Tributes pour in after former Louisiana congressman Buddy Leach dies at 88

Former U.S. and state lawmaker Buddy Leach died Saturday (Aug. 6) at age 88.
Former U.S. and state lawmaker Buddy Leach died Saturday (Aug. 6) at age 88.(KPLC)
Published: Aug. 7, 2022 at 1:14 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Former Louisiana congressman and longtime state lawmaker Buddy Leach died Saturday (Aug. 6) in Baton Rouge at age 88, family members said.

Tributes for the former chairman of the state’s Democratic Party began pouring in Sunday, including a statement from Gov. John Bel Edwards, who called Leach “a friend, a mentor and a true gentleman.”

“Buddy Leach dedicated his life to serving our great state,” the governor said in the statement. “From the Louisiana Legislature to Congress to his many civic contributions, Buddy worked to make life better for all Louisianans.

“When I decided to run for governor, he was one of the first people to encourage me. In addition to being a strong leader, he also had a heart for giving back and generously supported the efforts of Donna’s Louisiana First Foundation to enrich the lives of children. He was a friend, a mentor, and a true gentleman. Donna and I are praying for his family and all who were blessed to know him.”

Edwards has ordered state flags to be flown at half-staff on the day of Leach’s funeral.

New Orleans Congressman Troy Carter reacted to Leach’s death by writing, “Today, Louisiana lost a legend.”

Leach was elected in 1978 to serve one term in Congress, but was elected four times to the state house representing his district in northwestern Louisiana, the first time in 1968. He served as chairman of the state’s powerful Ways and Means committee with the backing of former Governor Edwin Edwards and then-Speaker John Alario.

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Former U.S., state lawmaker Buddy Leach dies at 88

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