Walter Lee (Louisiana politician)

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Walter L. Lee
Clerk of Court of Evangeline Parish, Louisiana
In office
June 7, 1956 – January 2012
Preceded by Richard Kenneth Reed
Succeeded by Randall M. "Randy" Deshotel
Personal details
Born (1921-09-09) September 9, 1921 (age 93)
Place of birth missing
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Residence Ville Platte
Evangeline Parish
Louisiana, USA
Occupation Public official
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Battles/wars Pacific Theater of Operations of World War II

Walter L. Lee (born September 9, 1921)[1] is the former Clerk of the 13th Judicial District Court in Evangeline Parish in south Louisiana, a position which he held from 1956 to 2012. Until his defeat for a fifteenth term in the nonpartisan blanket primary in 2011, Lee had encountered virtually no substantive opponents over the fifty-six years that he was the clerk of court.

Upon his election, Lee was sworn into office as clerk of court on June 7, 1956, by his predecessor, Richard Kenneth Reed (1917-1999), a real estate businessman from Mamou, who held the position for the preceding eight years.[2]

A Democrat, Lee in 2011 received 21 percent of the ballots cast, a third-place finish in his last primary election for clerk of court. He had just turned ninety years of age at the time of that election. Instead the Democrat Randall M. Deshotel and a Republican, Ben Soileau,[3] advanced to the general election held on November 19. Deshotel then defeated Soileau, 52-48 percent, to claim the right to succeed Lee.[4]

In defense of the reelection that eluded him in 2011, Lee said that his office, based in the parish seat of Ville Platte, "is rated one of the best run offices in the state. This office is completely computerized, and I have a staff of employees who are all professional. As the old saying goes, don’t fix something that is not broken; and this office is certainly not broken."[5] In his last term, Lee suffered from strokes and was at the time of his defeat confined to a wheelchair.[6]

Lee served in the United States Navy in the South Pacific during World War II.[6] He is a former member of the board of directors of the Federal Land Bank and the Louisiana Clerks of Court Association. Because of his longevity in office, he was inducted in 2009 into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield. He is thus far the only clerk of court in Louisiana history to have received this designation.[7]

Lee should not be confused with Walter C. Lee (born October 1934), a Shreveport Republican[8] and an elected member of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from District 4. This Walter Lee is also a former school superintendent in both Caddo and DeSoto parishes in northwestern Louisiana.


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Click By Voter Walter Lee, September 1921". voterportal.sos.la.gov. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Heather Bogard, "Looking Back"". The Ville Platte Gazette, November 29, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Results for Election Date: 10/22/2011: Evangeline Parish". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Results for Election Date: 11/19/2011: Evangeline Parish". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  5. ^ "About Walter Lee". Facebook. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Louisiana Board of Ethics". ethics.state.la.us. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Walter Lee". lapoliticalmuseum.com. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Click Walter Lee, October 1934". voterportalsos.la.gov. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
Preceded by
Richard Kenneth Reed
Clerk of Court of Evangeline Parish, Louisiana

Walter L. Lee
1956–2012

Succeeded by
Randall M. "Randy" Deshotel