Armand Brinkhaus

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Armand Brinkhaus
Louisiana State Representative
for St. Landry Parish
In office
Preceded bySteven J. Dupuis
Sidney S. Sylvester
Succeeded byWalter James Champagne Jr.
Louisiana State Senator for District 26
(Acadia, Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, and St. Landry parishes), formerly District 24
In office
Preceded byRobert K. Guillory
Succeeded byTommy Casanova
Personal details
Born(1935-11-07)November 7, 1935
Sunset, St. Landry Parish
Louisiana, USA
DiedFebruary 12, 2017(2017-02-12) (aged 81)
Lafayette, Louisiana
Cause of deathShort illness
Resting placeSt. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau, Louisiana
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Margaret Bellemin Brinkhaus
RelationsRoderick Miller (brother-in-law)
ChildrenSeven children
ParentsDr. Armand L. and Julia Thoms Brinkhaus
ResidenceSunset, Louisiana
Alma materSunset, Louisiana, High School

Spring Hill College
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

Armand Joseph Brinkhaus, Sr. (November 7, 1935 – February 12, 2017),[1] was an American lawyer who was a Democratic former member of both the Louisiana House of Representatives (1968-1976)[2] and the Louisiana State Senate (1976-1996).[3] He was known for his promotion of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana.


The son of Dr. Armand L. Brinkhaus and the former Juliet Thoms, Brinkhaus graduated from Sunset High School, the Roman Catholic Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, then the University of Southwestern Louisiana at Lafayette, from which in 1958 he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1960, he received his Juris Doctor from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. He was a member of the American and St. Landry Parish bar associations, the American Judicature Society, and the American Trial Lawyers Association. He was the first law clerk at the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit in Lake Charles, working under Judges Albert Tate, Jr. and Cleveland Fruge. He practiced law with Judge Kaliste Saloom in Lafayette and became a partner in the law firm of Olivier and Brinkhaus in Sunset, at which he continued to practice until his death.[4]

Brinkhaus served on the boards of St. Landry Homestead Federal Savings Bank, the Opelousas-St. Landry Chamber of Commerce, Doctor's Hospital of Opelousas, and the South St. Landry Community Library. Brinkhaus was affiliated with the Southwest Rehabilitation Center, the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts of America, Lions International, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Woodmen of the World, the National Rifle Association, the Louisiana Cattleman's Association, and the Roman Catholic men's organization, the Knights of Columbus.[5][6]

Brinkhaus and his wife, the former Margaret Bellemin, had seven children. Margaret Brinkhaus is a native of Grand Coteau, a small town in St. Landry Parish. Like her husband, she graduated from nearby Sunset High School and subsequently received a degree from Maryville College in St. Louis, Missouri. In recent years, she has operated a bed and breakfast in a restored railroad complex and has been involved in the canning of jellies, jams, and relishes as well as numerous arts and crafts enterprises. The Brinkhauses attended St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau[7] in St. Landry Parish, where his funeral service was held.

Brinkhaus also managed two family farms and played the piano, saxophone, and clarinet.[1]

He died of a short illness on February 12, 2017, at the age of eighty-one at Lafayette General Hospital in Lafayette.[4]

Political career[edit]

In the state House under the administrations of Governors John McKeithen and Edwin Edwards, Brinkhaus served on CODOFIL, in which capacity he received the L'Ordre de la Pleiade for his work in promoting French language and culture.[5]

On August 19, 1972, having earlier in the year taken the oath of office for his second term in the Louisiana state House, Brinkhaus ran in the Democratic closed primary, prior to the establishment of the Louisiana nonpartisan blanket primary system, for Louisiana's 8th congressional district seat, since disbanded. He polled 31,934 votes (28.2 percent), but victory went to former U.S. Representative Gillis William Long of Alexandria, who finished with 61,452 votes (52.2 percent). Another contender was Democratic state Senator J. E. Jumonville, Sr., of Ventress in Pointe Coupee Parish.[8] Long then reclaimed the seat by defeating in the general election held on November 7, 1972, the American Independent Party choice, Dr. S. R. Abramson of Marksville in Avoyelles Parish and the Republican Roy C. Strickland, then of Gonzales in Ascension Parish.[9]

Brinkhaus chaired the Senate Education Committee and was a major promoter of his alma mater, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He authored legislation to establish special protection for school teachers facing acts of violence from their unruly pupils. His law created the crime of assault of a school teacher with an enhanced penalty. Brinkhaus worked to provide low interest loans for the purchase of school buses and greater operational allowances for bus drivers. He worked for increases in pay for teachers and support personnel as well as for additional supplements to retired educators. He led the effort to require that a teacher evaluation plan be developed by local school boards, rather than the Louisiana Department of Education.[1]

Senator Brinkhaus also served at various times on the Senate Finance, Judiciary, and Agriculture committees.[5] He sponsored legislation to halt the distribution of campaign contributions to legislators within the Louisiana State Capitol, the governor’s mansion, or any other state office building. He voted to require the disclosure of certain expenditures by persons who lobby the legislature and to require that individual legislators disclose the receipt of gifts of transportation, food, lodging, or entertainment.[1]

After five terms in the state Senate, Brinkhaus lost his bid for reelection in 1995 to the Republican Tommy Casanova, a Louisiana State University football legend. Casanova polled 21,543 votes (57.7 percent) to Brinkhaus's 15,793 (42.3 percent).[10] Casanova then vacated the seat after one term.

In addition to his legal practice, Brinkhaus was affiliated with Marta C Turksel Educational Consulting, location not specified.[11]

Brinkhaus created the Dr. Armand L. and Julia Thoms Brinkhaus Fund to benefit the Dupre Library at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. On November 7, 2009, the Acadian Museum in Erath inducted Brinkhaus into the "Order of Living Legends."[5]

One of Brinkhaus' brother-in-law was the Republican state Representative Roderick Miller of Lafayette, whose term extended from 1966 to 1968, when Miller was defeated by Edgar G. "Sonny" Mouton, Jr., for a seat in the state Senate. Miller's second wife was Brinkhaus' sister, Anna Jane Gaiennie Miller.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "Regular Session, 2000 HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 10" (PDF). Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  2. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2020" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 6, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  3. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana State Senate, 1880 - Present" (PDF). Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Armand Joseph Brinkhaus (1935-2017)". The Baton Rouge Advocate. February 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d "Living Legends: Armand Brinkhaus". Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  6. ^ "Louisiana: Brinkhaus, Armand", Who's Who in American Politics, 2007-2008 (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2007), pp. 652
  7. ^ "Margaret Brinkhaus biography". Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  8. ^ "Louisiana District 8 - D Primary". Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  9. ^ "LA District 8". Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  10. ^ "Results for Election Date: 10/21/1995". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  11. ^ "Armand J. Brinkhaus". Retrieved May 23, 2014.
Preceded by
Steven J. Dupuis

Sidney S. Sylvester

Louisiana State Representative for St. Landry Parish

Armand Joseph Brinkhaus, Sr.

Succeeded by
Walter James Champagne, Jr.
Preceded by
Robert K. Guillory
Louisiana State Senator for District 26
(Acadia, Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, and St. Landry parishes), formerly District 24

Armand Joseph Brinkhaus, Sr.

Succeeded by
Tommy Casanova