Mayo in 2012
|Mayor of Monroe|
Ouachita Parish, Louisiana
Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Melvin Rambin|
|Member of the Monroe City Council, District 5|
November 1995 – June 2001
|Preceded by||Charles H. Johnson|
|Succeeded by||Robert C. Johnson|
James Earl Mayo|
March 30, 1957
Mer Rouge, Morehouse Parish, Louisiana, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Angela Washington Mayo|
|Children||Jared and Ashley Mayo|
Bastrop High School
James Earl Mayo (born March 30, 1957), is the mayor of Monroe, the seat of Ouachita Parish in northeastern Louisiana, United States. He is an African-American Democrat who endorsed Barack H. Obama of Illinois in the 2008 U.S. presidential election and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
For the second time in a year, Mayo was an unsuccessful candidate for Louisiana's 5th congressional district seat in the United States House of Representatives. He lost a runoff election on December 6, 2014, to the Republican candidate, Ralph Lee Abraham, Jr., a physician and former veterinarian from Mangham in Richland Parish. Abraham polled 134,612 votes (64.2 percent) to Mayo's 75,004 (35.8 percent).
A native of Mer Rouge in Morehouse Parish, Mayo graduated from Bastrop High School in Bastrop, the Morehouse Parish seat of government. He then completed a degree in business administration from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where he played basketball under Coach Lenny Fant. Prior to becoming mayor, he was employed by State Farm Insurance, Allstate Insurance, and the Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation. He is married to the former Angela Washington. They have two children, Jared and Ashley, graduates of historically black Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana. Mayo is a member of the New Light Baptist Church, Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, the Prince Hall Masonic lodge, and the Monroe Rotary International.
In 1992, Mayo lost a runoff election to Charles H. Johnson for the Monroe City Council from District 5, but he rebounded on November 18, 1995, when he defeated Robert C. Johnson in a special election for the unexpired council term formerly held by Charles Johnson, who died in office. Mayo won full terms on the council in 1996 and 2000.
In June 2001, Mayo was appointed interim mayor by the city council upon the death of Republican Mayor Melvin Rambin, a banker who had served only eleven-and-a-half months in the position. Mayo then won a special election as Rambin's permanent successor in October 2001, when he defeated fellow Democrat Guy Barr, Jr., 8,598 (51.2 percent) to 8,117 (48.4 percent). Another .4 of 1 percent was cast for a "No Party" candidate. Though Barr, also a State Farm Insurance agent, ran as a Democrat, he was a donor in 2000 to several Republican candidates. In November 2001, Mayo's former council opponent, Robert C. Johnson, was elected to succeed Mayo in District 5.
Mayo was reelected mayor to full four-year terms on April 17, 2004, February 9, 2008, and April 21, 2012. In the 2008 campaign, he retained the Republican consultant Lee Fletcher. Mayo told a friend that hiring Fletcher made the difference between victory and defeat.
In 2012, Mayo won his fourth term as mayor by defeating the Republican Dr. Ray Armstrong. In a 38 percent voter turnout, Mayo received 6,591 votes (54 percent) to Armstrong's 5,574 (46 percent). In addition to Armstrong, Mayo faced a challenge from the third-place candidate, Democrat Johnny Riley, a former Mayo administration official who left a position with the Louisiana Workforce Commission to run for mayor. Opponents of Mayo ran a controversial YouTube video entitled "Say No to Mayo", which attacks questionable city spending, the treatment of the police force, the inadequacy of the municipal drainage system, and the favoritism shown to Mayo supporters in the administration of city government. Mayo replied that the video is a scurrilous unfounded attack on his administration.
In July 2014, Dr. Armstrong was named chairman of the city council by a unanimous vote of his colleagues. Mayo said that his relationship with former opponent Armstrong has been distant: "I hope as chairman he will see the need to be more cooperative and work with the administration to continue the aggressive advancements we've made in several areas prior to the changing of the council." Armstrong said that "communication is key. We will always have differences in opinion, but it should be done in healthy and respectful ways. I think the City Council took a lot of hits previously because we didn't communicate with people and the media," Armstrong replied to Mayo.
2013 U.S. House bid
Mayo was a candidate in Louisiana's 5th congressional district special election, 2013, held on October 19, to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Republican Rodney Alexander. He finished third among fourteen candidates with 15,317 votes (15 percent). Mayo led in the parishes of Morehouse, East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas; the latter three have African-American majorities. The top two vote getters, both Republicans, State Senator Neil Riser of Columbia in Caldwell Parish, and political newcomer Vance McAllister, a businessman from Swartz near Monroe, met in the November 16 runoff election to select the new congressman, with McAllister winning by a large margin. Another African-American candidate from Monroe, State Representative Marcus Hunter, polled 3,088 votes (3 percent). Had all of Hunter's votes been cast for Mayo, the mayor, not McAllister, would have entered the runoff contest with Riser with a cushion of nineteen votes.
Along with Mayo and Hunter, two other Republicans seeking the seat, State Representative Jay Morris of Monroe and Clyde C. Holloway, a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission and a former U.S. representative, were eliminated. A third Democrat in the race, State Representative Robert A. Johnson of Marksville finished fifth with 9,971 votes (10 percent). Former state Representative Weldon Russell, a Democrat from Amite in Tangipahoa Parish, polled 2 percent of the vote, almost all of in and around Tangipahoa Parish, where he won a plurality as also in adjacent St. Helena and Washington parishes. Riser was supported by three sitting Republican congressmen from Louisiana; McAllister, a native of West Carroll Parish, had the celebrity endorsement of Phil Robertson of the A&E Network reality show, Duck Dynasty, filmed in West Monroe.
After his elimination from the congressional race, Mayo endorsed McAllister, whom he declared "more approachable" than Riser.
2014 congressional race
On July 5, 2014, Mayo confirmed that he woulf again run for Congress for the seat held by Vance McAllister. A supporter of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, Mayo was this time the only major Democrat in the U.S. House race, a nonpartisan blanket primary held on November 4 at the same time as general elections in the other forty-nine states.
A few weeks after McAllister's announcement of non-candidacy, which stemmed from revelation of McAllister's kissing a staff aide, who was married to a close friend of McAllister's, the congressman reversed himself and said that he is a candidate for a full term in the primary election. A poll by the Glascock Group released in early August 2014 showed McAllister leading Mayo, 27 to 21 percent. Dr. Ralph Abraham, polled third with 18 percent. In fourth place was Zach Dasher, a pharmaceutical salesman and a cousin of stars of the television series Duck Dynasty, with 14 percent. Dasher was followed by Ed Tarpley, an Alexandria lawyer and a Republican former district attorney for Grant Parish, with 9 percent, and Monroe Republican businessman Harris Brown at 6 percent. Libertarian Party candidate Clay Grant of Boyce in Rapides Parish, trailed with 5 percent. In individual match-ups with his opponents, McAllister is shown to be highly vulnerable.
In the 2014 congressional primary, Mayo led all candidates with 67,610 votes (28.2 percent) to Abraham's 55,487 (23.2 percent). Dasher finished third with 53,627 (22.4 percent), and McAllister ran fourth with 26,605 (11.1 percent). In the second round of balloting, however, Dr. Abraham handily defeated Mayor Mayo.
Despite his unsuccessful congressional campaigns, Mayo handily won reelection to his fifth term as mayor in the primary election held on March 5, 2016. He defeated three opponents, the strongest of whom was his longstanding Republican critic on the city council, Ray Armstrong. Mayo received 7,423 votes (59 percent) to Armstrong's 4,369 (34.7 percent). Two other contenders, a Democrat and a No Party candidate held the remaining 6.4 percent of the ballots cast.
- "Runoff election returns, December 6, 2014". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
- "Election results, November 4, 2014". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- "Louisiana election returns from Ouachita Parish, April 11, 1992". staticresults.sos.louisiana.gov. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "General election returns, Ouachita Parish, November 18, 1995". staticresults.sos.louisiana.gov. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Election returns, Ouachita Parish, October 2, 2001". staticresults.sos.louisiana.gov. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "MONROE, Louisiana (LA) Political Contributions by Individuals". city-data.com. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Election returns, Ouachita Parish, November 17, 2001". staticresults.sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved July 8, 2013.[permanent dead link]
- "Obituary of Dewey Lee Fletcher, Jr". Monroe News-Star. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
- "Jamie Mayo wins re-election", Monroe News Star, April 22, 2012, p. 1
- The Ouachita Citizen, March 1, 2012
- ""Say No to Mayo"". youtube.com. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- "Nina Criscuolo, "Mayor Responds to Anti-Mayo YouTube Videos", March 1, 2012". myarklamiss.com. Archived from the original on July 10, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- Scott Rogers (July 8, 2014). "moves to chair City Council". Monroe News-Star. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
- "Mayo will run for Congress, August 16, 2013". Monroe News-Star. Archived from the original on August 17, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
- "U. S. Representative -- 5th Congressional District". lasos.blob.core.windows.net. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- "Melinda Deslatte, Monroe lawmaker says he's running for 5th District". Miami Herald. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
- "Join Me for a Family Fun Day with Duck Commander Phil Robertson". vancemcallisterforcongress.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- "Mayo supports more approachable McAllister". Monroe News-Star. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- "Mayo earns leadership award, February 1, 2014". Monroe News-Star. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- Greg Hilburn (July 5, 2014). "Monroe mayor Mayo to make second run at Congress". The Alexandria Town Talk. Archived from the original on July 9, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
- Greg Hilburn. "McAllister leads 5th District poll: Democrat Monroe Mayor Mayo ranks second". The Monroe News-Star. Archived from the original on August 11, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
- "Results for Election Date: Ouachita Parish". Louisiana Secretary of State. March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
Charles H. Johnson
| Member of the Monroe City Council, District 5
James Earl "Jamie" Mayo
Robert C. Johnson
| Mayor of Monroe, Louisiana
James Earl "Jamie" Mayo