John Brennan Hussey

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John Brennan Hussey
Mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana
In office
December 31, 1982 – December 27, 1990
Preceded by William T. Hanna
Succeeded by Hazel Beard
Personal details
Born (1934-05-29) May 29, 1934 (age 82)
Shreveport, Caddo Parish
Louisiana, USA
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Emily Ann Wile Hussey
Children

Brennan Hussey
John Hussey

Five grandchildren
Residence Shreveport, Louisiana
Alma mater

Southfield School
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Louisiana State University Law Center
Occupation Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Service/branch

Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Army

United States Army Reserve

John Brennan Hussey, Jr. (born May 29, 1934),[1] an attorney who specializes in contracts, served for two terms from 1982 to 1990 as the Democratic mayor of his native Shreveport, Louisiana. Previously he was a one-term member of the Shreveport City Council and in 1980 presided as the council chairman.

Background[edit]

Hussey graduated from the private elementary and junior high institution, the Southfield School in the South Highlands neighborhood of Shreveport and was inducted in 2008 into the Southfield hall of fame.[2] He thereafter graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and in 1958 the Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge, at which he was managing editor of the LSU Law Review. Hussey was a captain of the Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Army and the Army Reserve. He is affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, the Council on Alcoholism, the Legal Aid Society, and the Shreveport Association for Children with Learning Disabilities.[3]

Political life[edit]

In 1978, Hussey was elected to the Shreveport City Council under the new mayor-council single-member district plan. In a runoff election, he defeated a fellow Democrat, businessman William Hardy "Bill" Bush (1943-2014), with whom he later became friends.[4]

Bush held the council seat that Hussey vacated for the two terms that Hussey was mayor. When Hussey was term-limited in 1990, Bush himself ran for mayor and finished in a relatively weak third place in a 12-candidate field.[4][5]

In both 1982 and 1986, Hussey defeated then Democrat Don W. Williamson, a former member of both houses of the state legislator from Caddo Parish, in two races for mayor. Thereafter, Williamson, in political retirement, joined the Republican Party. Williamson was considered a better campaigner than Hussey, but the former lawmaker and businessman was mostly identified with northern Caddo Parish, rather than Shreveport, where he had relocated only several years earlier.

In 1994, Hussey sought a comeback as mayor but finished third in the nonpartisan blanket primary with 11,833 votes (22 percent). In the ensuing general election, the Republican Robert W. "Bo" Williams defeated the African-American Democrat Roy Cary. Williams served one term as mayor until his defeat in 1998 by the Democrat Keith Hightower.

Hussey was also an elected member of the first Shreveport City Council under the mayor-council single-member district format, having served from 1978 until 1982, when he became mayor. On the council, Hussey drafted the rules to govern city council proceedings. He developed good working relationships with the council's then three black members as well as the council's first president, former Mayor James C. Gardner, and Charles B. Peatross, who went on to become a judge of the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit in Shreveport. In his memoirs, Gardner said that Hussey "had read everything available on politics and government."

Though a Democrat, Hussey appointed a Republican, Harriet Belchic, to the Shreveport Women's Commission. He sat on the board of directors of the Louisiana Municipal Association and was a vice president of the Louisiana Conference of Mayors.[3]

Family[edit]

Hussey, who is Roman Catholic was married to Emily Ann "Mimi" Wile (c. 1937-2015), who was Jewish. The couple had two sons. Emily died in 2015.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Hussey, May 1934". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved June 15, 2014. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Southfield Hall of Fame". southfield-school.org. Archived from the original on December 7, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Louisiana: Hussey, John Brennan, Who's Who in American Politics, 2003-2004, 19th ed., Vol. 1 (Alabama-Montana) (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2003), pp. 782-783
  4. ^ a b "Bill Bush, former councilman, dies in fall". The Shreveport Times. October 2, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Official Election Results Results: 10/6/1990". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 26, 2014.  line feed character in |title= at position 26 (help)
  6. ^ John Andrew Prime. "Former Shreveport first lady dies". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 

James C. Gardner, Jim Gardner and Shreveport, Vol. II (Shreveport: Ritz Publications, 2006), pp. 225, 253

John B. Hussey, Oral History, Louisiana State University in Shreveport Archives

Preceded by
William T. "Bill" Hanna
Mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana

John Brennan Hussey, Jr.
1982–1990

Succeeded by
Hazel Beard