Clark Gaudin

Edward Clark Gaudin
Louisiana House of Representatives (District 69)
In office
Preceded by Luther F. Cole
Succeeded by Lillian Walker
In office
Preceded by Lillian Walker
Succeeded by Francis Charles "Chuck" McMains, Jr.
Personal details
Born December 26, 1931 (1931-12-26) (age 79)
New Roads, Louisiana
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Marianne Hurst Gaudin (died 1992), (2) Shirley Armetta Gaudin (married 1994)
Children Todd E. Gaudin and Allison Maria Asby, both of Baton Rouge, and Dana Angelle Gaudin of Asheville, North Carolina
Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Edward Clark Gaudin (born December 26, 1931) is a Baton Rouge attorney who served for twenty-one years in the Louisiana House of Representatives (1967–1968; 1972–1992) as the first Republican member from East Baton Rouge Parish in the 20th century.


Early years, education, family

Gaudin (pronounced GO DAN) was born in New Roads in Pointe Coupee Parish (pronounced COO PEE) to Mr. and Mrs. Alton F. Gaudin. His father (1904–1999) was in the ice business and once hired young deLesseps Story Morrison, Sr., to work in the summer. Morrison went on to become mayor of New Orleans, ambassador to the Organization of American States, and a three-time Democratic gubernatorial contender. Gaudin's mother was reared in Ventress, also in Pointe Coupee Parish.

Gaudin, who is of French extraction and Roman Catholic, graduated from the parochial St. Joseph's Academy in New Roads in 1948. Another well-known graduate of St. Joseph's is former Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, a Democrat from New Orleans. He then received his bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge in 1952. He entered the United States Army Artillery as a second lieutenant on an ROTC commission in 1952. He left the service in 1954 as a first lieutenant but remained a major in the Army Reserve for another decade thereafter.

Gaudin graduated from the Louisiana State University Law Center with a Juris Doctor degree in 1958. In his civil law practice, he specializes in collections, successions, wills, and real estate foreclosures. Gaudin's son, Todd E. Gaudin, is also a Baton Rouge lawyer—in the firm Kuehne, Foote, & Gaudin.

Gaudin's first wife, the former Marianne Hurst, died in 1992. He married the former Shirley Armetta in 1994. He has two daughters from the first marriage, Allison Maria Asby of Baton Rouge and Dana Angelle Gaudin of Asheville, North Carolina.

Gaudin wins six legislative elections

Gaudin won a 1967 special election created by the resignation of Democratic lawmaker Luther F. Cole, who became a judge. He defeated Democrat Richard E. Cheek, 9,856 votes (50.3 percent) to 9,730 (49.7 percent) in a special election for the one-year unexpired term. In his first year in the legislature, Gaudin served with three other Republicans, Morley A. Hudson and Taylor W. O'Hearn of Shreveport and Roderick Miller of Lafayette, all of whom are deceased. Gaudin was defeated for a four-year term in 1968. So was O'Hearn. Hudson did not seek reelection, and Miller lost in a bid for the Louisiana state Senate. Gaudin rebounded in 1972 to win the first of five consecutive terms.

In 1972, Gaudin benefited from the presence of Republican gubernatorial candidate David C. Treen, a Baton Rouge native then residing in Jefferson Parish. He unseated the Democrat Lillian W. Walker, 6,949 (51 percent) to 6,645 (49 percent). Thereafter, Gaudin won comparatively easy victories to hold his seat. When Gaudin was reelected in the 1975 jungle primary, he had only four incoming Republican colleagues, and one of those, A.J. McNamara of Jefferson Parish, had been elected as a Democrat but switched affiliation in 1977.

In his last election for the District 69 seat, which then encompassed the Jefferson Street area and Tara subdivision, in 1987, Gaudin polled 48 percent in the primary and was forced into a general election (often called the "runoff" in Louisiana) with the Democrat Marilyn Barfield. He then won by a comfortable margin, 7,370 (58 percent) to 5,441 (42 percent). He did not run again in the 1991 primary, but his seat remained in Republican hands with the general election victory of Francis Charles "Chuck" McMains, who later left the legislature and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in the 1996 jungle primary. District 69 was dismembered by the legislature after Gaudin announced that he would not seek reelection, and part of the base now lies in District 68.

Medical marijuana bill

In his last legislative session, Gaudin attempted to revive Louisiana's medical marijuana law.[1]

Right-to-work legislation

Gaudin was among a virtual handful of Louisiana legislators who supported a state right-to-work law in his 1967-1968 term. By 1976, after his reelection, the legislature passed right-to-work. Louisiana was the last traditional southern state to adopt such legislation. In gaining passage, he worked with Representative Bruce Lynn, a fellow Republican and a banker from Caddo Parish. Lynn was elected to succeed another right-to-work supporter, Democrat (later Republican) James H. "Jimmy" Wilson of Vivian, also in Caddo Parish.

Gaudin also worked to eliminate the Louisiana Milk Commission, which lawmakers eventually concluded kept milk prices in the state artificially high and forbade out-of-state companies from selling within Louisiana.

Gaudin retained an interest in Republican politics after he left the legislature. He was a delegate to the 1996 Republican National Convention in San Diego,[2] which nominated the ticket of Robert J. Dole and Jack French Kemp. The Dole-Kemp combination, however, lost Louisiana's nine electoral votes in the fall campaign.


  1. ^ Harrist, Eileen Loh (November 5, 2002). "The Best Medicine?". Gambit Weekly via Marijuana Policy Project. Archived from the original on 2002-11-25. Retrieved 2008-08-31. "In 1991, another lawmaker took a stab at reviving Louisiana's medical-marijuana law. Rep. Clark Gaudin, R-Baton Rouge, introduced the bill after a young man rolled into Gaudin's office in his wheelchair to talk to the lawmaker about his reliance on pot." 
  2. ^ "GOP delegates for Louisiana". All Politics: 1996 convention. CNN. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Luther F. Cole
Louisiana State Representative from District 69 (Baton Rouge)
Succeeded by
Lillian W. Walker
Preceded by
Lillian W. Walker
Louisiana State Representative from District 69 (Baton Rouge)
Succeeded by
Francis Charles "Chuck" McMains, Jr.

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