Kip Holden

Melvin L. "Kip" Holden (born August 12, 1952) is the Democratic Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. The parish includes the state capitol of Baton Rouge and smaller suburban cities like Baker, Central City and Zachary. He was elected the city's mayor on November 3, 2004. He unseated the Republican incumbent, Bobby Simpson of Baker, even as President George W. Bush and U.S. Representative Richard Baker were winning again in East Baton Rouge Parish. Holden was inaugurated on January 3, 2005.

On taking office, Holden retained Walter Monsour, a Republican lawyer originally from Shreveport, as the chief administrative officer, even though Monsour had supported Simpson's reelection. Monsour told Holden that he would take the position if Holden agreed to treat all areas of the parish equally whether or not those precincts voted for Holden. Monsour had held the same post twenty years earlier in 1985 under then Democratic Mayor-President Pat Screen and was credited with resolving fiscal problems that developed in Screen's second term.[1]Early in 2009, Monsour stepped down as CAO and was replaced by his assistant, former Republican State Representative Mike Futrell, a Baton Rouge native.[2]

The 2004 race was Holden's third attempt to win the mayor-presidency. In 1996, he had failed in a bid to unseat Democrat-turned-Republican Mayor-President Tom Ed McHugh of Zachary, later the executive director of the Louisiana Municipal Association.

Holden's election is significant in that he is the first African-American Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish. His election was made possible on account of the support of his black base in the city's core, but also with substantial support from suburban white voters, many being Republicans. Support from the latter group was buoyed by the support of Jim Bernhard, CEO of The Shaw Group, and other leaders in business and industry in the Baton Rouge area, but largely a result of severe dissatisfaction with Mayor-President Simpson. This was demonstrated in dramatic fashion by the fact that President Bush received 54 percent of the parish vote in his re-election campaign and Congressman Baker received 69 percent. Holden in the same election secured 54 percent parishwide.

In 2008, Holden was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.[3]

Previous to his political career, Holden was a journalist and later an attorney.

As mayor, he is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition,[4] an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired by Mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York City and Thomas Menino of Boston, Massachusetts.

Holden has been married for more than twenty years to Lois Stevenson Holden and has five children; Melvin II, Monique, Angela, Myron, and Brian-Micheal.


Professional history

  • Louisiana State Senator, District 15
  • Councilman, Baton Rouge Metro Council District "2" (1984–1988)
  • Louisiana Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation - Baton Rouge, Louisiana

La Clerk

  • Baton Rouge City Police - Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Public Information Officer

Public Relations Specialist

  • WBRZ Channel 2 - Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Reporter, (1978–1979)

Reporter, (1977–1978)

  • WXOK Radio - Baton Rouge, Louisiana

News Director, (1975–1977)



  1. ^ "James E. Shelledy, "Walter Monsour, the most powerful man you’ve never voted for"". Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Executive Orders: Mike Futrell". Retrieved July 14, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame". Retrieved August 22, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Coalition Members".  Retrieved on June 18, 2007

External links

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