Ruth L. Ulrich
Ruth L. Ulrich (born 1963) is the Republican National Committeewoman from Louisiana. Earlier, she was a radio producer, writer, and sometimes on-air replacement for conservative talk radio host Moon Griffon (pronounced GRE FONN), who broadcasts statewide from his studio in Monroe, the seat of Ouachita Parish in northeastern Louisiana. On February 23, 2008, Ulrich was elected as national committeewoman, a position which automatically made her a member of the Republican National Committee. She succeeded former State Representative Kay Kellogg Katz, also of Monroe, as the state's national committeewoman. She was unseated as national committeewoman in 2012.
Ulrich was defeated in a bid for the open District 5 seat on the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in the November 17, 2007, general election. She polled 49,818 votes (48 percent) to Democrat Keith K. Guice's 54,550 (52 percent).
The district includes seventeen parishes in north and central Louisiana. Guice, also of Monroe, carried the endorsement of the teacher organizations. He will hence succeed the 15-year Democratic incumbent James Stafford. Guice led in eleven parishes. Ulrich prevailed in Grant, Jackson, La Salle, Rapides, Richland, and Union parishes.
Ulrich was chairman of the Louisiana Bush-Cheney presidential electors in 2004. She serves on the Monroe Historic Preservation Commission. She is a past vice president of the Garden District Neighborhood Alliance and past president of the Monroe Garden Club. In 2005, U.S. Senator David Vitter nominated her to represent Monroe at the Business and Professional Women’s Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.
Ulrich had led Guice in the October 20 jungle primary, 60,085 (39 percent) to 42,258 (27 percent). Two other Democrats, Walter B. Gatlin and James E. Lee, received 31,585 votes (20 percent) and 22,083 ballots (14 percent), respectively. The three Democratic candidates hence collectively polled 61 percent in the preliminary election.
In addition to Ouachita Parish, District 5 includes the north-central parishes of Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, La Salle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Rapides, Richland, West Carroll, Tensas, and Union. Ulrich received pluralities in nine parishes in the primary: Grant, Jackson, La Salle, Lincoln, Morehouse, Ouachita, Rapides, Richland, and Union. Lee led in Concordia and Tensas. Guice led in the other six parishes, Caldwell, Catahoula, East Carroll, Franklin, Madison, and West Carroll.
Ulrich indicated that she was particularly interested in addressing discrepancies in the Minimum Foundation Plan, which provides state funding to school districts: "Rural parishes are suffering because of the inequity of [the] sales tax."
Guice is the outgoing director of youth programs for the Workforce Investment Board and a former school superintendent in Catahoula Parish. He indicated that he is committed to bringing common sense to the board: "We'll look at accountability and temper those rules and regulations with reason." He contends that accountability standards have placed undue stress on teachers and students without improving the educational product.
Gatlin is a retired superintendent in Catahoula Parish, an educational administrator from Pineville in Rapides Parish, and an adjunct professor at Louisiana College. He endorsed Ulrich in the general election matchup. Lee, who resides in Clayton in northern Concordia Parish, is a retired educator and manager of a federal credit union.
Shortly after the primary, Ulrich and her husband, Marcus B. "Mark" Ulrich (born 1959), were traumatized when a large pine tree struck their Monroe home. The Ulrich family escaped injuries.