If you’re fascinated by Louisiana politics, you’ll enjoy reading the new book out – – “Edwin Edwards: Governor of Louisiana.” It is an authorized biography by Leo Honeycutt.
It’s a long book, some 550 large pages, so don’t expect to read it overnight. In fact, this reader is barely started.
But there is enough in the beginning chapters to hold your interest. Such as how he defeated a huge field of well-known and little-known candidates through two Democratic primaries in his first race for governor. And then he had to meet Dave Treen, a Republican of all things, in a tough general election.
It took three ballots to get Edwin his first governor’s seat in Baton Rouge. After elected, of course, he changed the election process, creating open primaries in which the two leaders did not have to get a majority to move into the general election. That allowed election as governor in only two ballots.
The book gives a good view of his younger years in Marksville where he lived somewhat in poverty. While there, he couldn’t understand why the black kids didn’t ride the school buses that white kids did. In his adult years before election to Congress, he moved to Crowley where he practiced law.
There have been many good sides to Edwin Edwards. He abhorred racism and wanted to help the poor people.
Obviously, to be elected four times as governor, he must have done some good things. One of them was to rewrite the state constitution which had become overloaded with amendments requiring voters to approve some 50 or so new ones every year.
Published by The Lisburn Press, the first 10,000 copies went fast. But more should be on the bookstore shelves by now.