On late Wednesday evening, Governor Bobby Jindal announced that former south Louisiana US Representative Billy Tauzin R-Chackbay was offered and has accepted the soon to be vacated office of lieutenant governor.
“I’m excited to share with the public that one of Louisiana’s most able representatives in Washington has decided to once again serve the people of our great state as lieutenant governor,” said Jindal from his fourth floor office in the State Capitol.
“This is going to be a tough legislative session requiring that I spend time in Baton Rouge. Yet as governor, I have obligations that require me to leave the state at times for economic development and to meet with federal officials in Washington. With Billy stepping up as lieutenant governor, I can stay at home to work on the people’s business while he can handle the out of state business.”
Tauzin served in the Louisiana House of Representatives for two terms before winning a special election as a Democrat to succeed David Treen as US Representative from Louisiana’s Third Distirct. Tauzin had made an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1987, finishing fourth behind fellow congressmen Buddy Roemer and Bob Livingston.
Tauzin was a leading conservative Democrat until 1995 when he switched parties and joined the GOP during the Republican’s first year in control of the US House of Representatives since the early days of the Eisenhower Administration.
Tauzin did not seek re-election in 2008 after overcoming severe health issues and accepted a leadership post in PhRMA, a major pharmaceutical trade group. His son, Billy Tauzin, III unsuccessfully sought to succeed his father in Congress.
Tauzin recently decided to step down from his lucrative PhRMA position, possibly as a precursor to accepting the lieutenant governor’s post though the ex-congressman’s name had not been widely circulated as a possible candidate for the office.
The Chackbay native was present at Governor Jindal’s announcement declining to discuss his appointment at length. “I’m honored by Bobby’s expression of confidence in my ability to work for Louisiana’s interests. And as they say down in the bayou, ‘jour d’imbecile d’avril heureux!’”
Which is French for "Happy April Fool's Day!"