Mike Cross (politician)

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Mike Cross
Louisiana State Senator from District 13 (East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, and Livingston parishes)
In office
1981–1996
Preceded by Gaston Gerald
Succeeded by Mike Branch
Mayor of Baker, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
In office
1976–1981
Preceded by Pete Heine
Succeeded by Pete Heine
Member of the Baker City Council
In office
1972–1976
Personal details
Born Michael Aduron Cross
(1944-09-08)September 8, 1944
Baker, East Baton Rouge Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died November 18, 2013(2013-11-18) (aged 69)
Baker, Louisiana
Resting place Inurnment
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kristie Pospisil Cross
Children Shane Michael Cross

Clifton L. Cross
Ryan Michael Cross
Matthew Aaron Cross
Christen Joanna Cross
Lauren Adrianne Cross

Parents Aduron B. and Margie "Lulalee" McCulloch Cross

Sisters Lori Martinez and Patricia Cross

Residence Baker, Louisiana
Alma mater Baker High School

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Occupation Marketing consultant; lobbyist
Religion Non-denominational Christian

Michael Aduron "Mike" Cross (September 8, 1944 − November 18, 2013)[1] was an American businessman and lobbyist who served from 1981 to 1996 as a Democratic member of the Louisiana State Senate from District 13 (East Feliciana, East Baton Rouge, and Livingston parishes) in Greater Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[2] Prior to his legislative service, Cross was from 1976 to 1981 the mayor of Baker in suburban East Baton Rouge Parish. After his senatorial service ended, Cross was a lobbyist for CLECO Electric, and the Louisiana Municipal Association.


Background[edit]

Cross was a son of the late Audron B. Cross and the former Lulalee McCulloch. He has four sons, Shane Michael Cross, Clifton Lance Cross, Ryan Michael Cross, and Matthew Aaron Cross, and two daughters, Lauren Adrianne Cross and Christen Joanna Cross. His widow is the former Kristie Pospisil. He graduated in 1962 from Baker High School and attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, then known as the University of Southwestern Louisiana.[1]


Political life[edit]

From 1972 to 1976, Cross served on the Baker City Council.[1] In 1976, he was elected mayor of Baker. The incumbent Pete Heine vacated the position to run unsuccessfully against Baton Rouge Mayor-President W.W. Dumas. Cross won again as mayor of Baker in 1980 but stepped down the next year to enter the state Senate. Heine then succeeded Cross as mayor and served until 1992.[3] On October 1, 1988, Cross ran third in a race for the mayor-presidency of East Baton Rouge Parish. Tom Ed McHugh won the position in a general election runoff against Dumas, who was attempting a comeback for a fifth term at the age of seventy-two.[4]

Cross won a special election in 1981 upon the removal from office of state Senator Gaston Gerald of Greenwell Springs, who was convicted of extortion of $25,000 from a contractor.[5] Gerald, in his third consecutive Senate term, continued to draw legislative pay when he was imprisoned in a federal installation in Texas. The Senate finally voted 33-3 to expel Gerald.[6]

In 1990, Cross had pushed to passage a bill to ban abortion in cases of rape and incest and impose fines of up to $100,000 and ten years imprisonment on the practitioners, but Governor Buddy Roemer declared the legislation incompatible with the United States Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. His veto[7] alienated large numbers of his socially conservative electoral base. The legislature subsequently overrode Roemer's veto with an even larger margin than in the original bill – another slap at Roemer. State Representative Woody Jenkins of Baton Rouge, one of the leading abortion foes in the legislature, said the prohibition regarding rape and incest is needed to prevent women from filing false claims in such matters. State Senator Sydney B. Nelson of Shreveport said that he opposed the abortion ban championed by Cross because of the problems of unwanted children and defective births.[8] Nevertheless, in 1991, United States District Judge Adrian G. Duplantier of New Orleans, a former state senator, ruled that the measure was in conflict with Roe v. Wade.[9]

Cross authored in 1990 a revised anti-narcotics law to add anabolic steroids to a list of illegal substances.[10] State legislators did not specify penalties for possessing the drugs covered by the law, including opium, methamphetamine, morphine, and codeine. Cross described the failure to include penalties to be an "editing mistake" that the legislature could quickly correct. Police enforced the law pending the clarification on the premise that penalties were implied in the wording.[10]

Cross won election outright in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 24, 1987. He drew 59 percent of the ballots over another Democrat and two Republican challengers.[11] In 1991, Cross was forced into a general election runoff with fellow Democrat Norman E. "Pete" Heine, Cross' predecessor and successor as mayor of Baker. Cross led with 19,650 votes (45 percent) to Heine's 13,808. (31.8 percent). Two other Democratic candidates shared the remaining 23 percent.[12] In the second round of balloting, Cross prevailed, 28,234 votes (57.8 percent) to Heine's 20,813 (42.4 percent).[13]

Cross held the Senate seat for fifteen years until his defeat in 1995 by the Republican Mike Branch, then of Livingston Parish. Cross' defeat by Branch is believed to have been a result of his refusal to switch to the GOP in a Republican-leaning district. In the primary election held on October 21, 1995, Branch polled 23,002 votes (53.5 percent) to Cross' 20,002 (46.5 percent), an exactly 3,000-vote margin. Branch's victory was dependent on a 4,000-vote plurality in East Baton Rouge, as he trailed in East Feliciana and Livingston parishes.[14] Branch was the first Republican to hold the District 13 seat, but he left the Senate after a single term.

Cross died in 2013 at the age of sixty-nine while under hospice care at his home in Baker.[1]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Michael A. "Mike" Cross". Baton Rouge Morning Advocatae. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2008". house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved November 16, 2009. 
  3. ^ Information verified by Kathleen Stephens, City of Baker, Louisiana: kstephens@cityofbakerla.com
  4. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 1, 1988". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Donald L. Beckner and Associates: In the Media". donaldbeckner.com. Retrieved November 17, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Pol in the Pen". Time Magazine, June 8, 1981. June 8, 1981. Retrieved November 16, 2009. 
  7. ^ Roemer vetoes abortion bill", Minden Press-Herald, July 27, 1990, p. 1
  8. ^ "Abortion: Roemer vows veto, Jenkins, an override", Minden Press-Herald, June 28, 1990, p. 3
  9. ^ Garry Boulard (July 8, 1990). "Abortion Bill Veto Override in Louisiana Fails". The Los Angeles Times (latimes.com). Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b "Frances Frank Marcus, "A Slight Gap in Louisiana's Anti-Drug Law: No Penalties"". The New York Times, January 25, 1991. January 25, 1991. Retrieved November 17, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 24, 1987". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 19, 1991". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Louisiana election returns, November 16, 1991". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 21, 1995". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Gaston Gerald
Louisiana State Senator from District 13 (East Feliciana, East Baton Rouge, and Livingston parishes)

Michael Aduron "Mike" Cross
1981–1996

Succeeded by
Mike Branch
Preceded by
Pete Heine
Mayor of Baker, Louisiana

Michael Aduron "Mike" Cross
1976–1981

Succeeded by
Pete Heine