Bryant Hammett

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Bryant O'Dare Hammett, Jr.
Louisiana State Representative from District 21 (Concordia, East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas parishes)
In office
Preceded by Al Ater
Succeeded by John A. "Andy" Anders
Secretary of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
In office
2006 – January 14, 2008
Succeeded by Robert J. Barham
Personal details
Born (1956-09-30) September 30, 1956 (age 59)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Susan Cotton Hammett

Virginia H. Martinez
Dorothy Elizabeth Hammett

Laura Danielle Hammett
Residence Ferriday, Concordia Parish, Louisiana, USA
Alma mater

Huntington High School

Louisiana Tech University
Occupation Engineer; Land surveyor
Religion Presbyterian

Bryant O'Dare Hammett, Jr. (born September 30, 1956), is a civil engineer and land surveyor from Ferriday in Concordia Parish in eastern Louisiana, who served as a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1992-2006.[1]


Hammett graduated in 1974 from the private Huntington High School in Ferriday. He subsequently earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. He is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers,[2] and the American Council of Engineering Companies.[3] He is a former member of the Ferriday Planning and Zoning Committee and served too as the Ferriday city engineer.[2] Hammett is affiliated with Ducks Unlimited and the National Rifle Association.[4]

Hammett and his wife, the former Susan Cotton (also born 1956), originally from Jonesville in Catahoula Parish, are elders at the First Presbyterian Church of Ferriday.[2] The couple has three daughters, Virginia L. "Ginny" Hammett Martinez (born 1981), Dorothy Elizabeth Hammett (born 1983), and Laura Danielle Hammett (born 1986).[5]

Political career[edit]

At thirty-five, Hammett was elected in 1991 to House District 21 (Concordia, East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas parishes). The seat became vacant when the Democrat Al Ater, a Ferriday farmer, declined to seek a third term. Ater was later the first assistant Louisiana secretary of state who then became the acting secretary of state from 2005–2006, upon the death of Fox McKeithen. In the nonpartisan blanket primary on October 19, 1991, Hammett led the African American Democrat, Moses Junior Williams (born 1952) of Tallulah, the seat of Madison Parish, 7,464 (49.8 percent) to 4,746 (31.7 percent). A third candidate, Samuel Thomas, trailed with 2,774 votes (18.5 percent).[6] In the second round, Hammett topped Williams, 9,381 (52.6) to 8,451 (47.4 percent). His margin came primarily from his own Concordia Parish.[7]

In 1995, Hammett nearly won outright in the primary, having polled 6,464 votes (47.5 percent) to 5,215 (38.3 percent) for the Democrat Sammy Davis, Jr., an African American town council member in Ferriday,[8] and 1,941 (14.3 percent) for the Republican Steve Alan Fleming (born 1949) of Vidalia, the seat of Concordia Parish.[9] Hammett then defeated Davis, 8,153 (56.7 percent) to 6,231 (43.3 percent).[10] In a rematch in 1999, Hammett prevailed once more over Davis, 9,315 (68.6 percent) to 4,269 (31.4 percent).[11]

During the administrations of Governors Mike Foster and Kathleen Blanco, Hammett was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. In 2001, Representative Hammett introduced legislation to add the Delta Music Museum in downtown Ferriday to jurisdiction of the Louisiana secretary of state. Under this arrangement, the city of Ferriday will own the museum and contribute to the budget, but the state will fund, operate, and staff the museum.[12]

Hammett ran unopposed in 2003 but resigned his seat in 2006 to accept a position in the State Office of Community Development. His successor is Democrat Andy Anders of Clayton and Ferriday. Hammett headed a team overseeing disaster recovery for state and government infrastructure affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He was one of four managers who supervised the recovery.[13]

Several months later, Hammett left the hurricane recovery position to accept appointment from Governor Blanco as the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.[4][14] Hammett was succeeded at Wildlife and Fisheries by former State Senator Robert J. Barham of Morehouse Parish, the appointee of Governor Bobby Jindal.

In 2007, as the Blanco administration neared its end, Hammett ran unsuccessfully for the District 32 seat in the state Senate, which embraces all or parts of ten parishes. He lost the race to the Republican Neil Riser of Columbia in Caldwell Parish. Riser, a funeral home operator and the first Republican ever to hold this Senate seat, polled 15,622 votes (54.9 percent) to Hammett’s 12,817 (45.1 percent). Hammett ran best in Concordia and neighboring Catahoula parishes. [15]

Louisiana radio talk show host Moon Griffon predicted on his program on August 8, 2013, that Hammett will again run for the state Senate if Neil Riser, who defeated him for that position in 2007, should win the pending October 19 special election for Louisiana's 5th congressional district seat. A vacancy in the state Senate would require a special election to fill that position.[16]


  1. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2008" (PDF). Retrieved November 24, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "House District 21". Retrieved November 24, 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ "American Council of Engineering Companies". Retrieved November 24, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Mr. Bryant O. Hammett, Jr.". Retrieved November 24, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Wedding: Martinez and Hammett". Natchez Democrat, Natchez, Mississippi. Retrieved November 24, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 19, 1991". Retrieved November 24, 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Louisiana election returns, November 16, 1991". Retrieved November 24, 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Hammett reelected to Louisiana House, October 24, 1999". Natchez Democrat. Retrieved November 24, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 21, 1995". Retrieved November 24, 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Louisiana election returns, November 18, 1995". Retrieved November 24, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 23, 1999". Retrieved November 24, 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Delta Music Museum". Retrieved November 23, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Bryant Hammett resigns, June 16, 2006". Natchez Democrat. Retrieved November 24, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Louisiana Fisheries". Retrieved November 23, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Louisiana election returns, November 17, 2007". Retrieved November 29, 2009. [dead link]
  16. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, August 8, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Al Ater
Louisiana State Representative from District 21 (Concordia, East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas parishes)

Bryant O’Dare Hammett, Jr.

Succeeded by
John Felix "Andy" Anders
Preceded by
Secretary, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Bryant O'Dare Hammett, Jr.

Succeeded by
Robert J. Barham