Edward Kennon


Edward Kennon

Infobox _ Officeholder
name=Francis Edward Kennon, Jr.
nationality=American
office= Louisiana Public Service Commissioner
party=Democratic Party
term_start=January 1, 1973
term_end=December 31, 1984
preceded=John S. Hunt, III
succeeded=Donald Lynn "Don" Owen
date of birth=birth date and age |1938|08|31
date of death=
place of birth=Minden, Louisiana
occupation=Businessman, developer
spouse= (1) Mary Virginia Nehring Kennon
(2) Jeanette Claire Woodard Moreland, known as Jenny Kennon
(3) Brenda Evans Kennon
children=Son John Edward Kennon (1967-2003
daughter Kari Melissa Kennon (born 1986)
stepchildren, Rodney Kennon
Kelly Kennon Gillis (born 1964)
Francis Edward Kennon, Jr., usually known as Ed Kennon is a multi-millionaire Shreveport real-estate developer and a former Democratic member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, the regulatory body for oil, natural gas, and utilities. He represented north Louisiana on the commission for two six-year terms from January 1, 1973, until December 31, 1984. During his tenure, the panel was enlarged from three to five members under a provision of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974. [Statement from the Louisiana Public Service Commission in Baton Rouge] Kennon first represented thirty-three parishes in District 3 and then eighteen parishes in the smaller District 5. Kennon was a nephew of Governor Robert F. Kennon, a conservative Democrat who served from 1952-1956.

Early years, education, business

Like his more famous uncle, Ed Kennon was born in Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana. His father, F. E. Kennon, Sr., was known as Frank Kennon; his mother, Clara Wallace Kennon (1913-1997), was a native of Arkansas. F.E. and his brother, Webb Kennon, operated the former Kennon's Grocery in downtown Minden, the first in Minden to have price tags on the merchandise. After Floyd's death, Clara continued to operate the store, for which she had long handled the financial obligations. She also did tax consulting for individual clients. Kennon's paternal grandfather, Floyd Kennon (1871-1966), started the store. [http://www.mindenmemories.org/Jeannie%20Kennon.htm New Page 0 ] ] Kennon has a younger brother, Michael Webster "Mike" Kennon (born 1942), a prominent Realtor who operates the Century 21 office in Minden. [ [http://find.intelius.com/search-summary-out.php?ReportType=1&searchform=name Intelius People Search - Public Records, Background Checks & More ] ] After he completed Minden High School in 1956, Ed Kennon attended the Methodist-affiliated Centenary College in Shreveport, but he did not graduate. Instead, he entered the concrete business in Minden with Frank B. Treat, Jr. (1923-1994), and built the Kennon Apartments there. Later he became a high-powered developer in Shreveport, the seat of Caddo Parish, and adjoining Bossier City in Bossier Parish. He and his wife are directors of the Tri-State Bank and Trust in Haughton in Bossier Parish. Kennon purchased the bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. [http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Ed+Kennon&btnG=Google+Search] and owns the Tri-State Sand and Gravel Company, the developer of Lakewood, a 600-home subdivision in Bossier City. [http://www.bossiercity.org/dept/mpc/agendas/2007/MPC-Minutes-08-20-07.pdf]

In the political arena

Late in 1963, after Kennon's uncle failed to gain a Democratic runoff slot in a gubernatorial comeback attempt, Ed Kennon in a public speech in Minden endorsed former New Orleans Mayor deLesseps S. "Chep" Morrison, Sr., who was making a third bid for governor. (Robert Kennon sat out the runoff.) Despite Kennon's assistance, Morrison fared poorly in north Louisiana and lost the runoff to John J. McKeithen, a folksy lawyer from tiny Columbia, the seat of Caldwell Parish south of Monroe. Ironically, gubernatorial candidate McKeithen then held the PSC seat to which Kennon would be elected eight years later. On November 6, 1971, Kennon ran unsuccessfully in a 10-candidate Democratic field for lieutenant governor in an effort to succeed the retiring Clarence C. "Taddy" Aycock of Franklin, the seat of St. Mary Parish in south Louisiana. Aycock instead ran for governor. Kennon finished third with 162,944 votes. The party nomination and the general election went to former New Orleans City Councilman James E. "Jimmy" Fitzmorris, Jr., a former Morrison protege. ["Louisiana State Election Returns, 1971", Baton Rouge; Secretary of State] Closed primaries ended in Louisiana in 1975, but they return in 2008 only for congressional races. In the lieutenant governor's race, Kennon had to compete with a second candidate from Webster Parish, outgoing State Representative Parey P. Branton, Sr., of Shongaloo. Branton was allied with gubernatorial candidate John G. Schwegmann of Jefferson Parish in the New Orleans suburbs. Ironically, Schwegmann later became one of Kennon's colleagues on the Public Service Commission. Statewide, Branton polled only 53,295 votes, fewer than third of the votes that Kennon amassed. [Report of the Louisiana Secretary of State, ""Lieutenant Governor Election Returns", November 6, 1971]

Election to the Public Service Commission

In the August 19, 1972, Democratic primary for the PSC, Kennon challenged incumbent John S. Hunt, III (1928-2001), a Monroe attorney and a nephew of former Governors Huey Pierce Long, Jr., and Earl Kemp Long. Hunt's mother, Lucille Long Hunt (1898-1985), was a sister of the two governors. Also in the race was a Long kinsman named "Huey P. Long" (1929-2004), [ [http://ssdi.genealogy.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/ssdi.cgi Social Security Death Index Interactive Search ] ] then of Pineville in Rapides Parish. Hunt alleged that Kennon had recruited Long as a candidate to siphon away some of Hunt's pro-Long support. ["Shreveport Times", August 21, 1972] In the primary, Kennon led with 122,573 votes (47.1 percent) to Hunt's 106,212 (40.8 percent). Long procured a critical 31,692 votes (12.2 percent). Kennon led in twenty-three parishes in the sprawling district, which then reached as far south as West Baton Rouge Parish. He won 58 percent in his native Webster Parish and also procured pluralities in Natchitoches, La Salle, De Soto, Avoyelles, St. Landry, and the Long traditional stronghold of Winn. Hunt led in ten parishes, including Caddo, Bossier, Lincoln, Ouachita, and Jackson. [Report of the Louisiana Secretary of State, "Official Returns of the Democratic First Primary Election, August 19, 1972", Member of the Public Service Commission, Third District"] Kennon easily defeated Hunt in the September 30 party runoff, 125,877 votes (58 percent) to 90,833 (42 percent). Kennon won twenty-nine parishes to Hunt's four. Hunt lost his native Lincoln Parish in the runoff by 176 votes and held his home base, Ouachita Parish, by a single vote, 15,502 to 15,501. [Report of the Louisiana Secretary of State, "Official Returns of Democratic Second Primary Election, September 30, 1972", Member of the Public Service Commission, Third District] Kennon was unopposed in the November 7 general election, as no Republican candidate qualified for the ballot. On September 16, 1978, Kennon won his second term in the revised Fifth District PSC seat. In the jungle primary, he polled 124,147 votes (71 percent) to 50,652 (29 percent) for intraparty rival Wayne Martin Pender (born 1940) [ [http://preview.ussearch.com/preview/newsearch;jsessionid=5F5B611E91AB75C150F4C4BF24C30F7F?searchFName=Waynel&searchMName=M&searchLName=Pender&searchCity=&searchState=LA&searchApproxAge=66&adID=10002101&searchtab=people&x=58&y=12 People Search & Background Check ] ] of Monroe. Kennon won all eighteen parishes. [Report of the Louisiana Secretary of State, "Official Returns of Open Primary Election September 16, 1978", Member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, Fifth District] Again, there was no Republican candidate for the seat, once held by Huey P. Long, Jr., himself. Kennon joined the three-member PSC when he was thirty-four. The senior member and chairman, Ernest S. Clements, a Long protege, was seventy-five and nearing the end of a long public career. The two presented a contrast in age and faction. Clements left the PSC at the end of 1974. With the five-member board, Kennon served with fellow Commissioners John F. Schwegmann (son of John G. Schwegmann), Nat B. Knight, Thomas E. "Tommy" Powell of Eunice in Evangeline Parish, and chairman Louis Lambert, Jr., of Baton Rouge, a former and future member of the Louisiana State Senate. Kennon did not seek public office after his PSC term expired, but in 1994 he announced that he would run for governor in 1995. Instead he withdrew from gubernatorial consideration on August 2, 1994, and the seat eventually went to Republican Murphy J. "Mike" Foster, Jr., of St. Mary Parish, the grandson of a previous namesake governor. [www.lsus.net/library/archives/indexes/times91-95e.htm - 170k] Kennon was succeeded on the PSC by fellow Democrat Donald Lynn "Don" Owen (born 1930), [ [http://preview.ussearch.com/preview/newsearch?searchFName=Don&searchMName=&searchLName=Owen&searchCity=Shreveport&searchState=LA&searchApproxAge=76&adID=10002101&searchtab=people&x=54&y=8 People Search & Background Check ] ] a former KSLA-TV news anchorman from Shreveport. In 2004, Kennon crossed party lines to contribute to the successful Republican candidate for the United States Senate, David Vitter of suburban New Orleans. [ [http://www.city-data.com/elec/elec-HAUGHTON-LA.html HAUGHTON, LA Political Contributions by Individuals ] ]

Three Marriages

Kennon was first married to the former Mary Virginia Nehring (1942-2002), "Miss Minden" in 1960, by whom he had a son, John Edward Kennon (1967-2003). [ [http://ssdi.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/ssdi.cgi?lastname=Kennon&firstname=John&start=21 Social Security Death Index Search Results ] ] He adopted two children by Virginia's first marriage to Rodney McMichael: Rodney Kennon (married to the former Jymme Story) of Bossier City [ [http://preview.ussearch.com/preview/newsearch?searchFName=Jymme&searchMName=&searchLName=Kennon&searchCity=Bossier+City&searchState=LA&searchApproxAge=42&adID=10002101&searchtab=people&x=50&y=18 People Search & Background Check ] ] and Kelly Kennon Gillis (born 1964) of Haughton in Bossier Parish. [ [http://preview.ussearch.com/preview/newsearch?searchFName=Kelly&searchMName=K&searchLName=Gillis&searchCity=Haughton&searchState=LA&searchApproxAge=43&adID=10002101&searchtab=people&x=29&y=15 People Search & Background Check ] ] After Kennon and Virginia divorced, he married the former Jeanette Claire "Jenny" Woodard (born 1939), who had twice been a "Miss Minden" contestant and was the widow of professional basketball player Jackie Moreland (1938-1971) and the mother of two children, Jennafer "Jenna" Moreland and James Steven "Jamie" Moreland. Kennon was a Minden High School classmate of both Jackie and Jenny Moreland. After ten years of marriage, Kennon divorced Jeanette. He wed the former Brenda Evans (born 1958), the daughter of one of Jenny's former classmates. They have a daughter, Kari Melissa Kennon (born 1986). [ [http://find.intelius.com/search-summary-out.php?ReportType=1& Intelius People Search - Public Records, Background Checks & More ] ] Jenny Kennon, as she is now known, operates with her son, Jamie Moreland (born 1965), [ [http://preview.ussearch.com/preview/newsearch?searchFName=James&searchMName=s&searchLName=Moreland&searchCity=Shreveport&searchState=LA&searchApproxAge=41&adID=10002101&searchtab=people&x=31&y=7 People Search & Background Check ] ] Lea Hall Properites, a successful real estate company in Shreveport. [ [http://www.mindenmemories.net/ Our Website Is Currently Being Moved ] ] The Kennons reside in a mansion in the fashionable Ellerbe Road area of southeast Shreveport.

References


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