|Bobby Ray Simpson|
January 1, 2001 – December 31, 2004
|Preceded by||Tom Ed McHugh|
|Succeeded by||Melvin "Kip" Holden |
Mayor of Baker, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
1992 – 2000
|Preceded by||Pete Heine|
|Succeeded by||Leroy Davis|
President of the Louisiana Municipal Association
2002 – 2003
|Preceded by||Edward Gordon "Ned" Randolph, Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Ronnie C. Harris|
|Born|| June 6, 1953|
East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
|Political party||Republican Party |
|Spouse(s)||Allison Windham Simpson|
|Alma mater|| Baker (Louisiana) High School|
Bobby Ray Simpson (born June 6, 1953) is an educator who served a single term from 2001 to 2004 as the Republican Mayor-President, a combined municipal-parish office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Earlier, he was the mayor of the small city of Baker in East Baton Rouge Parish from 1992 to 2000.
A native of East Baton Rouge Parish, Bobby Simpson graduated from Baker High School in 1971 and holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He is a nonpracticing Certified Public Accountant. Simpson and his wife, the former Allison Windham (born 1954), have four children. They still reside in Baker, where he served two terms as mayo, and are affiliated with the non-denominational Christian church, the Bethany World Prayer Center. He is a golfer and a runner.
Simpson launched his career as a teacher and dean of students at the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired in Baton Rouge. On November 30, 2009, he returned to that institution as the interim director, pending a national search for a permanent director. Simpson is certified as a school principal, supervisor of student teachers, and instructor of the blind and partially sighted. Prior to thatt appointment, Simpson had been chief operations officer at JTS Realty Services.
Simpson was hired at JTS by developer Tommy Spinosa.
In 2001, Simpson succeeded the retiring Tom Ed McHugh as Mayor-President by defeating Melvin "Kip" Holden, an African American Democrat in the 2000 general election. Holden then unseated Simpson in 2004 and was easily reelected in the nonpartisan blanket primary in 2008. Simpson did not seek a comeback; instead Holden was opposed by two other Republican candidates, Metro council member Wayne Carter and the former Louisiana legislative auditor and Louisiana State University professor Dan Kyle.
Simpson was elected mayor of Baker in 1992 over the Democrat Frank C. Blackburn. In the primary, he led with 1,997 (32.4 percent) to 1,147 (31.1 percent). Two other Democratic candidates held the remaining nearly 37 percent of the vote. In the general election, Simpson defeated Blackburn, 2,100 (54.4 percent) to 1,762 (45.6 percent). In 1996, Simpson defeated a fellow Republican, Lamon L. Moody, Jr., 2,022 (82.6 percent) to 425 (17.4 percent). Simpson was unopposed for a third term as mayor in March 2000, but he served less than a year thereafter upon winning election as East Baton Rouge Mayor-President. In the seeking the greater position, Simpson claimed that he had saved the city of Baker millions through careful budgeting and financial management.
Six candidates, four Republicans and two Democrats, contested the October 2000 primary for Mayor-President. Democrat Holden led with 34,780 votes (31.2 percent), and Simpson trailed with 27,928 (25.1 percent). Republican Rolfe H. McCollister finished third with 21,850 votes (19.6 percent). Three other candidates held the remaining 24 percent. One of those unsuccessful candidates was Republican Fred Columbus Dent, Jr. (1937–2010), a former United States Army Green Beret and the son of Lucille May Grace, a Democrat who served for multiple terms as the Louisiana Register of State Lands, no longer an elected statewide position. Fred Dent, Jr., drew 6 percent of the vote. Simpson then defeated Holden in the November 7 general election with 93,952 (56.9 percent) to 71,087 (43.1 percent). Simpson outpolled Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush in East Baton Rouge Parish, who received 89,128 votes (52.7 percent).
Mayor Simpson was elected in 2002 as president of the Louisiana Municipal Association, having succeeded Edward Gordon "Ned" Randolph, Jr. (1942-2016) of Alexandria in Rapides Parish. He was also president of the Louisiana Conference of Mayors. Early in 2004, he unveiled a 10-year plan endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors with the goal of ending chronic homelessness in Baton Rouge. Simpson endorsed the Samaritan Initiative, an effort to tap into community-wide resources to move the homeless from the streets and temporary shelters into houses.
Faced with crime problems, Simpson was active in the organization of a task force to catch suspected serial killer Derrick Todd Lee. Caught in 2003 after ten months as a fugitive in Atlanta, Georgia, Lee waived extradition and was returned to Baton Rouge. The case caused Baton Rouge police to re-examine cases previously excluded because there were no DNA connections.
By the time he sought reelection as Mayor-President, Simpson's political fortunes had plummeted. In addition to Holden, five other opponents filed for the office. Holden led in the primary with 39,470 (35.1 percent) to Simpson’s 38,206 (33.9 percent). In the general election, Holden unseated Simpson, 94,802 (53.9 percent) to 81,142 (46.1 percent). This time, Simpson trailed the second President Bush, who won a second term in office, by 18,801 ballots in East Baton Rouge Parish.
- Baker High School, Baker, LA. classmates.com. Retrieved on November 30, 2009.
- Biographical Information. ich.gov. Retrieved on November 30, 2009.
- State of Louisiana, Department of Education, Special School District. lsvi.org. Retrieved on November 30, 2009; no longer on-line.
- Where Are They Now?. 225batonrouge.com. Retrieved on November 30, 2009.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, March 10, 1992.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, April 11, 1992.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, March 12, 1996.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 7, 2000.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 7, 2000.
- LATA Newsletter. laota.com. Retrieved on November 20, 2009.
- Mayor President Bobby Simpson . . . On H.R. 4057. ich.gov. Retrieved on November 30, 2009.
- The Politics of Murder: Will Baton Rouge Clean House?. karisable.com. Retrieved on November 30, 2009.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, September 18, 2004.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 2, 2004.