Bobby Simpson (Louisiana politician)

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Bobby Ray Simpson
Mayor-President
East Baton Rouge Parish, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US
In office
January 1, 2001 – December 31, 2004
Preceded by Thomas E. "Tom Ed" McHugh
Succeeded by Melvin "Kip" Holden
Mayor of Baker, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
In office
1992–2000
Preceded by Norman E. "Pete" Heine
Succeeded by Leroy Davis
President of the Louisiana Municipal Association
In office
2002–2003
Preceded by Ned Randolph
Succeeded by Ronnie C. Harris
Personal details
Born (1953-06-06) June 6, 1953 (age 63)
East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Allison Windham Simpson
Children Four children
Residence Baker, Louisiana
Alma mater

Baker High School

Louisiana State University
Occupation Educator; businessman
Religion Nondenominational Christian

Bobby Ray Simpson (born June 6, 1953) is an educator who served as the Republican Mayor-President, a combined municipal-parish office of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, from 2001–2004. Earlier, he was the mayor of the small city of Baker east of Baton Rouge in East Baton Rouge Parish, having served from 1992–2000.

In 2001, Simpson succeeded the retiring Tom Ed McHugh as Mayor-President by defeating Melvin "Kip" Holden, an African American Democrat in the 2000 general election. Holden then unseated Simpson in 2004 and was easily reelected in the nonpartisan blanket primary in 2008. Simpson did not seek a comeback; instead Holden was opposed by two other Republican candidates, Metro council member Wayne Carter and the former Louisiana legislative auditor and Louisiana State University professor Dan Kyle.

A native of East Baton Rouge Parish, Simpson graduated from Baker High School in 1971[1] and holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from LSU in Baton Rouge. He is a nonpracticing Certified Public Accountant. Simpson and his wife, the former Allison Windham (born 1954), have four children. They still reside in Baker and are affiliated with the non-denominational Christian church, the Bethany World Prayer Center. He is a golfer and a runner.[2]

Simpson was elected mayor of Baker in 1992 over the Democrat Frank C. Blackburn. In the primary, he led with 1,997 (32.4 percent) to 1,147 (31.1 percent). Two other Democratic candidates held the remaining nearly 37 percent of the vote.[3] In the general election, Simpson defeated Blackburn, 2,100 (54.4 percent) to 1,762 (45.6 percent).[4] In 1996, Simpson defeated a fellow Republican, Lamon L. Moody, Jr., 2,022 (82.6 percent) to 425 (17.4 percent).[5] Simpson was unopposed for a third term as mayor in March 2000, but he served less than a year thereafter upon winning election as East Baton Rouge Mayor-President. In the seeking the greater position, Simpson claimed that he had saved the city of Baker millions through careful budgeting and financial management.[2]

Six candidates, four Republicans and two Democrats, contested the October 2000 primary for Mayor-President. Democrat Holden led with 34,780 (31.2 percent), and Simpson trailed with 27,928 (25.1 percent). Republican Rolfe H. McCollister finished third with 21,850 votes (19.6 percent). Three other candidates held the remaining 24 percent. One of those unsuccessful candidates was Fred Columbus Dent, Jr. (1937–2010), a former Green Beret and the son of the late Louisiana Register of State Lands Lucille May Grace. He drew 6 percent of the vote.[6] Simpson then defeated Holden in the November 7 general with 93,952 (56.9 percent) to 71,087 (43.1 percent). Simpson outpolled Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush in East Baton Rouge Parish, who received 89,128 votes (52.7 percent).[7]

Mayor Simpson was elected in 2002 as president of the Louisiana Municipal Association, having succeeded Ned Randolph of Alexandria in Rapides Parish.[8] He was also president of the Louisiana Conference of Mayors. Early in 2004, he unveiled a 10-year plan endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors with the goal of ending chronic homelessness in Baton Rouge. Simpson endorsed the Samaritan Initiative, an effort to tap into community-wide resources to move the homeless from the streets and temporary shelters into houses.[9]

Faced with crime problems, Simpson was active in the organization of a task force to catch suspected serial killer Derrick Todd Lee. Caught after ten months as a fugitive in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2003, Lee waived extradition and was returned to Baton Rouge. The case caused Baton Rouge police to re-examine cases previously excluded because there were no DNA connections.[10]

By the time he sought reelection as Mayor-President, Simpson's political fortunes had plummeted. In addition to Holden, five other opponents filed for the office. Holden led in the primary with 39,470 (35.1 percent) to Simpson’s 38,206 (33.9 percent).[11] In the general election, Holden unseated Simpson, 94,802 (53.9 percent) to 81,142 (46.1 percent). Simpson trailed the second President Bush in his reelection bid by 18,801 ballots in East Baton Rouge Parish.[12]

Simpson began his career as a teacher and dean of students at the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired in Baton Rouge. On November 30, 2009, he returned to that institution as the interim director, pending a national search for a permanent director. Simpson is certified as a school principal, supervisor of student teachers, and instructor of the blind and partially sighted. Prior to his latest appointment, Simpson had been chief operations officer at JTS Realty Services.[13] Simpson was hired at JTS by developer Tommy Spinosa.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Baker High School, Baker, LA". classmates.com. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Biographical Information" (PDF). ich.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 15, 2004. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Louisiana election returns, March 10, 1992". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved November 30, 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Louisiana election returns, April 11, 1992". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved November 30, 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Louisiana election returns, March 12, 1996". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved November 29, 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Louisiana election returns October 7, 2000". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved November 30, 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Louisiana election returns, November 7, 2000". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved November 30, 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "LATA Newsletter". laota.com. Retrieved November 20, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Mayor President Bobby Simpson . . . On H.R. 4057" (PDF). ich.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 15, 2004. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  10. ^ "The Politics of Murder: Will Baton Rouge Clean House?". karisable.com. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Louisiana election returns, September 18, 2004". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved November 30, 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Louisiana election returns, November 2, 2004". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved November 30, 2009. [dead link]
  13. ^ "State of Louisiana, Department of Education, Special School District" (PDF). lsvi.org. Retrieved November 30, 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Where Are They Now?". 225batonrouge.com. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas E. "Tom Ed" McHugh
Baton Rouge Mayor-President

Bobby Ray Simpson
2001–2004

Succeeded by
Melvin "Kip" Holden
Preceded by
Norman E. “Pete” Heine
Mayor of Baker, Louisiana

Bobby Ray Simpson
1992–2000

Succeeded by
Leroy Davis
Preceded by
Ned Randolph of Alexandria
President of the Louisiana Municipal Association

Bobby Ray Simpson
2002–2003

Succeeded by
Ronnie C. Harris of Gretna