Roy C. Strickland
|Roy Clifton Strickland|
September 20, 1942|
|Died||September 22, 2010
The Woodlands, Texas, USA
|Resting place||Forest Park Cemetery in The Woodlands, Texas|
|Residence||The Woodlands, Texas|
|Occupation||Businessman; real estate agent|
|Political party||Republican candidate for the United States House of Representatives, 8th District, Louisiana, 1972|
|Spouse(s)||Divorced from Connie Wright and from three other women in Mississippi and Louisiana|
|Children||Lindsay Dawn Strickland|
Roy Clifton Strickland (September 20, 1942 – September 22, 2010) was a businessman in The Woodlands, Texas, north of Houston, who was a pioneer in the development of the Republican Party in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Strickland challenged the Democrat Gillis William Long, a part of the Long political dynasty, for the United States House of Representatives in 1972. More than a decade later, he ran unsuccessfully for local office as a write-in candidate in Texas.
Early life and education
Strickland graduated in 1960 from Jet High School in Warren County, Mississippi and enlisted in the United States Navy, having served for six years. He briefly attended college at what became the University of New Orleans. From 1968 to 1978, he was involved in selling insurance door-to-door, working for trucking companies, including Mississippi Fast Freight, Matlach, and Younger Brothers, in Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Texas, having progressed upward from entry-level positions. Decades later, he began selling real estate in Texas.
Running for the U.S. House, 1972
In 1972, when he was twenty-nine and residing in Gonzales, Louisiana, Strickland ran as a Republican for the open seat in Louisiana's 8th congressional district. Former U.S. Representative Gillis Long was the Democratic nominee, who defeated four opponents in the closed primary election held on August 19. His strongest intraparty rival had been State Representative Armand Brinkhaus of Sunset in St. Landry Parish and State Senator J. E. Jumonville of Ventress in Pointe Coupee Parish. Long then faced Strickland and a second opponent in the general election, Dr. Samuel R. Abramson (1917–1997), then a surgeon from Marksville in Avoyelles Parish, and later a Lafayette resident and the choice of George Wallace's former American Independent Party, considered part of the Radical Right. Abramson was a maternal uncle of former Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne, now the state commissioner of administration.
The demographics made the race impossible for either challenger. Governor Edwin Washington Edwards and the Democratic state legislature had redrawn the Eighth District in 1971 to create territory friendly to Long, who had represented the district in the mid 1960s until unseated by his cousin, Speedy O. Long. Speedy Long did not seek a fifth term after the district was altered, and Edwards wanted to repay Gillis Long for his support of Edwards in the 1971 Democratic runoff primary.
Strickland did get support from a number of Republicans in the district, including Mayor Ed Karst of Alexandria, a recent convert to the party. Karst hosted Strickland in his home when the congressional candidate came to Alexandria to campaign. Strickland credited the Republican state chairman James H. Boyce of Baton Rouge as "the source of funding for my campaign, he was the financial heartbeat for many of the candidates; without him, a lot of us would have never gotten off the ground."
Ultimately, the returns spoke clearly: Long won convincingly with 72,607 votes; Abramson, 17,844; and Strickland placed third with 15,517. In this same election on November 7, 1972, the Republican David C. Treen became the first Republican in 20th century Louisiana history to win a seat in Congress. Treen won Louisiana's 3rd congressional district in which the incumbent Democrat Patrick T. Caffery, considered a Conservative Democrat, retired after two terms.
Texas political activities
Strickland continued his Republican political activities in Montgomery County, Texas. After the suicide of one of the four county commissioners in the middle 1980s, Strickland sought the Republican nomination from a committee organized to select a replacement. When the committee chose someone else, who was part of the GOP hierarchy, Strickland ran unsuccessfully as a write-in candidate in the general election. Strickland remained affiliated with the Republican Party.
Strickland was transferred to the Houston area by his employer Younger Brothers Trucking Co.in 1977. He later co-founded a construction firm and helped to run a Tennessee-based transportation company.
In 1990, Strickland formed what became CANUSAMEX, Inc., a firm twice named the "Fastest Growing In Houston." In 2000, it was ranked by Inc. Magazine as the 133rd fastest growing company in the United States. CANUSAMEX, Inc., was a victim of September 11, 2001, Strickland explained, because it could not comply with new government regulations which stemmed from the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. The company ceased operations in the summer of 2002.
Strickland returned to his hometown of Vicksburg in August 2002 and worked with family members to negotiate the merger, acquisition, and consolidation of twelve Internet Service Providers which were sold to Xfone early in 2005.
He then returned to The Woodlands in the fall of 2004 and obtained a real estate license. He died in The Woodlands two days after his 68th birthday. He is interred at Forest Park The Woodlands Cemetery.
- "Roy C. Stricklan". yourhoustonnews.com, September 23, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
- "Louisiana District 8 - D Primary". ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
- "Janet Abramson Dardenne". Findagrave.com. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
- Statement of Roy C. Strickland, 2006
- "LA District 8". ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
- Mississippi Business Journal