Quentin Dastugue

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Quentin D. Dastugue
Louisiana House of Representatives District 82 (Jefferson and Orleans parishes)
In office
1980–1996
Preceded by Harold Toca
Succeeded by Steve Scalise
Personal details
Born December 1955
Political party Democrat-turned-Republican
Spouse(s) Penny Matherne Dastugue
Children Three daughters
Residence Mandeville, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, USA
Alma mater Georgia Institute of Technology
Occupation Businessman
Religion Roman Catholic

Quentin D. Dastugue (born December 1955) is a founding partner and the chief executive officer of the New Orleans-based real estate firm Property One, Inc., and a former four-term member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. Dastugue (pronounced DAS TOOG) was elected as a Democrat to the state House in 1979 and 1983 as the District 82 representative for suburban Jefferson Parish. In 1984, as he began his second term in the House, he switched his affiliation to the Republican Party to support the reelection of U.S. President Ronald W. Reagan and Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush.

As the chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works, Dastugue authored and secured passage of the state Transportation Trust Fund and the TIMED program. In 1994, he received one of eleven national "Legislator of the Year" awards.

In December 1989, Dastugue announced that he would run as a Republican for the U.S. Senate in a bid to unseat popular Democratic incumbent J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., of Shreveport.[1] However, when the Louisiana Republican Party held a state convention on January 13, 1990, the delegates endorsed State Senator Ben Bagert of New Orleans as the official party choice. Dastugue then abandoned plans to make the race. So did another candidate, W. Fox McKeithen, at the time the Louisiana Secretary of State and like Dastugue and Bagert a former Democrat. Bagert later withdrew from the contest, and Johnston defeated the remaining Republican candidate, state Representative David Duke, then of Jefferson Parish and a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

In 1995, rather than seeking a fifth term in the legislature, Dastugue entered the gubernatorial race as the early official choice of the Republican state leadership. However, he withdrew from the governor's contest when he failed to make headway in the race to raise money. Thereafter, most GOP leaders coalesced behind state Senator Murphy J. "Mike" Foster, Jr., of St. Mary Parish, who switched from Democratic to Republican affiliation during the campaign. Two other Republicans, also former Democrats and former governors, ran too, Charles Elson "Buddy" Roemer, III, who in 1991 had upset the right-to-life contingent of the party, and David C. Treen, who soon withdrew from consideration. Ultimately, Foster handily won the election in a runoff.

Education and business experience[edit]

Dastugue earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Upon his graduation in 1977, he returned to his native New Orleans to assume a position as commercial leasing manager for Medallion Management, Inc., with responsibilities for office buildings and shopping centers. In 1983, he joined Property Network, Inc., and progressed from investment sales broker to vice president of the commercial sales division to senior vice president for Louisiana, Florida, and Texas. In 1985, he founded Property One, a full service commercial real estate firm that has grown to be one of the largest firms in the region with over five offices across South Louisiana.

Dastugue's commercial real estate experience includes leasing, investment sales, development, property management, construction project management, and consulting. He has also served on numerous civic organizations and real estate industry committees. He was honored by the Jefferson Board of Realtors as "Realtor Associate of the Year". He served on the board of directors of WYES public television and the New Orleans Regional Chamber of Commerce. He sits on the board of the Idea Village, and the Audubon Institute. In addition to his engineering credentials, Dastugue is a graduate of the Loyola University Institute of Politics. He has also been a youth basketball and softball coach for his three daughters.

Dastugue called for levee board reforms[edit]

As a legislator, Dastugue was a leader of a small group who questioned the accountability of the levee board system of controlling the Mississippi River levees. He filed bills to reform the levee boards year after year during the 1980s, when then Democratic Governor Edwin Washington Edwards was at the zenith of his power. Dastugue said that establishment politicians ridiculed his reform attempts. Dastugue was, unfortunately in his view, vindicated by the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. "What bothered me the most was seeing intelligent people turn their backs on such an important public service," Dastugue said of his earlier efforts on behalf of stronger levees.

Elections of 1979, 1983, 1987, 1991, and 2003[edit]

Dastugue was first elected in 1979 when he defeated a two-term incumbent. He won with more than 60 percent of the vote. At the age of twenty-three, he was the third youngest person ever elected to the Louisiana legislature.

In 1987, Dastugue won his first election as a Republican by a large margin in his metropolitan district. He received 7,210 votes (64 percent) to 3,432 ballots (30 percent) for the Democrat Dale Cannizzaro. A second Republican, J. W. West, polled the remaining 6 percent.[2]

In 1991, in his last election, Dastugue polled 8,456 ballots (73 percent), to 3,089 (27 percent) for Democrat Alfred J. "Al" Ferry. Ferry ran again in 1995 but lost by nearly the same margin to Dastugue's successor, fellow Republican Steve Scalise.[3]

Penny Dastugue[edit]

Dastugue lives in Mandeville with his wife, the former Penny Matherne (born 1959).

Mrs. Dastugue is a former elected Republican member of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Education from District 1 (the New Orleans suburbs). She won the seat in the November 15, 2003, general election. She polled 57,205 votes (54 percent) to Democrat Barbara Ferguson's 48,729 ballots (46 percent). A second Republican candidate, incumbent Donna Contois, was eliminated in the primary the preceding month.

Penny Dastugue was not a candidate for reelection to the BESE board in the primary held on October 20, 2007. Her fellow Republican, James "Jim" Garvey of Metairie, was unopposed for the seat. After his inauguration early in 2008, Republican Governor Bobby Jindal named Penny Dastugue to continue to serve on the BESE board, a body which consists of both elected and appointed members.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dastugue enters Senate race", Minden Press-Herald, December 20, 1989, p. 8
  2. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 24, 1987". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved January 2, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 19, 1991". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved January 2, 2009. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Harold Toca
Louisiana State Representative from District 82 (Jefferson and Orleans parishes)

Quentin D. Dastugue
1980–1996

Succeeded by
Steve Scalise