|Hyram Barney Copeland, Jr.|
|Mayor of Vidalia, Louisiana|
|Preceded by||Sam Randazzo|
|Succeeded by||"Buz" Craft|
December 30, 1940 |
Ferriday, Concordia Parish
|Spouse(s)||Sandra E. Copeland (born 1944)|
|Children||Stacey Denee' Copeland(born 1966)|
|Alma mater||University of Louisiana at Monroe|
|Service/branch||United States Army Reserve|
Hyram Barney Copeland, Jr. (born December 30, 1940), is the departing mayor of Vidalia, the seat of government of Concordia Parish in eastern Louisiana, opposite the Mississippi River from Natchez, Mississippi. First elected in 1992, Copeland was unseated in the primary election held on March 5, 2016, by his fellow Democrat, businessman Edwy Gene "Buz" Craft (born November 1959), 1,025 votes (53.7 percent) to 885 (46.3 percent).
Copeland was born in Ferriday in Concordia Parish and graduated from Ferriday High School. He attended the Southern Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville and the University of Louisiana at Monroe, then known as Northeast Louisiana State College. From 1965 to 1971, he was a member of the United States Army Reserve. For more than twenty years, he worked for Sears as a department manager in Vidalia. He was self-employed from 1977 to 2000, while he also served part of that time as mayor.
A Democrat, Copeland served on the Vidalia City Council from 1976 until his election as mayor. On March 10, 1992, he unseated the incumbent Mayor Sam Randazzo (1925 – deceased), also a Democrat, 1,156 (52.9 percent) to 1,030 (47.1 percent). Four years earlier, on March 8, 1988, Randazzo had defeated two other Democrats with nearly two thirds of the vote to win his own second term as mayor. In 2008, Copeland won his fifth term as mayor over another Democrat, William "Bill" Murray, 1,088 (61.6 percent) to 678 (38.4 percent). Copeland was unopposed for his current sixth term in 2012.
Currently, his membership includes the Concordia Parish Chamber of Commerce, Highway 84 Commission, Concordia Parish Economic and Industrial Development District, and the Mississippi River Parkway Commission. In addition, Copeland serves on the Board of Directors of the following organizations: Louisiana Energy and Power Authority (4 terms as Chairman); Louisiana Gas Authority (Past President); Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative; and Natchez Regional Hospital. Other affiliations have included Kisatchie-Delta Regional Planning and Development District, Macon Ridge Economic Development Corporation, Governor's Economic Development Task Force and Highway Task Force,and the Louisiana Committee of Development .
In 2010, Copeland was honored with the designation of Concordian of the Year by the Concordia Parish Chamber of Commerce.
In May 2011, Copeland struggled with the highest Mississippi River water levels Vidalia had ever faced and the looming loss of three hundred jobs. Citizens, including prisoners, built 8-foot barriers downtown around the medical and convention centers and a hotel, and the two municipal water wells.
In 2013, along with George Dement, former mayor of Bossier City in northwestern Louisiana and several others, Copeland was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Natchitoches.
- "Strong-Vestal, April 14, 2013". The Natchez Democrat. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
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- "Results for Election Date: Concordia Parish". Louisiana Secretary of State. March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
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- "Landrieu’s GOP Endorsements Pale In Comparison To 2008 Election". thehayride.com. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
|Mayor of Vidalia, Louisiana
Hyram Barney Copeland, Jr.