Carl Crane

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Carl Norman Crane​​

Louisiana State Representative for District 70 (East Baton Rouge Parish)[1]
In office
1982​ – 2008​
Preceded by Frank P. Simoneaux​
Succeeded by Franklin Foil

Member of the
East Baton Rouge City-Parish Council
In office

Born October 28, 1939​

Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana

Died April 14, 2024 (aged 84)
Political party Democrat-turned-Republican (1985)​
Spouse(s) Nancy Burns Crane​
(married c. 1961-2022, her death)
Children Leslie E. Crane

Shawn Peter Crane

Residence Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Alma mater University of New Orleans

Louisiana State University

Religion Roman Catholic
  • As the former chairman of the Education Committee in the Louisiana House of Representatives, Crane worked for school vouchers to assist families with children in private or parochial schools.
  • Though originally a Democrat, Crane switched parties prior to the 1987 elections and served as a Republican until he was term-limited in 2008 from what had become a heavily GOP district.​

Carl Norman Crane (October 28, 1939 – April 14, 2024)[2][3] was the Republican former state representative for District 70 in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, who formerly chaired the House Education Committee. Hislegislative service extended under five governors of both parties from 1982 to 2008, when Crane was term-limited. Elected as a Democrat in a special election in 1982, Crane switched to GOP affiliation to win his second full term in 1987.[4]


Crane obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Orleans[2] and a Master of Arts from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, fields of study not specified. He was a veteran of the United States Army. He was married to the former Nancy Burns (1940-2022), a native of Donaldsonville in Ascension Parish.[5] He was a Roman Catholic.​ ​

Political life

Crane supported school vouchers to assist families with children in private or parochial schools, but the legislature has rejected the plan on the grounds that it would deprive funding from already cash-strapped public schools.​ He blamed the failure of vouchers on the teachers' unions and other public-school organizations who claim that vouchers will undermine public education funding. Crane incorrectly predicted that future legislatures would support school vouchers.[6]

Crane secured his second term in 1987 with 9,048 votes (54 percent) over three opponents, two Democrats and one "No Party" candidate. In 1988, Crane ran unsuccessfully for the office of Mayor-President of the Baton Rouge Metro-Council; he polled only 4,554 votes (4.7 percent).[7] The winner, Tom Ed McHugh of Zachary, defeated former Mayor Woodrow Wilson Dumas, who sought a comeback for a fifth term in an all-Democratic general election.[8]

In 1991, Crane led the nonpartisan blanket primary with 5,488 votes (39 percent) and went into a contested general election with Democrat Margaret Pereboom, who trailed with 4,366 ballots (31 percent). A third candidate, fellow Republican Steve Myers, received a crucial 4,135 votes (30 percent). Pereboom had also run in 1987. In the second balloting, Crane defeated Pereboom, 8,946 (57 percent) to 6,789 (43 percent).​<ref<Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 16, 1991.</ref>

In 1995, Crane won again over Steve Myers, who had dropped the "R" label and ran as "No Party" candidate. He prevailed with 8,182 votes (55 percent) to Myers' 6,666 (45 percent).[9] In 1999, Crane won in the primary over Democrat Charles Moore, 8,897 (62 percent) to 5,453 (38 percent).​[10]

In 2003, Crane won his sixth and final term with 10,319 votes (74 percent) over two fellow Republicans, Bryce Murray, who received 2,294 votes (16 percent) and Donald Gene Luther, with 1,388 ballots (10 percent).[11] That same year Crane was among thirty-three legislators in both houses and parties who endorsed former House Speaker Huntington Blair "Hunt" Downer, Jr., for governor. Downer finished in a weak sixth place in the primary, and the governorship ultimately went to the Democrat Kathleen Blanco of Lafayette, who went on to defeat Republican Bobby Jindal, her ultimate successor in the office in 2008.

For twelve years, Crane was an assistant professor at LSU. He was recognized by the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators for his contribution to classroom technology. Crane was an advocate for the advancement of educational reform and accountability in Louisiana. He was a co-author of the TOPS College Scholarship Program. He sat on the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Education Excellence & Teacher Quality. Former Governor Murphy James "Mike" Foster, Jr., ​appointed him to the Southern Regional Education Board.[3]

Crane was succeeded in the House in 2008 by fellow Republican Franklin Foil, who became a state senator in 2020. Foil won the general election held on November 17, 2007, when he defeated a fellow Republican attorney, Pat Culbertson, 5,399 (53 percent) to 4,809 (47 percent) in a small-turnout election. Culberton had nearly won the seat outright in the October 20 primary, with 49 percent to 40 percent for Foil, a United States Navy reserve commander. A third Republican candidate, self-styled "Reagan conservative" Aidan Reynolds, also an attorney, drew only 11 percent of the vote.​[12]

Crane died at the age of eighty-four in the spring of 2024. His obituary describes Crane as "a man of tremendous personal integrity and character, determined in his dedication to the public good and devotion to his family, he will be greatly missed...we will always love you."[3]


  1. At times during Carl Crane's career in the legislature, his district included parts of western Livingston Parish.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Carl Crane. Retrieved on January 19, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Carl Norman Crane obituary. Baton Rouge Advocate (April 22, 2024).
  4. Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2024: East Baton Rouge Parish. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on January 19, 2020.
  5. Nancy Burns Crane obituary. (July 5, 2022).
  6. School Vouchers Stall in Louisiana Legislature. American United for Separation of Church and State (June 2003). Retrieved on January 19, 2020.
  7. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 1, 1988.
  8. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 8, 1988.
  9. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 21, 1995.
  10. Louisiana Secretatry of State, Election Returns, October 23, 1999.
  11. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 4, 2003.
  12. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 20 and November 17, 2007.

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