Tommy Armstrong (American politician)

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Tommy Gene Armstrong
Louisiana State Representative
from District 4 (Caddo Parish)
In office
February 27, 1991 – 1992
Preceded by Robert P. "Bobby" Waddell
Succeeded by C.O. Simpkins
President, Caddo Parish Commission
In office
1987–1989
Preceded by Roy M. Hopkins
Succeeded by Lloyd E. Lenard
Member, Caddo Parish Commission for District 11
In office
1984–1991
Preceded by New position
Succeeded by Ginger Armstrong
Member, Caddo Parish Police Jury from Ward 19
In office
1976–1984
Succeeded by Position ended
Personal details
Born (1941-02-19) February 19, 1941 (age 76)
Shreveport
Caddo Parish
Louisiana, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kathryn Genevieve Mulina Armstrong,
aka Ginger Armstrong
Children

Alisa Rene Armstrong Holmes
Alaine Rochelle Armstrong Stewart

Thomas Marcus Armstrong
Parents George Marcus and Myrtle Cato Armstrong
Residence Shreveport, Louisiana
Alma mater Northwestern State University
Occupation Real estate developer
Religion Protestant
Though he served for fifteen years on the Caddo Parish Commission and its predecessor, the police jury, and a one-year term in the Louisiana House of Representatives, Armstrong in 1991 lost his bid for state senator by 754 votes to a fellow Republican, Ron Bean.

Tommy Gene Armstrong (born February 19, 1941) is a businessman from his native Shreveport, Louisiana, who served as a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1991 to 1992. He filled the unexpired term of the Democrat, Robert P. "Bobby" Waddell, who resigned to become a state district court judge.[1] Armstrong was elected to the House from District 4 on February 23, 1991, with 50.5 percent of the vote over two Democratic opponents, Forrest A. Davis and Stephen B. Carter.[2]

State senate race[edit]

When Armstrong won the District 4 House seat, the lines were under the 1980 census. He did not pursue a full term in 1991 because, under the 1990 census, District 4 became majority African American and heavily Democratic. Instead, Armstrong contested the Louisiana State Senate District 38 seat vacated by the three-term Democratic incumbent, Richard G. Neeson, also of Shreveport. Armstrong's principal rival was Ron Bean, a more liberal Republican who had narrowly lost to Neeson in the 1987 election and had once been a pilot for U.S. President Richard M. Nixon. Armstrong led in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 19, 1991, with 13,354 votes (40 percent). Bean trailed with 8,866 votes (26 percent). Ken Wright, another Republican candidate, trailed with 6,088 votes (18 percent). Democrat Bobby Bruce Shofner (born 1948) finished last with 5,494 votes (15 percent).[3] In the general election, popularly termed the runoff in Louisiana, Bean narrowly defeated Armstrong, 20,474 (51 percent) to 19,720 (49 percent).[4]

Armstrong was known for his opposition to gambling. In 1996, he joined several Baptist ministers in appearing before the Caddo Parish Commission, on which he had previously served as a member and president, to oppose video poker at a truck stop near Keithville, where Armstrong resides. Armstrong cited a number of publications which link corruption to the licensing of video-poker installations. He opposed a request from Carl J. King and wife to build the video poker outlet within a forbidden B-2 zone. Such a permit would, he told commissioners, constitute "spot zoning. The Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the commission's decision to deny the needed permit to the Kings.[5]

Caddo Parish commissioner[edit]

In 1978, Armstrong was one of four Republicans defeated for newly established seats on the seven-member Shreveport City Council, when the mayor-council government superseded the former city commission format. Armstrong, along with B. Leonard Critcher (born 1944), a financial planner who subsequently relocated to Dallas, Texas;[6] Joe E. Wallace, and the African- American L. V. Myles, was defeated in the second round of balloting by Democratic candidates, who hence became the first council members under the new and still continuing system of government.[7][8]

On December 10, 1984, Armstrong assumed the District 11 seat on the 12-member Caddo Parish Commission, the parish governing board. From 1987 to 1989, Armstrong was the commission president.[9] He was succeeded in the presidential slot by Lloyd E. Lenard, another Republican member. The Caddo Parish Commission was formerly the 20-member Caddo Police Jury, on which Armstrong also served from Ward 19 from 1976-1984.[9] Armstrong is a former president of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana.[10] In his last election to the commission in 1987, Armstrong prevailed with 4,883 votes (59.5 percent), having won outright over a fellow Republican, Billy R. Walker, and a Democratic opponent, Derrel Franks.[11]

The next month, in November 1987, Armstrong made a presentation before the Republican caucus for consideration to be his party's candidate in a special election for Louisiana's 4th congressional district. The seat was vacated by U.S. Representative Buddy Roemer, who became governor of Louisiana in 1988. The caucus, however, chose Jim McCrery as its choice to carry the GOP banner, and Armstrong did not enter the contest in which McCrery prevailed.[12]

Armstrong resigned from the Caddo Parish Commission on February 27, 1991, to become state representative. The commissioners then named his wife, the former Kathryn Mulina, known as Ginger Armstrong (born January 1941), to fill the remaining months of the term.[9] Ginger Armstrong is also a former member of the Caddo Parish School Board.[13] She was defeated for reelection to the school board in the runoff election held on December 6, 2014. Armstrong polled 2,597 votes (42.9 percent) to fellow Republican Kacee Hargrave Kirschvink's 3,449 (57.1 percent).[14]

Other political matters[edit]

Armstrong was an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention held in New Orleans to nominate the Bush/Quayle ticket.[15]

In 1995, Armstrong ran again for the House in District 7, which includes parts of south Caddo and northern De Soto parishes. Armstrong polled 5,477 votes (45.3 percent) and was forced into a general election contest with the Democrat Beverly G. Bruce of Mansfield, who received 5,559 (46 percent). A third candidate, Republican Lance Allan Britton (born 1943), also of Mansfield, held the remaining but critical 1,061 votes (8.8 percent).[16] Britton in 1975, while living in Baton Rouge, had been the only statewide Republican candidate that year; he made a vain bid to unseat then Lieutenant Governor Jimmy Fitzmorris. In the general election, Bruce prevailed, 7,027 (53 percent) to Armstrong's 6,235 (47 percent).[17]

Family and business[edit]

Armstrong is a son of George Marcus and Myrtle Cato Armstrong. He and his wife own and operate Armstrong Properties of Louisiana. He is a 1967 graduate of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. He is a former chapter president of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity and a member of the former Alpha Phi Gamma. He also attended Centenary College and LaSalle University Law School in Louisiana. He is a member of Lions International, the Masonic lodge, and the Shriners.[10]

In 2001, Armstrong was listed in the NSU alumni magazine as an employee of the Department of Risk Management for the Caddo Parish School Board. Mrs. Armstrong, a 1962 NSU graduate, retired from public school teaching in 1998.[18] The Armstrongs reside at 9800 Chase Way in Shreveport. Their three children are daughters, Alisa Rene Armstrong Holmes and Alaine Rochelle Armstrong Stewart, and a son, Thomas Marcus Armstrong.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2008" (PDF). house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  2. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Special election returns, February 23, 1991
  3. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Primary election returns, October 19, 1991
  4. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, General election returns, November 16, 1991
  5. ^ "Louisiana Supreme Court: Carl J. King et xu Caddo Parish Commission (No. 97-C-1873)" (PDF). lasc.org. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  6. ^ "B. Leonard Critcher". coveringassets.com. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  7. ^ Billy Hathorn, The Republican Party in Louisiana (Natchitoches, Louisiana: Northwestern State University, 1980), p. 278
  8. ^ Shreveport Journal, November 8, 1978, p. 1
  9. ^ a b c Veta Samuels, "The History of the Caddo Parish Commission"
  10. ^ a b c "Louisiana: Tommy Gene Armstrong", Who's Who in American Politics, 2007-2008 (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2007), p. 649
  11. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Primary election returns, October 24, 1987
  12. ^ "McCrery Gets 4th District Nod", Minden Press-Herald, November 25, 1987, p. 1
  13. ^ "RE: Ethics Board Docket No. 2009-202". domino.ethics.state.la.us. Retrieved May 5, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Results for Election Date: 12/6/2014: Caddo Parish". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved December 26, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Political Graveyard: Armstrong". politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  16. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Primary election returns, October 21, 1995
  17. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, General election returns, November 18, 1995
  18. ^ "NSU Alumni Columns, Spring 2001" (PDF). northwesternalumni.com. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert P. "Bobby" Waddell
Louisiana State Representative from District 4 (Caddo Parish)

Tommy Gene Armstrong
1991–1992

Succeeded by
C.O. Simpkins
Political offices
Preceded by
Roy M. Hopkins
President of the Caddo Parish Commission

Tommy Gene Armstrong
1987–1989

Succeeded by
Lloyd E. Lenard
Political offices
Preceded by
New position
Member of the Caddo Parish Commission, District 11

Tommy Gene Armstrong
1984–1991

Succeeded by
Ginger Armstrong
Political offices
Preceded by
Missing
Caddo Parish Police Juror for Ward 19

Tommy Gene Armstrong
1976–1984

Succeeded by
Position ended