Lillian Walker (Louisiana politician)

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Lillian W. Walker
Louisiana State Representative from East Baton Rouge Parish
In office
1964–1972
Preceded by Four at-large members:

William F. "Bill" Bernhard, Jr.
Eugene Webb McGehee
A. T. "Apple" Sanders, Jr.
Jack M. Dyer

Succeeded by Clark Gaudin
Personal details
Born (1923-05-08) May 8, 1923 (age 91)
Lauderdale County, Mississippi, USA
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Edward E. Walker
Children Betti Helen Walker

Edward Theodore Walker

Residence Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Lillian W. Walker (born May 8, 1923)[1] is a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, having served from 1964 to 1972,[2] corresponding with the administration of Governor John J. McKeithen, her fellow Democrat.

Walker was narrowly unseated in the general election held on February 1, 1972, by the Republican Clark Gaudin, also of Baton Rouge. Gaudin polled 6,949 votes (51 percent) to Walker’s 6,645 (49 percent).[3] Only the fourth Republican to have served in the Louisiana legislature since Reconstruction, Gaudin had served a partial term from 1967 to 1968, having won a special election created by the resignation of Luther F. Cole,[2] who became a judge of the 19th Judicial District Court.

For most of her two terms, Walker was the only woman among the 105 House members. In 1969, she was joined by Helen L. Laperouse of New Iberia, who followed her late husband, Lionel Laperouse, Jr. In 1971, Dorothy Mae Taylor of New Orleans became the first African American female representative.[4] Early in her tenure, Walker persuaded Governor McKeithen to establish the Louisiana Commission on the Status of Women.[5]

On November 2, 1982, Walker was elected to the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. She defeated, 56-44 percent, the long-term Democratic Party chairman, Jesse Bankston, also of Baton Rouge.[6]

A native of a rural community near Meridian in Lauderdale County in eastern Mississippi, Walker was an alternate delegate from Louisiana to the 1960 Democratic National Convention, which met in Los Angeles to nominate the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson ticket.[7]

In 1996, Walker was inducted into the Louisiana Center for Women and Government Hall of Fame at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, along with the posthumous recognition of another Baton Rouge political figure, Betty Heitman, co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee from 1983 to 1987. In 2002, she was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.[8]

Walker is the widow of Edward E. Walker (1921–1998). Her daughter is Betti Helen Walker (born June 2, 1952).[9] Her mentally handicapped son is Edward Theodore "Eddie" Walker (born 1945). When Eddie was denied entry into the public schools, Mrs. Walker entered the political arena to work for the betterment of the mentally retarded and physically handicapped. Her work led to the creation of the Association for Mentally Retarded Citizens. She pushed for handicapped accessibility in the Louisiana State Capitol and other public buildings.

Walker still resides in Baton Rouge.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Net Detective People Search
  2. ^ a b "Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2008". house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved December 21, 2009. 
  3. ^ State of Louisiana, Secretary of State, Election returns for state representative, February 1, 1972
  4. ^ "Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus". llwc.louisiana.gov. Retrieved December 22, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Janet Allured, "Timeline of women's movement in Louisiana"". wowull.com. Retrieved December 29, 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Louisiana general election returns, November 2, 1982". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Index to Politicians, Walker, K-N". politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved December 22, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame". cityofwinnfield.com. Retrieved December 23, 2009. 
  9. ^ People Search and Background Check
Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Four at-large members

William F. "Bill" Bernhard, Jr.
Eugene Webb McGehee
A. T. "Apple" Sanders, Jr.
Jack M. Dyer

Louisiana State Representative from East Baton Rouge Parish

Lillian W. Walker
1964–1972

Succeeded by
Clark Gaudin