Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer dies at 77

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 9:48 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Former U.S. Representative and Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer has died at the age of 77.

Roemer served as the 52nd Governor of Louisiana from 1988 to 1992. He served as the U.S. Representative of Louisiana’s 4th congressional district from 1980 to 1988.

Gov. John Bel Edwards has ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of Roemer’s life and legacy.

Edwards also issued the following statement on Roemer’s death:

“From the fields of Scopena to the halls of Congress and then the Governor’s Mansion, Buddy Roemer proudly represented the state he so dearly loved. His astute intellect led him to enter Harvard at the young age of 16, but he still returned to Louisiana, driven by a desire to serve. I am especially grateful for the balanced, pragmatic approach he took as governor during a turbulent time for our state’s budget. I hope that we will all carry on his legacy by espousing his positive, passionate approach to public service. Donna and I ask that you join your prayers to ours in praying for Gov. Roemer’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal posted a message on social media:

“Supriya and I send our sincerest condolences to Governor Buddy Roemer’s family. Buddy’s service and dedication to Louisiana will not be forgotten. His honesty and ambitious reforms challenged Louisiana to aim higher. Buddy’s time as congressman and governor helped shift Louisiana’s reputation away from ‘good old boy politics.’ I am grateful for the time I had with Buddy and to have enjoyed his friendship. Louisiana mourns the loss of such a dedicated and loyal son.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) released the following statement:

“Buddy’s election as governor signaled a turning point in Louisiana’s history. He loved Louisiana, contributing to it through the public and private sector. He leaves a great legacy. My condolences to his family.”

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) released a statement:

“Louisiana weeps. Buddy was one of the most interesting people I have ever met. He was immeasurably talented. All he ever wanted to do was make Louisiana better, and he did. That meant making the right people mad, but he understood that. When I count my blessings, I count Buddy twice. More than anything, Buddy loved his family. Becky and I are honored to count his family and loved ones as our friends. We are so sad to lose this Louisiana warrior, and we are praying for everyone who was blessed to know and love him.”

East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome provided these words:

“Today, Louisianans are joined in prayer over the loss of Former Governor Charles ‘Buddy’ Roemer. Buddy was a dedicated public servant, committed to reforming our state for the better. This loss will undoubtedly be felt throughout our state, from his hometown of Shreveport, to Baton Rouge, and every community shaped by his leadership. Please join me in keeping Governor Roemer’s family, especially his wife Scarlett Olson, his children, his extended family, and his many friends lifted in your thoughts and prayers. As we navigate this loss, let us reflect on his service to Louisiana, and the great pride Governor Roemer showed for our state.”

Both chambers of the Louisiana Legislature, the House and Senate, held a moment of silence for former Gov. Roemer on Monday.

Louisiana Senate President Sen. Patrick Page Cortez (R - Lafayette) issued the following statement on Romer’s passing:

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of former governor Buddy Roemer. A man who worked diligently for Louisiana both in Congress and by serving as Governor of our great state. He pushed for reform in many areas to keep Louisiana ahead of the times and led us into a more prosperous future. His death can serve as a reminder to us all to keep fighting for Louisiana and his legacy.”

This is a developing news story. WAFB will update this story when more information is available.

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