Michael Thompson (Louisiana politician)
|Michael Francis "Mike" Thompson|
|Louisiana State Representative
for Lafayette Parish (District 43)
|Succeeded by||Odon L. "Don" Bacqué, Jr.|
|Born||November 21, 1942|
|Political party||Democratic-turned-Republican (1978)|
|Residence||Lafayette, Louisiana, USA|
|Alma mater||Tulane University Law School|
Michael Francis Thompson, known as Mike Thompson (born November 21, 1942), is a home builder from Lafayette, Louisiana, who served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1972-1988. Thompson was a Democrat for his first six years of service, but he switched to the Republican Party for the balance of his tenure.
He was defeated in the 1987 general election by a "No Party" candidate, who served only one term. Thompson is particularly remembered for his strong support of the right-to-life cause. A Roman Catholic, he graduated from Tulane University Law School.
Supporting conservative causes
In 1973, Thompson introduced a bill asking the United States Congress for a constitutional amendment to make it a crime to kill a child during delivery. Attorney General William J. Guste said the existing state law since Roe v. Wade rendered the Louisiana abortion ban "unconstitutional and unenforceable."
Thompson's right-to-life supporters organized against the proposed Equal Rights Amendment on the premise that if implemented it would have federalized family law. Therefore, they convinced the lawmaker to reverse his previously stated support for the ERA. In 1976, as he entered his second term in the legislature, Thompson and several conservative colleagues, including Dan Richey of Ferriday, cast critical votes in the House Civil Law Committee against the ERA, which lost 5-9 in the panel and was therefore not referred to the full House for an up-or-down vote.
Lafayette has been a center of anti-abortion activism since the United States Supreme Court issued the Roe v. Wade decision of January 22, 1973, which legalized access to abortion. Certain Lafayette physicians signed a statement declaring that life begins before birth and vowed not to perform abortions, which remain rare in Acadiana, a term referring to French cultural Louisiana. The doctors said that, despite Roe v. Wade, "we feel compelled to continue to practice our profession in accordance with our moral beliefs, central to which is the preservation of life".
In 2006, the Desormeaux Foundation, which funds a Lafayette crisis pregnancy center, honored three physicians at the forefront of the anti-abortion movement, as well as former Lafayette Republican Mayor Dud Lastrapes, and Thompson.
In 1978, upon his switch to the Republican Party, Thompson was a candidate in Louisiana's 7th congressional district, since disbanded. He polled 42,247 votes (32.6 percent) to the incumbent Democrat John Breaux's 78,297 (60.4 percent). A second Democrat, John W. "Johnny" Myers, held the remaining 7 percent of the ballots cast. Thompson's strongest showing was his 37.6 percent of the vote in Lafayette Parish.
Unseated in the 1987 general election
From 1980-1988, Thompson was a colleague of Ron Gomez, a Lafayette Democrat in neighboring District 44 who ultimately switched parties but only after leaving the legislature. In his memoirs entitled My Name Is Ron And I'm a Recovering Legislator, Gomez describes Thompson as his seat-mate, friend, and "chief mentor" who worked to get Gomez appointed to the Commerce and Ways and Means committees. In 1979, when Gomez won his first term in the House, Thompson prevailed by just over 800 against Democrat Mike Leblanc.
In his last election contest in 1987, Thompson, the District 43 representative, was challenged by the independent Odon L. "Don" Bacqué, Jr., and the Democrat, Vance Lanier. Thompson led in the October 24 nonpartisan blanket primary with 7,345 votes (45 percent) to Bacqué's 6,473 (40 percent) and Lanier's 2,377 (15 percent). In the November 21 general election, the Lanier backers swung strongly to Bacqué, who prevailed, 6,811 (57 percent) to Thompson's 5,106 ballots (43 percent). Thompson's defeat was also attributed to the failure of some 2,200 Republican voters who participated in the primary to return to the polls for the second round of balloting. The successful Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Paul Hardy, won in Lafayette Parish over the Democratic incumbent Bobby Freeman at the same time that Thompson was going down to defeat.
Mike Thompson Homes
Thompson and his second wife, the former Cheryl Frey (born October 10, 1947), work together in their home construction business. They build homes throughout Acadiana, mostly in the French country and traditional Louisiana styles. He is a past president of the Acadian Home Builders Association and was designated "Builder of the Year" in 1997. He is the treasurer and member of the board of directors of the Louisiana Home Builders Association.
- "Michael Francis Thompson". search.ancestry.com. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
- "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2016" (PDF). house.louisiana.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 6, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
- "Right to Life Legislation Does Not Prohibit Abortion," Minden Press-Herald, May 17, 1973, p. 1.
- Billy Hathorn, The Republican Party in Louisiana (Natchitoches, Louisiana: Northwestern State University, 1980), pp. 275-276.
- Ron Gomez, My Name Is Ron And I'm a Recovering Legislator: Memoirs of a Louisiana State Representative, Lafayette, Louisiana: Zemog Publishing, 2000, pgs. 69, 80l ISBN 0-9700156-0-7
- Gomez, Recovering Legislator, p. 37.
- "Louisiana primary election returns, October 24, 1987". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
- "Louisiana general election returns, November 21, 1987". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
O. C. "Dan" Guillot
|Louisiana State Representative for District 43 (Lafayette Parish)
Michael Francis "Mike" Thompson
Odon L. "Don" Bacqué, Jr.