The annual induction ceremony for the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame is always marked, for those closer to the coast, by a long drive up to Winnfield.
While it’s always a joy to visit the birthplace of three governors, that takes many folks out of the picture for the yearly bash. It features speeches by political greats, offers a chance to visit and finishes off with a round of “You Are My Sunshine.”
Well, this year is different. The 2016 ceremony will instead be held in Lafayette, at the Cajundome Convention Center on March 12, where a few of the new inductees are within close driving distance.
But it’s more of a kickoff — the Hall of Fame is going on the road. The plan is to move the ceremony to a different Louisiana city each year, offering better opportunities to attend and maybe even larger crowds.
Going into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame and Museum posthumously this year will be former Gov. Sam H. Jones, who was the father of the public records act and a champion of ethics reform during a time when Earl Long was reaching for control. Former Attorney General Richard Ieyoub is going in as well.
From the other side of the rail is lobbyist Randy Haynie, who, along with his son Ryan and other associations, splits his time between Lafayette and Baton Rouge.
Another inductee from the newspaper industry is being added in the form of publishing giant B.I. Moody III, along with retired maritime executive Boysie Bollinger, former Jefferson Parish District Attorney John Mamoulides and retired Lafayette City Court Judge Kaliste Saloom Jr.
The Chehardy family of Jefferson Parish is also being inducted as part of the “Political Family of Officeholders Award.” That’s the same award that got Gov. John Bel Edwards into the hall in 2014, with several family members of his who have served as sheriff and in other positions.
A reception honoring the recipients starts at 6 p.m., followed by the induction ceremony at 7 p.m. Tickets are $100 each, and sponsorship tables ($2,500 for table of eight) must be purchased before Feb. 26. For more info, call (318) 628-5928 or email [email protected]