Paul Hardy

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For the Negro Leagues baseball catcher, see Paul Hardy (baseball).
Paul Jude Hardy
48th Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
In office
March 14, 1988 – January 13, 1992
Governor Buddy Roemer
Preceded by Robert "Bobby" Freeman
Succeeded by Melinda Schwegmann
Secretary of State of Louisiana
In office
March 1976 – March 10, 1980
Preceded by Wade O. Martin, Jr.
Succeeded by James H. "Jim" Brown
Louisiana State Senator from Iberia and St. Martin parishes
In office
1972–1976
Preceded by Francis Romero
Succeeded by Oswald A. Decuir
Personal details
Born (1942-10-18) October 18, 1942 (age 71)
Political party Democrat-turned-Republican
Spouse(s) Sandra "Sandi" Gatlin Hardy
Relations Maternal uncle, Bob Angelle

Maternal grandfather, Drauzin Angelle
Brother, State Archivist Florent Hardy

Children Gregory Paul Hardy
Yvette Hardy Gross.
Alma mater Cecilia High School
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Profession Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Paul Jude Hardy (born October 18, 1942) is an American attorney from Baton Rouge, in the U.S. state of Louisiana, who was the first Republican to have been elected lieutenant governor of the U.S. state of Louisiana since Reconstruction. He served in the second-ranking post under Governor Buddy Roemer from 1988 to 1992.

Background[edit]

Hardy's parents, who married in 1939, were Florent Hardy, Sr., (1913–2003) and the former Agnes Angelle (1904–2008) of Cecilia in St. Martin Parish.[1] Agnes Angelle was a homemaker, schoolteacher, and principal who was visited at school by former state education superintendents T. H. Harris and Shelby M. Jackson. Agnes's brother, Bob Angelle, and hence the maternal uncle of Paul Hardy,[2] was a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1934 to 1964 and House Speaker from 1957 to 1960.[3]

Agnes's father, and hence Paul Hardy's maternal grandfather, was Drauzin Angelle, a constable, deputy sheriff, and a Democratic power broker in St. Martin Parish during much of the first half of the 20th century.[4] Paul Hardy has a sister, Mary Agnes Belleau and her husband, Dr. Charles Dewey Belleau, of Baton Rouge, and a brother, Florent Hardy, Jr., Ph.D., Louisiana's State Archivist since 2000, also in Baton Rouge.[2] Florent Hardy and his staff have published Louisiana 2012: A Bicentennial Celebration of History, Culture and Natural Resources for the bicentennial year of Louisiana statehood.[5]

In 1960, Hardy graduated from Cecilia High School. In 1965, he received his bachelor's degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, then the University of Southwestern Louisiana, from which his mother also graduated. While Hardy was on the USL track team, he won the Gulf States Conference high jump competition for two consecutive years.

In 1966, Hardy received his law degree from Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans, and at the age of twenty-three, he began practicing law in St. Martinville with the firm Willis and Hardy.

State senator and secretary of state[edit]

In 1972, Hardy was elected in an upset as a Democratic state senator from Iberia and St. Martin parishes. The defunct Baton Rouge State Times named him the "Outstanding Newcomer" of the year after his first legislative session in 1972. He served alongside fellow Democrat Carl W. Bauer, who represented St. Mary and St. Martin parishes.

In 1975, Hardy was elected, again as a Democrat, as Secretary of State of Louisiana in another upset. An opening appeared when veteran Secretary of State Wade O. Martin, Jr., who was then a Democrat but later switched to the Republican Party, stepped down to launch an unsuccessful gubernatorial attempt. Hardy came from behind to beat his fellow Democratic opponent, State Representative P.J. Mills of Shreveport. In the primary, Mills had led with 49 percent of the vote. Hardy prevailed in the runoff—officially the general election in Louisiana. He polled 388,780 votes (51.5 percent) to Mills' 366,510 (48.5 percent).

Running for governor at 37[edit]

In 1979, Hardy ran for governor. Endorsed by former Governor John McKeithen, he carried eighteen parishes in the nonpartisan blanket primary, but he missed securing a general election berth by 4 percentage points. Hardy finished in fourth place with 227,026 votes (16.6 percent). In a disputed third place was outgoing Lieutenant Governor James E. "Jimmy" Fitzmorris, Jr., of New Orleans, with 280,760 (20.6 percent). The general election would feature Republican David C. Treen of Jefferson Parish, with 297,674 (21.8 percent), and Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Louis J. Lambert of Ascension Parish, with 283,277 (20.7 percent). Hardy hence lost a general election slot by some 56,000 votes. Though he was still a Democrat, Hardy endorsed Treen. Thereafter, Treen, who narrowly defeated Lambert in the general election, appointed Hardy as Louisiana's secretary of transportation. While there, he supervised the spending of a record $2 billion on highways. When Hardy resigned the transportation post, Treen elevated the assistant secretary, Tom Colten, to the top position. Colten's tenure was one of the longest in the position: he served until his retirement in 1993.

When Hardy vacated the secretary of state's position, the two top votegetters, Sandra Thompson, director of the Atchafalaya Basin Culture, Recreation, and Tourism project, and State Senator James H. "Jim" Brown of Ferriday, went into a general election showdown. Brown emerged a narrow winner.

Republican lieutenant governor[edit]

Hardy switched parties and ran as a Republican in 1987 for lieutenant governor. First though he was for two weeks in January 1987 a gubernatorial candidate once again. After intraparty rival, U.S. Representative Bob Livingston of suburban New Orleans, defeated Hardy by a five-to-one margin at a caucus straw poll in Alexandria, Hardy said that he would not be a disrupting factor in the race. He therefore endorsed Livingston and incorrectly predicted that Livingston would be elected governor that year.[6][7]

Instead, Hardy faced five opponents in the race for lieutenant governor, including the two-term Democratic incumbent, Robert Louis "Bobby" Freeman of Plaquemine in Iberville. Also in the race with Freeman and Hardy was Democrat William Ford "Bill" Dodd of Baton Rouge, son of former Democratic Lieutenant Governor Bill Dodd, who served from 1948 to 1952.[8] Primary results gave Freeman 586,335 (40 percent), Hardy 429,906 (29 percent), and Dodd 242,519 (17 percent). Three other Democrats polled a total of 14 percent of the primary vote.[9]

In the general election held on November 21, 1987, Hardy upset Freeman, 521,992 (53 percent) to 460,199 (47 percent). While Hardy was winning as lieutenant governor, State Representative W. Fox McKeithen, son of John McKeithen, was elected to Hardy's former position as secretary of state.[10] Incumbent Secretary of State James H. "Jim" Brown, originally from Ferriday in Concordia Parish, who had succeeded Hardy in 1980, had vacated the post to make an ill-fated run for governor.

As lieutenant governor, Hardy led the way to enact legislation creating "Tax Free Shopping," which still today gives foreigners an incentive to visit Louisiana. In turn, this concept has resulted in increases in tourism-related jobs, and in 1989 alone increased tourist spending by a record $1.2 billion.

In 1985, Hardy had assisted local entrepreneurs in the production of the full length feature film of the Cajun movie Belizaire the Cajun which was filmed in at Acadian Village in Lafayette. He was the associate producer and played a bit part in the movie. Under his leadership thereafter as lieutenant governor, the economic impact of the movie industry increased by $51 million.

In 1989, Phi Kappa Theta national fraternal organization presented Hardy with the "Man of Achievement” award. In 1991, he was presented with "The Order of the Plimsoll," the highest award of the New Orleans World Trade Center.

Stinging defeat in 1991[edit]

Hardy was defeated for reelection as lieutenant governor in 1991 by the Democrat Melinda Schwegmann of New Orleans, daughter-in-law of Jefferson Parish state legislator, gubernatorial candidate in 1971, and grocery mogul John G. Schwegmann, Jr., (1911–1995). In the primary, Hardy and Schwegmann virtually tied, 624,371 (43 percent) for Schwegmann and 620,199 (also 43 percent) for Hardy.[11]

In the general election, Schwegmann scored a large victory, 1,009,026 (59 percent) to Hardy's 693,412 (41 percent). There was speculation that Schwegmann benefited from coattails of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Edwin Washington Edwards, who won his fourth nonconsecutive term as governor in that same election over the controversial Republican David Duke. Edwards polled 1,057,031 votes (61 percent) to Duke's 671,009 (39 percent). Hardy hence ran just some 22,000 votes above Duke's tabulation.[12] Hardy thereafter retired from politics.

After she left the office of lieutenant governor, Schwegmann switched to the Republican Party. After a stint in the legislature, she attempted to regain the lieutenant governorship in the 2003 jungle primary but was badly defeated by Democrat Mitch Landrieu, brother of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. Jay Dardenne, like Hardy a former state senator and secretary of state, became the second Republican to hold the position of lieutenant governor, the winner of a special election in 2010 to succeed Mitch Landrieu, who was elected mayor of New Orleans.

Private life in Baton Rouge[edit]

Hardy is an attorney, banker, businessman, and political consultant residing in Baton Rouge with his wife Sandra "Sandi" Gatlin Hardy (also born 1943), a native of Grant Parish in north Louisiana. They have two children and two granddaughters. Gregory Paul Hardy (born 1966) his wife, Dedi, and their daughter Heather Gayle Hardy reside in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,where he practices law. Daughter Yvette Rachal Hardy Gross is a ULL graduate residing in Baton Rouge with her husband, Darrell Gross,along with their daughter Jessica Yvette Gross.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.com. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Agnes Angelle Hardy". avoyellestoday.com. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012". house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Drauzin Angelle", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1 (1988), p. 15
  5. ^ Robert Stewart, "Article idea germinates", Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, April 22, 2012
  6. ^ "Guste bows out; Hardy jumps in," Minden Press-Herald, January 7, 1987, p.1
  7. ^ "Hardy withdraws from governor's race",Minden Press-Herald, January 21, 1987, p. 1
  8. ^ Minden Press-Herald, March 13, 1987
  9. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Primary election returns, October 24, 1987
  10. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, General election returns, November 21, 1987
  11. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Primary election returns, October 19, 1991
  12. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, General election returns, Novemvber 16, 1991
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Louis "Bobby" Freeman
Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana

Paul Jude Hardy (R)
1988–1992

Succeeded by
Melinda Schwegmann
Preceded by
Wade O. Martin, Jr.
Secretary of State of Louisiana

Paul Jude Hardy (D)
1976–1980

Succeeded by
James Harvey "Jim" Brown, Jr.
Louisiana Senate
Preceded by
Francis Romero
Louisiana State Senator from Iberia and St. Martin parishes

Paul Jude Hardy (D)
1972–1976

Succeeded by
Oswald A. Decuir