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In Memory of Rep. Clyde Holloway

In Memory of Rep. Clyde Holloway

Former Congressman Clyde Holloway, a Republican from Forest Hill, talks to elections officials after signing up for the 5th District congressional race on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

By Tuesday, 18 October 2016 08:54 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Many will remember former Rep. Clyde Holloway, R-La., as a career candidate.

And there's truth to that: Having made it to Congress on his third try in 1986, Holloway was unseated in 1992 and struggled hard to return to office. In 2009, he finally won a spot on the powerful state Public Service Commission (PSC) that regulates the Pelican State’s public utilities and sources of energy. It was Holloway’s 13th trip to the ballot in 23 years, he proudly noted.

But what reporters who covered Holloway, who died Sunday, Oct. 16, during his stint in Congress from 1986-92 remember was a lawmaker who took his work seriously but not so much himself.

A religious right congressman who fought for school prayer and freely volunteered that his philosophy was based on his belief “Jesus Christ is my savior,” the Louisianan also had a ready supply of jokes that disarmed critics and delighted friends.

Having launched his business — the Clyde Holloway nursery that would eventually gross $1.7 million annually — Holloway became politically motivated through the anti-school busing movement. A year after his first defeat for Congress in 1980, Holloway and conservative State Rep. Woody Jenkins launched a movement for constitutional amendments to ban forced school busing and provide for elections of federal judges.

He was defeated in 1992 by fellow Republican Rep. Richard Baker after redistricting put the two of them in the same district. A year before, he had made a bid for governor in his state’s “free-for-all primary” in which the top two vote-getters who made the runoff were his old nemesis Edwin Edwards and former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke.

After leaving Congress and losing three comeback attempts as well as a race for lieutenant governor, Holloway won his seat on the PSC in 2009 and thus made it the first regulatory body in the Deep South with a Republican majority since Reconstruction. He eventually became chairman of the PSC and was vigorous in opposing the sale of Cleco, an energy services company, to foreign investors.

Former House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston, R-La., recalled his onetime colleague as “a loving family man, a marvelous public servant, a steadfast conservative, and a great friend. We will miss him.”

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John-Gizzi
Many will remember former Rep. Clyde Holloway, R-La., as a career candidate.
clyde holloway, louisiana, congress
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2016-54-18
Tuesday, 18 October 2016 08:54 AM
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