Katrina and related levee failures resulted in almost all homes and businesses of St. Bernard Parish being catastrophically flooded. Most had to permanently evacuate their house, and as of early 2006 the majority of the returned population were in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) housing trailers.

Known for his matter-of-fact style and his sometimes colorful language, he used his presence on the show to criticize the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the slow pace of the recovery in St. Bernard Parish and asked for a more effective response. Among other aspects, he claimed that FEMA's bureaucratic approach kept victims of the hurricane from getting proper assistance.

Other local politicians criticized the way the federal government handled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Parish Presidents Benny Rousselle from Plaquemines and Aaron Broussard from Jefferson are among the most notable ones.

Junior Rodriguez was one of the participants to Movie Director Spike Lee's documentary When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts.

Election history[edit]

Police Juror, Ward K, 1987

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, October 24, 1987

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Junior Rodriguez Democratic 1,169 (41%) Runoff
Melvin Guerra Democratic 762 (27%) Runoff
Others n.a. 928 (32%) Defeated

Second Ballot, November 21, 1987

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Junior Rodriguez Democratic 1,505 (59%) Elected
Melvin Guerra Democratic 1,060 (41%) Defeated

Councilman, District E, 1991

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, October 19, 1991

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Junior Rodriguez Independent 2,655 (50%) Elected
Melvin Guerra Democratic 1,038 (20%) Defeated
Others n.a. 1,603 (30%) Defeated

Councilman, District E, 1995

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, October 21, 1995

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Junior Rodriguez Independent 1,898 (41%) Runoff
Douglas Dean Republican 1,474 (32%) Runoff
Others n.a. 1,261 (27%) Defeated

Second Ballot, November 18, 1995

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Junior Rodriguez Independent 2,625 (54%) Elected
Douglas Dean Republican 2,280 (46%) Defeated

Councilman at Large, Eastern Division, 1999

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, October 23, 1999

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Craig Taffaro, Jr. Republican 7,926 (37%) Runoff
Junior Rodriguez Independent 7,705 (36%) Runoff
Roddy Rodriguez, Jr. Democratic 5,682 (27%) Defeated

Second Ballot, November 20, 1999

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Junior Rodriguez Independent 10,358 (51%) Elected
Craig Taffaro, Jr. Republican 9,801 (49%) Defeated

St. Bernard Parish President, 2003

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, October 4, 2003

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Junior Rodriguez Independent 8,701 (34%) Runoff
Scott Wolfe Republican 8,650 (34%) Runoff
Clay Cossé Republican 6,488 (25%) Defeated
Kent Diaz Independent 1,689 (7%) Defeated

Second Ballot, November 15, 2003

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Junior Rodriguez Independent 13,916 (56%) Elected
Scott Wolfe Republican 10,851 (44%) Defeated

St. Bernard Parish President, 2007

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, October 20, 2007

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Craig Taffaro, Jr. Republican 5,710 (50%) Runoff
Junior Rodriguez Independent 3,294 (29%) Runoff
Donald Serpas Independent 1,158 (10%) Defeated
Henry Joseph Rodriguez, III Independent 711 (6%) Defeated
William "Bill" Villavaso Independent 610 (5%) Defeated

Second Ballot, November 17, 2007

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Craig Taffaro, Jr. Republican 6,545 (59%) Elected
Junior Rodriguez Independent 4,518 (41%) Defeated

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ G.Armistead, Samuel. La Tradición Hispano - Canaria en Luisiana (Hispanic Tradition - Canary in Louisiana). Pages 176 - 177. Anrart Ediciones. Ed: First Edition, March 2007.
Political offices
Preceded by
John Metzler, Jr. (D)
Councilman, District E
1992–2000
Succeeded by
Ricky Melerine (D)
Preceded by
Danny Dysart (D)
Councilman at Large, Eastern Division
2000–2004
Succeeded by
Lynn Dean (R)
Preceded by
Charles Ponstein (D)
St. Bernard Parish President
2004–2008
Succeeded by
Craig Taffaro, Jr. (R)
(President-Elect)