This series has been established in memory of former legislator and judge, Bill McLeod. The McLeod Endowment was established at the McNeese State University Foundation to create this series on Louisiana politics, and the Southwest Louisiana Legislative Archives.
The focus on this program is on the role of the Lieutenant Governor, as well as the impact of the office and what the future might hold for the position.
Guests sharing their own unique views and firsthand experiences are several of our state’s former lieutenant governors, including one who went on to become governor.
Robert “Bobby” Freeman - This Iberville Parish attorney was the Democratic Lieutenant Governor from 1980 – 1988. Freeman served under first, Republican Governor David Treen and then Treen’s successor Democrat Edwin Edwards. He was defeated for a third term by the former Secretary of State Paul Hardy. Earlier Freeman has been a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1968 – 1980.
Paul Hardy - a Democrat turned Republican – was the first Republican since Reconstruction to have been elected to the second-ranking post in the state. Hardy served in that position from 1988 – 1992. Hardy was defeated for reelection as lieutenant governor in 1991 by Democrat Melinda Schwegmann. Earlier he had been elected in 1972 as the Democratic State Senator for Iberia and St. Martin Parishes and in 1975 was elected again as a Democrat, as Secretary of State of Louisiana.
Melinda Schwegmann - the first woman to hold the position, was the lieutenant governor of Louisiana from 1992 – 1996. In 1997 she won a special election to the Louisiana State House of Representatives, District 98, from Orleans Parish. Schwegmann was elected to a full house term in 1999 and served until 2003 when she relinquished the House seat, which was dismembered by reapportionment.
From 1996 to 2004 Kathleen Babineaux Blanco served two four-year terms as Lieutenant Governor and from January 2004 until January 2008 served as the 54th Governor of the State of Louisiana. Prior to her election as governor and lieutenant governor, she served a four-year term in the Louisiana Legislature as State Representative from the Lafayette area and a six-year term as Public Service Commissioner.
The Role of Louisiana’s Lt. Governor – Past, Present & Future is part of the McLeod Lecture Series at McNeese State University.