Jack Montgomery (Louisiana politician): Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Willard "Jack" Montgomery, Sr.

In office
1968 – 1972
Preceded by Harold Montgomery
Succeeded by Harold Montgomery

Born June 2, 1936 (1936-06-02) (age 73)
Springhill, Webster Parish, Louisiana, USA
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Carolyn Tucker Montgomery
Children John Willard Montgomery, Jr.

Rebecca _____
Elizabeth _____

Occupation Attorney
Religion Baptist
(1) Montgomery's single term in the Louisiana State Senate was sandwiched between two of the three terms of his more conservative intra-party rival Harold Montgomery of Doyline.

(2) Montgomery's election was attributed in part to the popularity of then-Governor John McKeithen, but the defeat four years later was blamed too on fallout from the last year of the McKeithen administration.

(3) Like his father, John W. Montgomery, Jr., of the Greater Richmond, Virginia, area, practices law and serves on his state's game and fisheries commission.

John Willard Montgomery, Sr., known as Jack Montgomery (born June 2, 1936), is an attorney in private practice in the small city of Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, who served in the 26th District of the Louisiana State Senate (Bienville, Bossier, Claiborne, and Webster parishes) for a single four-year term from 1968—1972. He unseated incumbent Harold Montgomery (no relation) of Doyline in south Webster Parish in the 1967 Democratic runoff primary. Four years later, the conservative Harold Montgomery staged a comeback and narrowly defeated Jack Montgomery, who did not again seek any public office.

The John W. "Jack" Montgomery law office at 209 Pine Street in Minden, Louisiana

Contents

Early years and education

Montgomery was one of five children born to a Springhill couple, Earl W. Montgomery, an employee of International Paper Company, and the former Berniece McLeod (1908-2008). His mother was originally from Hamburg in southern Arkansas.[1] After graduation in 1954 from Springhill High School, where he excelled in American football, Montgomery, a Baptist, entered the Catholic-affiliated Tulane University in New Orleans on an athletic scholarship. In his senior year at Tulane, he was the team captain. He procured his law degree from Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge. He opened his law practice first in Springhill, but he then relocated to the parish seat of Minden.[2]

1967 state Senate campaign

Jack Montgomery entered the race for the state Senate in 1967 to challenge the two-term incumbent Harold Montgomery, who had opposed the administration of popular Governor John McKeithen. Jack challenged Harold over highway construction issues. A Jack Montgomery advertisement asks why Webster Parish was then 20th among 23 North Louisiana parishes in highway funding. Bossier Parish, also part of the senatorial district, fared slightly better at 14th place.[3]

Jack Montgomery received numerous endorsements in the race and emerged as a significant challenger. McKeithen supported Jack Montgomery[4]; so did educators John L. Cathcart, former principal of Minden High School and E.S. Richardson Elementary School in Minden, Ed Olive, the principal of Springhill High School, and D.C. Wimberly, also a World War II prisoner of war from Springhill. A.O. Jenkins, then pastor of the large Central Baptist Church in Springhill, supported his parishioner. Others who signed a newspaper statement of support were the merchant A.J. Price, Jr., Springhill Mayor James Allen, and Springhill newspaper publisher Danny Scott (1930–2007).[2]

Harold led Jack in the first primary, 10,982 to 10,534, but neither had a majority.[5] Therefore a runoff was held on December 16. The result was a stunning reversal from the original primary vote. Jack defeated Harold, 10,037 (55.1 percent) to 7,177 (44.9 percent).[6] In the second round, more than four thousand voters who participated in the first election sat out the contest, and nearly all who failed to vote did so at Harold's expense. Harold Montgomery expressed concern that people were confused over two men named Montgomery running for the office. He quietly sat out the next four years in preparation for a rematch in the 1971 Democratic primary.

In that same runoff, Harold's ideological ally, State Representative Parey Branton of Shongaloo in Webster Parish, defeated former Springhill Mayor Charles E. McConnell to win a third term in the state House, 7,619 (52.6 percent) to 6,857 (47.4 percent). Harold's defeat and Branton's close victory signaled the power of the African American vote in view of passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Most blacks chose Democrats, but the more liberal choices within the party primaries.

Montgomery v. Montgomery again, 1971

As the McKeithen administration lost popularity in its second term, in part by opposition to higher spending reflected in the construction of the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Harold Montgomery entered the race once more, having first run unsuccessfully in 1956 against Herman "Wimpy" Jones, a Minden restaurant owner. In his scathing advertisement called "Public Feels Cheated", Harold Montgomery decried an assortment of matters that troubled him in Louisiana in 1971, many beyond the purview of the state Senate:

(1) a loss of confidence in government in general

(2) thievery in office

(3) appointment of "political hacks" by the governor

(4) "dope pushers"

(5) "drunk drivers" (before the problem was accented)

(6) "employees who don't work" and

(7) "politicians who continually ask for more money without showing any accomplishment in return."[7]

Montgomery closed his ad with a prediction of high turnover in the legislative elections of 1971 and 1972, but the changes were mostly within the Democratic Party. Another Democrat, Edwin Washington Edwards, originally from Crowley, with whom Harold had a personal friendship, succeeded McKeithen.

The 1971 returns narrowly vindicated Harold Montgomery, who dislodged Jack Montgomery, 14,595 (51.2 percent) to 13,889 (48.8 percent). Jack led only in Claiborne Parish, having lost in Bienville, Bossier, and Webster.[8] Harold Montgomery did not seek a fourth nonconsecutive term in the first ever jungle primary held in Louisiana in November 1975.

John W. Montgomery, Jr.

Jack Montgomery and his wife, the former Carolyn Tucker (born 1940), a 1958 graduate of Springhill High School, have three children, daughters, Elizabeth and Rebecca (born 1971), and a son, John W. Montgomery, Jr. (born May 23, 1963).[9]

John Montgomery, Jr., graduated in 1981 from Minden High School and in 1985 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Thereafter, John, Jr. was a United States Army airborne ranger infantry officer. He later joined the National Guard and served with the 5th Infantry Division. He received his law degree from Tulane Law School in New Orleans. He is an attorney in Quinton[10] in Greater Richmond, Virginia, and a member of the Varina School Board in suburban Henrico County.[11]

In 2003, Virginia Democratic Governor Mark Warner, thereafter a U.S. Senator, appointed Montgomery as the Third Congressional District member of the board of directors of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. He was also a military aide-de-camp to both Warner and Warner's successor as governor, Timothy M. Kaine. In 2007, Kaine, a Democrat, reappointed Montgomery to the DGIF board.[11]

Montgomery, Jr., and his wife, the former Carole Marie Rosendorf, originally from Baltimore, Maryland, live with their two sons, Jack and Travis, in Sandston, Virginia. Mrs. Montgomery is a graduate of the nursing program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C..[12]

John Montgomery, Sr., continues his law practice at 209 Pine Street in Minden[13] which his son represents clients in the Greater Richmond area. Jack Montgomery also served for a year as the interim municipal judge in Minden.

References

  1. ^ Obituary of Berniece McLeod Montgomery, Minden Press-Herald, September 29, 2008
  2. ^ a b Minden Press-Herald, December 14, 1967, p. 2
  3. ^ Minden Press-Herald, December 15, 1967, p. 16 (advertisement)
  4. ^ Minden Press-Herald, December 8, 1967
  5. ^ Minden Press-Herald, November 6, 1971, p. 1
  6. ^ Minden Press-Herald,December 18, 1967, p. 1
  7. ^ Minden Press-Herald, October 27, 1971, p. 7
  8. ^ Minden Press-Herald, November 8, 1971, p. 1
  9. ^ Net Detective, People Search
  10. ^ Zoonsong website, with address of John W. Montgomery, Jr.: http://www.zoomsong.com/Business/Default.aspx?id=10250359&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
  11. ^ a b "Your School Board", Henrico County, Virginia, Public Schools website:http://www.henrico.k12.va.us/schools/districts/varina.html
  12. ^ Minden Press-Herald, September 9, 1985
  13. ^ LawyerIntl.net website:http://www.lawyerintl.com/attorney-122335-Montgomery%20John%20W%20Attorney/
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