Local lawmakers react after former U.S., state lawmaker Buddy Leach dies at 88

Former U.S. and state lawmaker Buddy Leach died Saturday, Aug. 7, 2022, at age 88.
Former U.S. and state lawmaker Buddy Leach died Saturday, Aug. 7, 2022, at age 88.(KPLC)
Published: Aug. 7, 2022 at 12:33 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Former state lawmaker Buddy Leach died Saturday in Baton Rouge, the Baton Rouge Advocate is reporting.

The Advocate said Leach’s daughter Mary Werner confirmed his death.

Leach, a Leesville native, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1979 until 1981. He also served as a Louisiana State Representative from 1968 until 1979 and from 1979 until 1981.

KPLC reported in a 2007 profile of Leach that he started out in the plumbing business, but went on to LSU Law School to get his degree and later become president of Sweetlake Land and Oil. His military career took place during the cold war of the late 1950′s.

“I served at the Pentagon for almost three years,” Leach said in 2007. “This was a very broadening experience for a country boy from Leesville.”

Leach also ran for governor.

Former politician Anthony Claude “Buddy” Leach Jr. passed away Saturday evening at age 88. He won election to the State House in 1968, became the no-nonsense chairman of the ‘Tax-Writing Ways and Means committee’ after his reelection in 1972 and chaired the committee until his election to Congress in 1978.

“It was quite interesting, Buddy and I from our very first meeting (in 1996) realized that maybe we weren’t politically close but individually close, we liked each other. We talked quite often, he didn’t hesitate to pick up the phone and tell me how he felt about a particular issue and I didn’t hesitate to tell him how I felt about the issue, and often times we agreed to disagree,” former lawmaker Dan “Blade” Morrish said.

Leach was well known within the Southwest Louisiana community as well, not just for his political work, but also his work in oil and agriculture.

“His legacy will be that of an individual that worked for the working man. He was former chairman of the democratic party, he worked hard for the working man, he gave a lot to our area, he and his wife Laura. They’ve done not only a lot for west Louisiana, southwest Louisiana, but all of Louisiana. A true giver for our state. Oil and agriculture is a real staple in Louisiana, particularly here in southwest Louisiana. He was president of sweet lake land and oil company and his wife Laura, both of them have given so much to the universities in our state, in particular LSU,” former lawmaker Dennis Stine said.

Funeral services are pending. Leach is survived by his wife, Laura, and his three children: Lucy Davenport, Mary Werner, and Claude Leach, as well as his nine grandchildren.

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