Stephen L. Gunn

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This article is about the politician. For the businessman, see Stephen K. Gunn.
Stephen Lee Gunn
Louisiana State Representative for
District 22 (Catahoula, Grant, La Salle,
and Rapides parishes)
In office
Preceded by A. Dale Smith
Succeeded by Thomas D. "Tommy" Wright
Mayor of Montgomery, Grant Parish, Louisiana, USA
In office
October 5, 2002 – October 2, 2010
Preceded by Tim T. Coolman
Succeeded by Vera "Susie" Waters
Personal details
Born (1946-05-12) May 12, 1946 (age 70)
Political party Independent-turned-Republican
Spouse(s) Single
Alma mater

Montgomery High School

Northwestern State University
Occupation Businessman
Religion United Methodist Church
Military service
Service/branch United States Air Force (1968-1972)
One of Gunn's predecessors as mayor of Montgomery was his great-aunt, Lula Wardlow, the first ever woman mayor of a Louisiana community.

Stephen Lee Gunn, known as Steve Gunn (born May 12, 1946) is an American securities investor who served as an Independent member from 1992 to 1996 of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 22 (Catahoula, Grant, and La Salle parishes plus one precinct in Rapides Parish).[1] From 2002 to 2010, he was the mayor of Montgomery.


Gunn's maternal great-aunt, Lula Wardlow, was mayor of Montgomery from 1926 to 1930. A Democrat, she was the first woman ever to be elected mayor of any community in Louisiana. She was a Methodist minister and denominational leader.[2]

Gunn was born to Murrell Harrison Gunn (1919–1978), a Grant Parish school principal and administrator, and the former Elizabeth Wardlow (1924–2010), an English teacher at Montgomery High School and the daughter of James Owen Wardlow (1895–1980) and the former Mabel Thompson (1897–1977).[3] Gunn graduated in 1964 from Montgomery High School and in 1968 from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. From 1968 to 1972, he was a first lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He is single.[4]

Political life[edit]

Gunn was elected to the legislature by ninety-four votes in 1991. He campaigned on a limited budget from his own resources and knocked on the door of nearly every residence in the district. In the October 19 primary, he ran second to incumbent Democrat A. Dale Smith, but ahead of a second Democrat, Cliff Zell. Gunn received 6,087 primary votes (33 percent) to Smith's 8,538 (46 percent), and Zell's 21 percent.[5] In the general election, Gunn prevailed, 9,931 to Smith's 9,837. Gunn lost Grant Parish in the primary, but he beat Smith by some 800 votes in Smith's home parish in the general election to secure his narrow victory.[6] He did not seek reelection in 1995.

Gunn was an Independent town council member prior to his legislative service. He led the balloting in the council election held on October 6, 1990. He served with three Democrats and a Republican, Donna Stroud Guillory (born 1962).[7] He resigned the seat to enter the legislature.

On October 5, 2002, Gunn was elected Montgomery mayor in the primary without opposition. He succeeded the Democrat Tim T. Coolman (born September 22, 1962), with whom he had served on the council in 1991.

On November 2, 2004, Montgomery approved a one-cent town sales tax, which Gunn said would allow his community to meet rising fuel and insurance costs. The tax won handily, 194-91.[8]

Gunn won a second term as mayor by a wide margin in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on September 30, 2006. He defeated the Democrat Leo Floyd Davis, 180-38 votes. The town council then consisted of two Independents, two Democrats, and one Republican, Joann B. Lary (born November 1, 1939).[9]

Mayor Gunn had sought construction of a bridge atop the Red River at Montgomery to link the town directly to Natchitoches to the west. A ferry once used to cross the river at Montgomery ceased operating in 1960.

Gunn did not seek reelection as mayor in the October 2, 2010 primary. The Democrat Vera "Susie" Waters, who received 168 votes (80 percent), was elected to succeed him. A second Democrat, Randy Cotten, polled 42 votes (20 percent).[10]

On January 5, 2016, Gunn told the Louisiana radio broadcaster Moon Griffon that he opposes U.S. President Barack Obama's executive order to enhance gun control and supports Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election and another Republican, retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness for the United States Senate seat being vacated by David Vitter, whom Gunn had also backed for governor in 2015 in the unsuccessful race against the Democrat John Bel Edwards. Gunn was also critical of several state Republican lawmakers, with whose ranks he had been loosely aligned while a legislator, for supporting Democrat Walt J. Leger, III of New Orleans, Edwards' unsuccessful choice for House Speaker. The House instead chose Taylor Barras of New Iberia.[11]

The Louisiana Secretary of State lists Gunn as of March 5, 2016, as a registered Republican.[12]


  1. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 29, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Lula Wardlow," A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. II, Louisiana Historical Association, 1988
  3. ^ "Obituary of Elizabeth Wardlow Gunn". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. Retrieved July 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Louisiana: Gunn, Stephen L.", Who's Who in American Politics, 2003-2004, 19th ed., Vol. 1 (Alabama-Montana) (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2003), p. 780
  5. ^ "Louisiana primary election returns, October 19, 1991". Archived from the original on September 4, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Louisiana general election returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. November 16, 1991. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Louisiana primary election returns, October 6, 1990". Archived from the original on September 4, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Louisiana general election returns, November 2, 2004". Archived from the original on September 4, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Louisiana primary election returns, September 30, 2006". Archived from the original on September 4, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Louisiana primary election returns by parish, October 2, 2010". Archived from the original on September 4, 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2010. 
  11. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, January 5, 2016
  12. ^ "Stephen Gunn, May 1946". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
Political offices
Preceded by
A. Dale Smith
Louisiana State Representative for District 22 (Catahoula, Grant, La Salle, and Rapides parishes)

Stephen Lee "Steve" Gunn

Succeeded by
Thomas D. "Tommy" Wright
Preceded by
Tim T. Coolman
Mayor of Montgomery, Louisiana (Grant Parish)

Stephen Lee "Steve" Gunn

Succeeded by
Vera "Susie" Waters