Richard Alvin Tonry

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Richard Alvin Tonry
Richard Alvin Tonry.jpg
United States Representative for Louisiana's 1st congressional district
In office
January 3, 1977 – May 4, 1977
Preceded by Felix Edward Hebert
Succeeded by Bob Livingston
Louisiana State Representative for District 103 (Orleans and St. Bernard parishes)
In office
January 1976 – December 1976
Preceded by Elmer R. Tapper
Succeeded by Edward S. Bopp
Personal details
Born (1935-06-25)June 25, 1935
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Died July 3, 2012(2012-07-03) (aged 77)
Lumberton, Mississippi
Resting place St. Bernard Memorial Gardens in Chalmette, Louisiana
Political party Democratic
Alma mater

Spring Hill College

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Occupation Lawyer

Richard Alvin "Rick" Tonry (June 25, 1935 – July 3, 2012) was a Louisiana politician affiliated with the Democratic Party.


He graduated in 1962 from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. In 1967, he earned a law degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. He practiced law in the New Orleans area for almost a decade before being elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in the first-ever nonpartisan blanket primary held at the state level in the fall of 1975.


He served a year (1976) in Louisiana House District 103 and eight months (1977) from Louisiana's 1st congressional district. Shortly after taking his state House seat, Tonry declared his candidacy for the United States Congress after the 36-year Democratic incumbent, Felix Edward Hébert, announced his retirement. He narrowly defeated Republican Bob Livingston, an assistant state attorney general, in one of the last congressional elections held before Louisiana adopted its nonpartisan blanket primary.[1]


Tonry, investigated by the U.S. Attorney Gerald J. Gallinghouse,[2] was accused of allowing subordinates to steal votes by stuffing ballot boxes in St. Bernard Parish, a suburb of New Orleans. He was charged with receiving illegal campaign funds beyond the $1,000 federal limit then imposed per contribution. These allegation ultimately led to his resignation, his guilty pleas of campaign finance irregularities, and a six-months prison sentence at the Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery, Alabama.[1][3]


When Tonry resigned from Congress after four months in the office, a special election was called in August 1977, and Republican Livingston was easily elected to replace him with a relatively easy victory over the Democratic candidate, Ron Faucheux. This seat has remained in Republican hands since that time.[1]

In 1983, Tonry tried to return to the Louisiana House in District 103, but finished in fourth place in the nonpartisan blanket primary with 2,693 votes (17.8 percent). Victory went to the Republican Edward Ripoll, who defeated incumbent Edward S. Bopp in a runoff election. In this same election cycle, Edwin Edwards unseated one-term Republican Governor David C. Treen to claim his third nonconsecutive term as governor.[4] Bopp had succeeded Tonry in the state House in 1977.


Tonry died of natural causes in 2012 at the age of seventy-seven and is interred at St. Bernard Memorial Gardens in Chalmette, Louisiana.[1][5]


  1. ^ a b c d Cahn, Emily. "Former Rep. Richard Tonry of Louisiana Dead at 77". Roll Call. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Bill Crider, "This U.S. Attorney defies patronage system - He stays", October 4, 1977". Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Richard Alvin "Rick" Tonry (1935-2012)". Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Election Results". Louisiana Secretary of State. October 22, 1983. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  5. ^ Ex-La. congressman Tonry dies in Miss. at 77

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Felix Edward Hebert
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Bob Livingston
Preceded by
Elmer R. Tapper
Louisiana State Representative from District 103 (Orleans and St. Bernard parishes)

Richard Alvin Tonry

Succeeded by
Edward S. Bopp