Edgar Cason

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Edgar Cason​

(Louisiana businessman
and philanthropist)

Political party Republican

Born February 17, 1952​
​Place of birth missing

Residence:
Coushatta
Red River Parish
Louisiana, USA​

Spouse Flora Jean Caskey Cason​

Children:
Sawyer James Cason
​ Merritt Rice Cason
​ Daniel Edgar Cason
​ Stacy Cason Wendler ​

Religion Southern Baptist

Edgar Cason (born February 17, 1952) is a farmer, businessman, and philanthropist from Coushatta in Red River Parish in northwestern Louisiana, where he has resided since 1990. He is particularly known for his donations to Republican and Southern Baptist causes, the latter through his Cason Foundation, which he established in 2010.

Background

Cason formerly owned Fairview Trucking and holds at least sixty-eight acres in the heart of the Haynesville Shale, which yields more than $1 million a month for Chesapeake Energy of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.[1]

He owns Cason Timber and Cattle Company in Coushatta.[2] He previously lived in Alexandria, Pineville, Natchitoches, Ruston, Bossier City, and Haynesville, Louisiana, and several other smaller communities as well.[3]

Baptist causes

The Caskey Divinity School at Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville is named for his father-in-law, a pastor from Red River Parish. Cason and his wife, the former Flora Jean Caskey (born July 1955), donated $5.1 million to the divinity school over several years prior to 2013. It was reported that the Cason Foundation was prepared to give upwards of $60 million for the operation of the divinity school, but The Baptist Message, the state denominational newspaper, could not ascertain any public statements on behalf of Edgar Cason stipulating a specific amount that might have been forthcoming.[4]

In a dispute with then LC president, Joe Aguillard, Cason withdrew all future funds to the institution. Cason maintained that Aguillard diverted $60,000, including $2,000 for a pair of suits,[1] from the Caskey Divinity School to an LC missions project in Tanzania, Africa, which Cason had never agreed to fund. Cason was particularly disturbed that the LC trustees in March 2013 refused to hear his complaint in the matter. Cason wrote the trustees: "We deeply regret that we must now discontinue [our] support [because of] the actions of President Aguillard which we believe to be unethical and potentially illegal. We disapprove of his use of Caskey funds for LC Tanzania and consider this to be misappropriation."[5]

A year later, as other controversies mounted, the trustees removed Aguillard as president but allowed him to remain a president emeritus with one year of salary while on leave and the option to return in 2015 as a tenured faculty member in the Graduate School of Education. Aguillard's interim successor was Argile Smith, the former director of the Caskey Divinity School.[6][7]

After the disagreement with Louisiana College, the Casons entered into an arrangement with New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans to establish the Caskey Center for Church Excellence with an initial gift of $1.5 million from an anonymous donor. The center seeks to offer free theological education for small-church bi-vocational pastors and staff members of Southern Baptist congregations within Louisiana.[5]

Republican contributions

Cason was a particularly significant donor to his former congressman, Republican John Fleming of Minden in Webster Parish, who represented Louisiana's 4th congressional district from 2009 to 2017. [2] Fleming's former seat is now held by Mike Johnson, a Republican from Bossier Parish.

In 2012, Cason donated $5,000 to the Louisiana Values Political Action Committee.[2] That same year, he supported John David Cowart, an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Arkansas' 4th congressional district seat, who lost his primary bid to Tom Cotton. Then after a single term in the House, Cotton ran successfully in 2014 for the U.S. Senate to succeed Mark Pryor.[2]

Cason first donated in 2012 to the presidential campaign of then Governor Rick Perry of Texas but then switched to former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who in turn lost the nomination to Mitt Romney. In 2019, Romney became a Republican U.S. Senator from Utah. Cason also donated to the National Association for Gun Rights, Inc., PAC.[2][8]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lamar White, Jr.. Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard Accused of Fraud, Misappropriation, Criminal Misrepresentation, April 24, 2013. Cenlamar.com. Retrieved on April 17, 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Edgar Cason Contribution List, 2012. campaignmoney.com. Retrieved on April 17, 2014.
  3. Edgar D. Cason. intelius.com. Retrieved on April 17, 2014.
  4. Kelly Boggs. College president 'exonerated' by trustees, May 3, 2013. Baptist Press News. Retrieved on April 19, 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Leigh Guidry, "Former Louisiana College benefactos appear to be helping N.O. seminary," The Alexandria Town Talk, April 17, 2014.
  6. "Louisiana College will seek new president after moving Aguillard to emeritus role," The Alexandria Town Talk, April 15, 2014.
  7. "Louisiana College shifting gears: Aguillard's tenure as president to end May 31, 2014," The Alexandria Town Talk, April 16, 2014.
  8. COUSHATTA, Louisiana (LA) Political Contributions by Individuals. city-data.com. Retrieved on April 17, 2014.

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