Russell Barrow Peacock (born March 19, 1970) is a businessman from Shreveport, Louisiana, who is a Republican member of the Louisiana State Senate from District 37, which includes portions of Bossier and Caddo parishes in the northwestern corner of the state. He is also an elected member of the Republican State Central Committee.
Peacock was born in Shreveport to John William "Bill" Peacock (1931-2012) and the former Sidney Barrow. John William Peacock graduated from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, served in the United States Air Force in England, and was the president until his retirement in 1998 of Peacock Surgical & Company in Shreveport. Barrow Peacock's paternal grandparents were William Arnold Peacock and the former Mattie Williams. Peacock has a sister, Martha Peacock Ross and her husband, Lew.
Peacock holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and a Master of Business Administration from his father's alma mater, Louisiana State University. A partner in BHP Properties in Shreveport, Peacock is a licensed certified internal auditor, and a notary public. He is the finance chairman of the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana. He serves on the board of Christus Schumpert Health System Foundation and the Louisiana Association for the Blind. He is a member of the National Rifle Association and Rotary International. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church in downtown Shreveport. Peacock and his wife, the former Melanie Fuller, have three sons, Russell, William, and Henry. On a Sunday afternoon in February 2011, Peacock was summoned to his office by the activation of a burglar alarm. He apprehended an alleged thief, John M. Crews, and held him at gunpoint until police arrived. Charged with a felony, unauthorized entry of a business, Crews had in his possession a tool kit that contained two axes, a crowbar, bolt cutters, and a knife.
Peacock assumed his State Senate seat on January 9, 2012, as the successor to the retiring Republican Senator B. L. "Buddy" Shaw of Shreveport. He won the position in the general election held on November 19, 2011, when he defeated the term-limited Republican State Representative Jane H. Smith, a former school superintendent from Bossier City. Peacock polled 10,331 votes (55.5 percent) to Smith's 8,295 votes (44.5 percent).
In the 2011 campaign, Jane Smith alleged that Peacock is "open-minded" regarding abortion and same-sex marriage. Peacock replied to the allegation by stressing his pro-life stance and his opposition to marriage by individuals of the same sex. Peacock charged that Smith had voted thirty times for tax increases, some of which were concealed by the state and compelled private companies, such as rental car agencies and utility firms, to collect taxes disguised as "fees." Peacock also said that Smith had voted to require insurance companies to cover contraception and medications to induce abortions. Smith also voted against allowing homeschoolers to participate in public school athletic programs. Peacock noted that Smith had a 38 percent rating from the conservative Louisiana Family Forum in 2004 but had improved her ratings in most subsequent years.
Peacock attributed his victory to door-to-door electioneering: "That's the way I learn what's important to the voters and the voters get to ask me a direct question. No barrier, nothing between us." Buddy Shaw described Peacock's victory as a David-versus-Goliath victory because of Governor Bobby Jindal's strong endorsement of Smith.
On October 20, 2007, Peacock finished third in the Senate primary election with 4,620 votes (18 percent). The two top votegetters in the race, Republicans Billy Montgomey and B. L. Shaw, met in the general election, in which Shaw emerged victorious.Louisiana Secretary of State, Primary election returns, October 20, 2007 Peacock also made two unsuccessful races for the Louisiana House in District 6, the most recent in a low-turnout special election held on February 9, 2008, against Republican Thomas G. Carmody, who prevailed with 4,027 votes (52 percent) to Peacock's 3,709 ballots (48 percent), a considerable improvement over Peacock's first race for the House when he polled 13 percent of the ballots.
Upon taking office as senator, Peacock cast the only vote against Republican Governor Bobby Jindal's choice of John Alario, a Democrat-turned-Republican from Westwego in Jefferson Parish, to become the new president of the state Senate, succeeding the term-limited former Senator Joel Chaisson of Destrehan. In the campaign against Jane Smith, Peacock had voiced his opposition to Alario because the veteran lawmaker had been a key legislative ally in the state House during the four administrations of former Democratic Governor Edwin Edwards and had seemed unenthusiastic when he switched parties after so many years as a Democrat. Alario in turn gave Peacock the least-desired assignments in the chamber — on the Retirement and Labor committees. "We'll have our differences, but we can still be colleagues and be sociable," said Peacock, who then hitched a ride with Alario's son from Baton Rouge to New Orleans for the LSU Tigers football game against the University of Alabama Crimson Tide.
- About Barrow Peacock. barrowpeacock.com. Retrieved on January 31, 2012.
- John Peacock obituary. Shreveport Times. Retrieved on May 30, 2012.
- Nick Caloway, "Business Owner Catches Alleged Thief, Holds Him At Gunpoint,". KTBS-TV, February 18, 2011. Retrieved on February 1, 2012.
- Louisiana primary election returns, October 22, 2011. staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved on October 22, 2011.
- Barrow Peacock defends his pro-life record. nwlatpa.com. Retrieved on February 8, 2012.
- Senate Dist. 37: Peacock defeats Smith. KSLA-TV. Retrieved on February 8, 2012.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Special legislative election, February 9, 2008
- Lou Gehrig Burnett, "Ever wonder why Barrow Peacock keeps running for office". bossierpress.com, June 1, 2011. Retrieved on February 1, 2012.
- John Maginnis, "Standing Up to Jindal", January 23, 2012. businessreport.com. Retrieved on January 31, 2012.