Clyde C. Holloway
|Member of the |
Louisiana Public Service Commission
from the 4th district
May 13, 2009 – October 16, 2016
|Preceded by||Dale Sittig|
|Succeeded by||Charles W. DeWitt, Jr. (interim for Mike Francis)|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Louisiana's 8th district
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1993
|Preceded by||Catherine Small Long|
|Succeeded by||Constituency abolished|
Clyde Cecil Holloway
November 28, 1943
Lecompte, Rapides Parish
|Died||October 16, 2016 (aged 72)|
Forest Hill, Rapides Parish
|Spouse(s)||Catherine F. K. "Cathie" Holloway|
|Parents||James Cecil and Ever Christina Barker Holloway|
|Residence||Forest Hill, Louisiana|
|Alma mater||Forest Hill High School|
National Aeronautics School
Clyde Cecil Holloway (November 28, 1943 – October 16, 2016) was an American politician, small business owner, and member of the Republican Party who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as one of five members of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. After seven years in office he did not seek reelection to the PSC in 2016.
Holloway previously was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the since defunct Alexandria-based 8th congressional district from 1987 to 1993.
Holloway was one of seven children born in the small town of Lecompte in southern Rapides Parish to James Cecil Holloway (October 15, 1909 – September 26, 2006), formerly from Arizona, and the former Ever Christina Barker (December 7, 1912 – December 11, 2006). The Holloways later moved to Forest Hill just west of Lecompte and south of Alexandria, the largest city in central Louisiana. James Holloway earned his livelihood as an electrician at Camp Claiborne and was later employed at the Meeker Sugar Cooperative. He retired as a Rapides Parish school bus driver. The senior Holloways were married for seventy-one years; he preceded her in death by some ten weeks. Ever Holloway was the daughter of Charlie and Emma Barker. The senior Holloways are interred at Butters Cemetery in Forest Hill. Clyde Holloway's surviving siblings, Carl, Virginia, Charlie, Vivian, Claude, and Lillian reside in the Forest Hill area. Charlie Holloway is a former member of the Rapides Parish School Board.
Clyde Holloway attended the National Aeronautics School in Kansas City, Kansas. He worked as a civilian employee at the United States Army base Fort Polk while establishing his Clyde Holloway Nursery, one of the oldest and largest commercial horticultural operations in Forest Hill, which generated some $1.7 million in annual receipts. The company continues to operate since Holloway's death.
Holloway was a former chairman of the board of the private Forest Hill Academy, originally Forest Hill Neighborhood School. Holloway was married to Catherine F. K. "Cathie" Holloway (born October 1943), a Roman Catholic and a native of Long Island, New York, whom he met while working in New York City as an airline ticket agent. The couple has two sons, Timothy Andrew Holloway (born December 1969) of Rapides Parish and Mark R. Holloway (born 1971) of Portland, Oregon; two daughters, Rebecca H. Ebert (born 1975) and husband Randy of Carol Stream, Illinois, and Sara H. Bruner (born 1979) and husband, Bryan, of Fort Worth, Texas, and nine grandchildren. Holloway was a long-term member of the Elwood Baptist Church in Forest Hill.
Holloway first ran for Congress in 1980 against Democratic incumbent Gillis William Long. Holloway depicted himself as a Reaganite and a conservative and as an opponent of Republican U.S. District Judge Nauman Scott's cross-parish school busing orders, because the busing would have effectively destroyed the local public school, a nucleus and critical unifying factor in their small rural town of Forest Hill. Holloway summarized his opposition to forced busing by pointing out that "parents of both black and white children opposed the forced busing and he saw the fight as essentially being about the "right of a small, rural community like Forest Hill to exist." Robert Henry Mitchell (born 1945), also of Forest Hill, the Republican loser to Long in the 1978 race, ran again. Long prevailed with 75,433 votes (68.9 percent) to Holloway's 27,816 (25.4 percent) and Mitchell's 6,243 (5.7 percent).
As it turned out, Holloway was laying the groundwork in the 1980 campaign for his eventual three elections to the U.S. House. Holloway and Long were actually both residents of Rapides Parish so many were stunned when Holloway actually defeated the long-time powerful incumbent Long in their home parish.
In January 1981, Holloway, along with State Representative Woody Jenkins, an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate on three occasions, spoke at a rally in Alexandria to voice support of two proposed constitutional amendments, which have never come to fruition. One sought to ban forced school busing for purposes of racial integration. Another called for the election of federal judges, rather than appointment by the president and confirmation by the U.S. Senate. At the rally, Holloway said "the only way Americans can turn around and go in the right direction is if middle-class people like us will show ... how we feel."
In 1985, Gillis Long died on the day of Reagan's second inauguration. A special election was held on March 30 to fill out his term, and Holloway entered the race as the lone Republican candidate. Long's widow, Catherine Small Long and Alexandria attorney John W. "Jock" Scott, a State Representative in his third and final term, also ran. "Cathy" Long, a native of Dayton, Ohio, was a landslide winner, with 59,836 votes (55.4 percent). Scott finished second with 26,573 (24.6 percent), and Holloway trailed with 17,920 votes (16.6 percent).
In 1986, in his third attempt to gain a seat in Congress, Holloway was the lone Republican in the nonpartisan blanket primary to succeed Mrs. Long in the majority African-American district. His principal opponent was E. Faye Williams, an African-American woman attorney from Alexandria, a graduate of Howard University Law School who supported abortion and expanded federal-state social programs. Toward the end of the campaign, it was disclosed that Williams' estranged husband, Stan Duke, a black television broadcaster in Los Angeles, California, shot to death a white college professor and political activist, Averill Berman, whom Williams had been dating. The news damaged Williams, who had been leading handily in pre-election polls though she explained that she was in this tragedy a crime victim, not a criminal.
The other contenders were Morgan Godeau, State Senator Joe Sevario of Prairieville in Ascension Parish, and Carson K. Killen, of St. Amant, also in Ascension Parish. Killen had been an aide to Gillis Long and had been groomed as Long's long-term successor. Williams led Holloway in the primary, 46,025 (26 percent) to 41,618 (23 percent), a margin of 4,407 votes. Goudeau was third with 36,304 ballots (20 percent), followed by Sevario with 34,847 votes (19 percent), and Killen with 21,116 votes (11.8 percent).
Polls indicated that Williams would defeat Holloway in the general election in part because the district was 90 percent historically Democratic. High turnout, particularly in the large black community, was expected to benefit Williams until the disclosure that her former husband had shot to death her paramour changed the dynamics of the race. Holloway hence pulled an upset. He received 102,276 votes (51.4 percent) to Williams' 96,864 (48.6 percent). He was heavily dependent on his native Rapides and neighboring Avoyelles parishes. Holloway was estimated to have received 73 percent of the ballots of whites and 1 percent of the black vote. Holloway appeared to play into the racialized politics, giving an interview on the eve of the election that discussed Dr. Williams' violent assault and suggested that Averill Berman may have been a communist.
In 1988, Williams and Holloway, as the two leaders in the primary, again squared off in the general election. Holloway was helped in his second congressional victory by the presence of the successful Republican presidential nominee, Vice President George H. W. Bush, who won the state by a comfortable margin. This time, Holloway defeated Williams, 116,241 votes (56.8 percent) to 88,564 (43.2 percent). After her defeats, Williams left Alexandria and relocated to Washington, D.C. Other candidates in the 1988 primary were former Alexandria Mayor John K. Snyder, who received only 1,205 votes (less than 1 percent), and former Lieutenant Governor Bobby Freeman, who polled 14,814 votes (11 percent).
In 1990, Holloway defeated two state senators in the primary, Cleo Fields, an African American from Baton Rouge, and the previously mentioned Joe McPherson, Jr., of Holloway's own Rapides Parish. Holloway polled 113,607 votes (56.4 percent) to 59,511 (29.6 percent) for Fields, and 28,170 (14 percent) for McPherson.
Holloway's three consecutive House victories, two with more than 55 percent of the vote, made him feel secure in running for governor in 1991; he could run statewide in an off-year from congressional races without surrendering his House seat. He won the endorsement of state Republican delegates against the sitting Republican governor, Buddy Roemer, who had been elected as a Democrat in 1987 in the primary. In the 1991 primary, Holloway finished fourth, with 82,683 (5.3 percent) but did place ahead of Roemer in Evangeline and St. Landry parishes. One reason that Holloway supporters rejected Roemer was the outgoing governor's support for abortion. Previously considered pro-life, Roemer reversed himself and vetoed three bills which would have restricted access to abortion in Louisiana.
Instead, the 1991 gubernatorial general election featured unendorsed Republican David Duke and former Governor Edwin Edwards. Holloway refused to endorse either Duke or Edwards, who won a landslide victory for a fourth nonconsecutive term in part because the third-place candidate, Roemer, endorsed Edwards in the showdown with Duke, who was unpopular with moderate voters because of his Ku Klux Klan ties.
After his gubernatorial loss, Holloway mapped plans in 1992 to seek re-election to Congress. Louisiana lost a congressional district as a result of the 1990 census, and Holloway's Alexandria-based Eighth District was eliminated. His home in Forest Hill was drawn into a revised Sixth District stretching from Baton Rouge on the south to Alexandria on the north. He faced two opponents, fellow Republican Representative Richard Baker and the Democratic mayor of Alexandria, Edward Gordon "Ned" Randolph, Jr., who coincidentally died in 2016 twelve days before the passing of Holloway. In the nonpartisan blanket primary, Holloway led with 52,012 votes (37 percent) to Baker's 46,990 (33 percent), and Randolph's 42,819 (30 percent).
In the general election held on the day of the presidential election in which Bill Clinton unseated George H. W. Bush, Holloway won fifteen of seventeen parishes in the Sixth District. However, Baker polled clear majorities in the two largest parishes of Livingston and his home base, East Baton Rouge. That was enough for Baker to win the seat, 123,953 votes (50.6 percent) to Holloway's 121,225 (49.5 percent). Had Holloway been able to hold down Baker's margin in East Baton Rouge, he would have secured a fourth House term.
In the U.S. House, Holloway was considered a "protectionist" and an opponent of "free trade" policies, which he believed contributed to economic troubles in Louisiana. Unlike Long, however, he was an ardent fiscal and social conservative. He voted to cut government spending. He was skeptical of international organizations that he felt undermined American sovereignty. His voting record consistently reflected his middle class beliefs. He advocated rolling back "big government" by cutting taxes and also wanted to restore school prayer and end abortion.
Holloway waged further determined campaigns to return to Congress. In the heavily Republican year of 1994, he moved to the Lafayette-based Louisiana's 7th congressional district in southwestern Louisiana to oppose Democratic Representative Jimmy Hayes. Hayes polled 72,424 votes (53 percent) to Holloway's 54,253 (39.7 percent). Another 7.3 percent of voters supported a candidate who ran as "No party."
In 1996, Holloway entered the race for the revised (again) Fifth District, which covers the northeast quadrant of Louisiana, stretching to south of Alexandria to include his Forest Hill residence. Holloway ran third in the primary to fellow Republican John Cooksey, a Monroe ophthalmologist, and Democratic State Representative and later State Senator Francis C. Thompson, a popular large landowner in Delhi in Richland Parish.
Cooksey polled 60,853 ballots (34 percent) to Holloway's 48,226 (27 percent). Thompson, with 50,144 votes (28 percent), hence went into the 1996 general election with Cooksey. Two other Republican candidates, Ben Marshall and Tim Robinson, polled more than 12,000 critical primary votes, some potentially at Holloway's expense. Holloway's weak showing in Ouachita Parish, fewer than five thousand votes, kept him from proceeding to the second round of balloting, just as his weak showing in East Baton Rouge Parish had doomed him in 1992. Thwarted once more, Holloway endorsed Cooksey, with whom he shared a similar conservative philosophy, and helped him to raise money. Cooksey in turn won the seat handily, 135,990 (58.3 percent) to the more liberal Thompson's 97,363 (41.7 percent).
When Cooksey decided to run for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Mary Landrieu in 2002, Holloway entered the race to succeed him in the House. For a time, Holloway appeared strong. He had the support of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert of Illinois, and the Majority Whip, Tom DeLay of Texas. But he finished third in the nonpartisan blanket primary with 42,573 votes (23 percent). Leading the pack was the eventual winner, Democrat Rodney Alexander, with 52,952 votes (29 percent). Newcomer Dewey Lee Fletcher, a Republican advertising entrepreneur from Monroe, who had previously been an aide to Cooksey, finished second in the primary with 45,278 (25 percent). A switch of 2,705 votes from Fletcher to Holloway would have placed Holloway in the second round of balloting against Alexander. A fourth candidate, Republican State Senator Robert J. Barham of Oak Ridge in Morehouse Parish, had 34,533 votes (19 percent). Three other candidates shared the remaining but critical 9,000 votes (5 percent).
Alexander then defeated Fletcher in the general election by only 974 votes, 86,718 (50.3 percent) to 85,744 (49.7 percent).
In 2003, Holloway ran for Lieutenant Governor but was defeated by the Democrat Mitch Landrieu, younger brother of Senator Mary Landrieu. He originally ran on an intraparty ticket with the then-chairman of the PSC, Jay Blossman, of St. Tammany Parish. When Blossman withdrew from the gubernatorial race in light of weak poll numbers, Holloway remained a candidate for Lieutenant Governor. He polled 249,668 votes (19 percent) to Landrieu's 674,803 (53 percent). The other 28 percent was shared by several other candidates, including the late African-American businessman Kirt Bennett of Baton Rouge and Melinda Schwegmann, the Democratic lieutenant governor from 1992 to 1996, who while serving as a state representative from Orleans Parish switched in 2003 to the Republican Party. Announcing his candidacy only one month prior to the election and spending less than $10,000, Holloway still scored majorities in La Salle, Caldwell, and West Carroll parishes, re all sparsely populated areas in north Louisiana. He scored pluralities in Avoyelles and Evangeline parishes, both from his defunct Eighth Congressional District.
On October 19, 2006, Holloway was named Louisiana state director for the Office of Rural Development in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In making the appointment, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, currently a U.S. Senator from Nebraska, said that Holloway, who had been a member of the House Agriculture Committee during his six years in Congress, "brings a wealth of knowledge to USDA." The agency seeks to increase economic opportunity and to improve the quality of life in rural communities. The agency has invested some $72 billion since 2001 to provide equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. The agency claims to have created or saved some 1.2 million jobs nationwide. The Holloway appointment expired on January 20, 2009, with the incoming Barack Obama administration.
In 2009, Holloway emerged the plurality leader in a special election for the Public Service Commission post vacated by the resignation of Dale Sittig of Eunice. The other candidate in the runoff, which had been scheduled for May 2, Democratic State Senator Joe McPherson, of Woodworth, formerly from Pineville, no longer a legislator, dropped out on April 13. Holloway narrowly led a three-candidate field in the special election held on April 4. McPherson had lost the previous regular PSC election to Sittig. Democrat-turned-Republican Gil Pinac, a hospital administrator and a former state representative from Crowley in Acadia Parish, finished a weak third in the April 4 balloting. McPherson explained his concession as an anticipation that most of Pinac's supporters would switch to Holloway and give the Republican an insurmountable lead. Holloway polled 32,258 votes (43.5 percent) to McPherson's 31,610 (42.63 percent). Pinac trailed with the critical 10,280 ballots (13.86 percent). McPherson's greatest strength was in populous Calcasieu Parish, where he led with 11,178 (50.4 percent) to Holloway's 7,873 (35.5 percent), and Pinac's 3,127 (14.1 percent). Ironically, Holloway's tabulation in Calcasieu – centered on Lake Charles – was also his single greatest parish total. Rapides Parish, the home of both candidates, voted in a low turnout: 6,527 for Holloway to 5,327 for McPherson, and 791 for Pinac.
As results were still being tabulated, Pinac conceded and endorsed Holloway. Republican Governor Jindal had raised funds for the Democrat McPherson, but had otherwise been silent on the PSC race.
Numerous people described McPherson, a businessman, as "anti-business", and the state Republican Party endorsed Holloway. Thus the runoff would have pitted the Republican committee's pick, Holloway, against the beneficiary of Republican Governor Bobby Jindal's fundraising largesse, McPherson. By withdrawing, McPherson removed a political embarrassment for Jindal. Meanwhile, the Jindal-endorsed Lee Domingue lost the special election for a Louisiana State Senate seat on April 4 to another Republican, Dan Claitor, scion of the Claitor's Publishing Company of Baton Rouge.
In replacing Democrat Sittig, Holloway's addition to the PSC (even including the forerunner Louisiana Railroad Commission) gave the body its first-ever Republican majority. Commissioners Scott Angelle and Eric Skrmetta are, like Holloway, Republican; and the PSC has just five seats. The Democratic PSC members are Foster Campbell of Bossier City (an unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate against Jindal in 2007) and Lambert C. Boissiere, III. The PSC is also the first electoral body in Louisiana to develop a Republican majority since Reconstruction.
Holloway was unopposed for a full term on the PSC in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on August 28, 2010. On July 13, 2010, Holloway noted as a guest on The Moon Griffon Show, based in Monroe, that the August 28 contest was his first ever unopposed race and his thirteenth time to appear on a ballot.
Holloway surprised political observers on August 21, 2013, when he filed to run in Louisiana's 5th congressional district special election held on October 19, to choose a successor to Republican Rodney Alexander, who resigned from Congress on September 26 to fill a temporary position in the Jindal administration. Holloway said that his candidacy for the seat was motivated by suspicions that Alexander and Jindal were attempting to engineer the election of Republican State Senator Neil Riser of Columbia to succeed Alexander, who became the director of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs. Holloway said: "This thing stinks ... I feel like we tried to have an appointed congressman by the governor and by Rodney... Without any doubt, I think they've been orchestrating this for months."
Early in the campaign, Holloway endorsed President Barack Obama's call for American military intervention in Syria, a position in sharp contrast to that of several opponents, including fellow Republican rivals Riser and Jay Morris, a state representative from Monroe, who finished the race in a weak sixth place.
With 11,250 votes (11 percent), Holloway finished in fourth place in the special congressional election. He polled a plurality only in St. Landry Parish and finished second in his own Rapides Parish, where Riser led the balloting. The top two candidates overall, Riser (32 percent) and the Monroe-area businessman and political newcomer Vance McAllister (18 percent), met in the runoff election on November 16. Holloway endorsed McAllister, who won the runoff.
In filing once again for Congress, Holloway said that he considers himself the only candidate who can defeat McAllister, whose reputation was damaged by a scandal earlier this year when a video was published showing the married congressman kissing a former female staffer and the wife of a friend of McAllister's. He said: "I was disappointed in McAllister and still am. He had a golden opportunity and blew it. We need someone who can serve the district with integrity, and I believe I'm the best one for the job."
In the November 4 election, Holloway received 7.46 percent of the vote. The district was ultimately settled in a runoff election between Republican Ralph Abraham and Democrat Jamie Mayo. In the runoff, Abraham won with 64.2 percent of the vote.
Holloway was elected to the Louisiana Public Service Commission on April 4, 2009 and assumed the role on April 27, 2009. His current term ends on December 31, 2016. He indicated that he will seek another full term in the 2016 election. He is expected to receive a tough challenge from a Democratic candidate.
On January 22, 2015, Holloway was named by his colleagues as the chairman of the PSC for the following two years. Holloway said he will work in the next two years to make "certain that infrastructure needed for industry growth is in place without an adverse effect on ratepayers." He noted that Louisiana has the lowest electrical utility residential rates in the nation, and "I want to work to make certain we maintain that advantage."
On March 28, 2016, Holloway was the only dissenting public service commissioner to oppose the sale of Cleco, an energy company based in Pineville, to a group of foreign investors: Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, John Hancock Financial, and other infrastructure investors. In his opposition, Holloway expressed fear for "the long term consequences of Cleco's captive ratepayers. Cleco as we know it has ceased to exist. It is now owned by a private foreign investment company that plans to flip it in eight to ten years. And that same private foreign investment company is financing the deal with a massive amount of debt and ratepayers' tax money. ...I am proud of my 'No' vote and will continue to work hard for those folks who can't walk away."
Holloway died on October 16, 2016, of complications from pneumonia at his home in Forest Hill, Louisiana. Services were held at 11 a.m. on October 22, 2016, at the Forest Hill festival grounds in the center of town. Eulogies were delivered by the Reverend James Cooper, a retired pastor and longtime Holloway family minister; younger son Mark Holloway, Richard "Dick" Fiorenza, a friend and colleague at National Airlines; Marcia Young, a fellow nursery owner in Forest Hill who worked with Holloway in the formation of the former Forest Hill Academy; John Sharp, a long-time friend; Stephen LeBlanc, former congressional press secretary; Royal Alexander, former Holloway congressional staff member and unsuccessful candidate in 2007 for Attorney General of Louisiana, and Karen Haymon, Holloway's PSC chief of staff. Helen Mills, Holloway's high school classmate and the pianist at Elwood Baptist Church, played for the funeral. Tamara Brooks, a family friend, sang "Because He Lives", and Clyde Lea James, a Holloway cousin, sang "It Is Well with My Soul". The congregation joined in singing "America the Beautiful", led by the Reverend Michael Evans, pastor of Elwood Baptist Church. A private burial at Butters Cemetery followed with a public reception at the Forest Hill Town Hall. Holloway's colleagues on the Public Service Commission, including former commissioner Jimmy Field, were his honorary pallbearers.
Holloway died three weeks before the November 8 general election in which his PSC successor was chosen. The easy winner in that race was former Louisiana Republican Party state chairman Mike Francis of Crowley, who defeated another Republican, Reldon R. Owens of Alexandria, and a Democrat, Mary Leach Werner, daughter of the former U.S. Representative Buddy Leach of Louisiana's 4th congressional district, for the right to succeed Holloway. Meanwhile, the day before Holloway's funeral, Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, named former Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives Charles W. DeWitt Jr. of Rapides Parish to finish the two months left in Holloway's term.