Mike Foster

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Mike Foster

In office
January 8, 1996 – January 12, 2004
Preceded by Edwin Edwards
Succeeded by Kathleen Blanco

Louisiana State Senator for District 21
In office
1988–1996
Preceded by Anthony Guarisco, Jr.
Succeeded by John Siracusa

Born July 11, 1930
Franklin, Louisiana
Political party Democrat-turned-Republican (1995)
Spouse(s) Alice C. Foster
Relations Murphy J. Foster, Sr. (paternal grandfather)

Robert Roberts, Jr. (maternal grandfather)
Captain Alfred Goodwill (maternal great-grandfather)
Jasper Goodwill (cousin)

Alma mater Louisiana State University

Southern University School of Law

Profession Businessman; rancher

United States Air Force in Korean War (1952-1956)

Religion Episcopalian

Murphy James Foster, Jr., known as Mike Foster (born July 11, 1930), served as the 53rd governor of Louisiana from 1996 to 2004. Previously a Democrat, Foster switched to Republican affiliation in his 1995 campaign for the state's highest office. He is a long-term resident of Franklin in St. Mary Parish in the southern sugar-growing portion of his state. Foster's grandfather, Murphy, Sr., was a governor and U.S. Senator from Louisiana; Foster is technically Murphy Foster, III, but he uses the Roman numeral "II" because his grandfather died before Foster's birth.

Foster won the governorship as the final successor to Democrat Edwin Edwards by defeating an array of opponents, including future U.s. Senator Mary Landrieu, former Governor Buddy Roemer, and African-American U.S. Representative Cleo Field. David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klansman, endorsed Foster in the gubernatorial race; as it turned out Foster had paid from his personal funds $150,000 to Duke for the use of Duke's mailing list.[1] Term-limited in 2004, he was succeeded by the Democrat Kathleen Blanco, who defeated Foster's preferred successor, Republican Bobby Jindal, who won the 2007 nonpartisan blanket primary to succeed Blanco.

Though elected on an anti-gambling platform, once in office Foster became a quiet ally of the gambling industry. His support for a bailout bill for Harrah’s casino in New Orleans secured passage of the measure. Prior to leaving office, Foster quarreled with fellow Republican U.S. Representative and subsequent Senator David Vitter over expanded gambling on Indian reservations. He ran against affirmative action, racial quotas, corruption, welfare fraud, and gun control. He was considered closer to business interests than most other Louisiana governors of his generation. Though he had endorsed Pat Buchanan for the Republican presidential nomination in 1996, he was back with the establishment Republicans in leading the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney ticket in 2000.

He is an inductee of the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield. He resides at his family's Oaklawn Manor Plantation.

References

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  1. {{cite web|url=http://domino.ethics.state.la.us/campopn.nsf/999d109733135c25862567f8006847bf/8f58d9e4d672366e86256848006b83df?OpenDocument&Highlight=0%7Ctitle=Foster, Duke La. Campaign Finance Opinion No. 99-360|publisher=domino.ethics.state.la.us|accessdate=October 4, 2017}]