B. L. "Buddy" Shaw

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Bernice Lorene "Buddy" Shaw

Louisiana State Senator for District 37
(Caddo and Bossier parishes)
In office
January 2008 – January 2012
Preceded by Max T. Malone
Succeeded by Barrow Peacock

Louisiana State Representative for District 6 (Caddo Parish)
In office
January 1996 – January 2004
Preceded by Melissa Scott Flournoy
Succeeded by Mike Powell

District 6 member of the
Caddo Parish School Board
In office
January 1987 – December 1994

Born September 6, 1933
Jamestown, Bienville Parish

Resident of Shreveport, Louisiana (1955-2018)

Died January 18, 2018 (aged 84)
Resting place Providence Cemetery in Ringgold in Bienville Parish
Political party Democrat-turned-Republican (1995)
Spouse(s) Mary Ann Neff Minor Shaw

Stephanie Shaw
Mary Jane Lowder
Chris Minor
Edward Neff Minor, III (1963–1995)
Two grandsons
Four great-grandchildren

Alma mater Jamestown (Louisiana) High School

Northwestern State University
Louisiana State University

Occupation Educator

Served in United States Army

Religion Southern Baptist

Bernice Lorene Shaw, known as B. L. 'Buddy' Shaw (September 6, 1933 – January 18, 2018), was a long-term educator from Shreveport, Louisiana, who from 2008 to 2012 was a Republican member of the Louisiana State Senate for District 37 in Caddo and Bossier parishes in the northwestern portion of his state. Earlier he was the District 6 state representative.


Born in Jamestown in Bienville Parish, also in north Louisiana, Shaw was one four children of Levia Watson "Levi" Shaw (1898-1958), a native of the pioneer Sparta Community in Bienville Parish and a veteran of World War I, and the former Ida Nix (1898-1984), originally from DeSoto Parish south of Shreveport. A brother whom he never knew, Milton Franklin Shaw, died in 1925 at the age of one year.[1] He graduated from Jamestown High School c. 1950 and received his bachelor's and master's degrees in 1955 and 1960, respectively from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. He subsequently received the Ed.D. degree, later recognized as a Ph.D., from Louisiana State University in the capital city of Baton Rouge, where he would later served in both chambers of the state legislature. Earlier, he served in the United States Army.[2]

Before his legislative service, Shaw was a classroom teacher at Hamilton Terrace Junior High School, assistant principal of Youree Drive Junior High, and from 1970 to 1986, the principal of Clifton Ellis Byrd High School, the first public high school in Shreveport, founded in 1925. While at Byrd, Shaw worked to establish the mathematics and science magnet school and was named a Danforth Fellow. One of his Byrd students was the author William Joyce.[3]

Thereafter, he was the supervisor of Caddo Parish public schools. After he retired as an educator, he was elected to the District 6 seat on the Caddo Parish School in 1986 and served in that position until 1994 and was the board president in 1992. From 1989 to 1994, Shaw served on the Louisiana School Boards Association and for a time was the president of that group. He also served in his later career as a senior admissions counselor at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas. In 2000, Shaw as the former principal was inducted into the Byrd High School Hall of Fame.[2][4][5]

Shaw was a member of the East Shreveport Rotary International. He was a Southern Baptist. His widow is Mary Ann Neff Minor Shaw, Ph.D., a professor at LSU in Shreveport.[6] The Shaws established a scholarship endowment at NSU to honor his daughter, Stephanie Shaw, and his stepson, Edward Neff Minor, III (November 21, 1963 – March 15, 1995), both of whom attended NSU. He formerly served as the president of the NSU Alumni Association. NSU President Randall Webb attributed the scholarship to the "generosity of Dr. Buddy Shaw and his family. What Buddy has done in providing this scholarship to honor Stephanie is to put Northwestern in a better position to be competitive. ... to demonstrate progress."

Legislative races

From 1996 to 2004, Shaw held the District 6 state House seat, which includes south and southeastern Shreveport. In the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 21, 1995, Shaw defeated the politically unknown Democratic candidate, Jeff Rogers, 9,096 votes (66 percent) to 4,759 (34 percent). As a representative, Shaw backed streamlining of government but opposed school choice plans and deep cuts in public education.[2]

Shaw was unopposed for his second term in 1999 and did not seek reelection to a third term in the House in the 2003 primary. Instead he returned in 2007 to contest the state Senate vacancy left by the term-limited Max T. Malone of Shreveport. His opponents included Billy "Coach" Montgomery, the term-limited District 9 state representative; oilman Jack Clary "Jay" Murrell, Jr. (born February 1949), a former Caddo Parish commissioner, Republican activist, and son-in-law of the Alexandria Democratic attorney DeWitt T. Methvin, Jr.,[7] and businessman Barrow Peacock. Sheva Sims, an African-American female lawyer, was the only Democrat in the race; she was later elected as Shreveport city judge.

Montgomery led in the primary with 7,524 votes (29 percent) to Shaw's 6,676 ballots (22 percent). Peacock finished third with 4,620 votes (18 percent). Sims ran fourth with 4,564 (17 percent), and Murrell finished last with 3,951 (15 percent). Shaw was considered more politically conservative than Montgomery though both were former Democrats. Both were inducted into the NSU Hall of Distinguished Educators.

Political writer Jeffry Dennis Sadow, a professor of political science at LSU Shreveport, recalled the state Senate campaign, accordingly:

Even while representing one of the most conservative districts in the state, Buddy [Shaw] didn’t always vote that way, particularly on education issues ... But Montgomery came across as much more comfortable with big government and populist redistribution, affections for which Buddy [Shaw] never could be accused of harboring. In essence, even as they were just a few years apart in age and both had distinguished backgrounds as educators (although in very different ways), the pair represented a crossroads for the party and conservatives in general. Democrats statewide saw the writing on the wall and some like Montgomery scrambled to reinvent themselves as Republicans, writing the playbook that today’s Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards would use so well to gain election [in 2015]: talk up social conservatism and mention little their desires not only to keep inflated populist government but also to expand it.

Montgomery was considered the establishment candidate, backed especially by most political elites on the Bossier Parish side of the district (which comprised almost half, with Caddo making up the rest). A number of Caddo GOP activists also assisted his campaign, which ended up spending over half a million dollars – at that time, the most expensive in the state’s history.

Buddy spent about a fifth of that, embarking on a very different campaign model. Ironically, while Montgomery served as the ideological mossback in the race, in campaigning they reversed roles. Montgomery relied almost exclusively on media advertising while Buddy and Mary Ann undertook a vigorous walking regimen, so with their surrogates they knocked on doors covering the district. It was a superb way to show a 74-year-old was up to the task of governing and to deliver in person a reassuring message to voters they would get the real deal with him in shrinking government. That he would confirm a year later after winning, when he led the charge to individual income tax cuts, finally getting a reluctant former GOP Governor Bobby Jindal on board.[6]

In the general election or runoff contest of November 17, 2007, Shaw defeated Montgomery, 7,157 votes (57 percent) to 5,317 (43 percent).[8]

Shaw declined to seek a second term in the Senate in the primary held on October 22, 2011. Termed-limited state Representative Jane Holland Smith of Bossier City, a former Bossier Parish school superintendent, lost to Barrow Peacock, the businessman beaten in the 2007 contest for the same seat. Peacock hence succeeded Shaw in January 2012.[9]

Death and legacy

Statewide radio talk show host Moon Griffon announced Shaw's death at the age of eighty-four on his broadcast of January 18, 2018.[10] Two funeral services were held on January 24, 2018: at First Presbyterian Church in Shreveport and the Jamestown Baptist Church in Jamestown. He is interred, along with his parents, at Providence Cemetery just east of Ringgold, also in Bienville Parish. One of his pallbearers is Ray Germany, a former Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs basketball player and high school coach who resides in Bossier City.[2]

Current Caddo Parish School Superintendent T. Lamar Goree said that Shaw is "undoubtedly a legend in our district and a man who set C. E. Byrd apart from the crowd. He was a career educator who loved the students of this district and spent his life in service to the community. ... his legacy will long be remembered."[5]

On Pearl Harbor Day in 1974, Shaw offered his personal Christian testimony: "O God, I am a man - not Divine - not God. I am a man - I like all men shall die. Between birth and death, I shall face problems and joys. I shall experience the garment of emotions from love to hate to fear and often all the emotions shall be so mixed. Life is very difficult. But like all men I am immortal - not of my will but of the will of the Creator God. I unlike some men but also like many men face the transition of death with faith in Jesus Christ that 'He' will deliver me ultimately into a perfect and righteous relationship with my Heavenly Father. Herein lies my hope that bringeth peace out of utter despair. Amen."[2]


  1. Levia Watson Shaw. Old.findagrave.com. Retrieved on January 21, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Dr. B. L. "Buddy" Shaw. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on January 21, 2018.
  3. Former Lawmaker and Byrd Principal Buddy Shaw Dies. KEEL Radio. Retrieved on January 18, 2018.
  4. Hall of Fame Inductees: 2000. byrdhighalumni.org. Retrieved on June 16, 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Former Byrd principal, legislator, 'Buddy' Shaw dies. The Shreveport Times.
  6. 6.0 6.1 B. L. "Buddy" Shaw. Jeffrey Dennis Sadow (January 22, 2018). Retrieved on February 23, 2018.
  7. Jack C. Murrell, Jr.. genealogy.com. Retrieved on October 6, 2014.
  8. Election Returns. Louisiana Secretary of State (November 17, 2007). Retrieved on January 18, 2018.
  9. Legislative primary election returns. Louisiana Secretary of State (October 22, 2011). Retrieved on January 18, 2018.
  10. The Moon Griffon Show, January 18, 2018.