Edgar G. "Sonny" Mouton, Jr.

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Edgar Gonzague
"Sonny" Mouton, Jr.

Louisiana State Senator
for now District 23
In office
Preceded by Garland L. Bonin
Succeeded by Allen Bares

Louisiana State Senate
President Pro Tempore
Preceded by Michael O'Keefe
Succeeded by Samuel B. Nunez, Jr.

Louisiana State Representative
for Lafayette Parish
In office
Preceded by Richard J. Bertrand
Succeeded by Roderick Miller

Born September 22, 1929
Lafayette, Louisiana
Died March 24, 2016 (aged 86)
Lafayette, Louisiana
Resting place Calvary Cemetery in Lafayette, Louisiana
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Patricia "Patsy" Dauphin Mouton (married 1951-2016, his death)
Children Cheryl Trumps

Patti Judice
Kathy Aycock
Mary Whitaker

Alma mater Cathedral High School
Tulane University

Tulane Law School

Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Edgar Gonzague "Sonny" Mouton, Jr. (September 22, 1929 – March 24, 2016), was an attorney from Lafayette, Louisiana, who was a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1964 to 1966 and the state Senate from 1966 to 1980. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in the 1979 nonpartisan blanket primary.[1]

Thereafter, Mouton (pronounced MOO TAHN) became the executive counsel (1980–1983) to newly elected Governor David C. Treen, the first Republican to hold the office since Reconstruction. In 1985, he returned briefly as a special consultant to Governor Edwin Edwards, who had won a third term in the 1983 primary by unseating Treen.

A Lafayette native, Mouton was the son of Edgar G., Mouton, Sr. (1902-1973), and the former Myrtle Grevemberg (1905-2001).[1] He graduated in 1947 from Cathedral High School as class valedictorian. He received his bachelor's degree in 1951 from Tulane University in New Orleans. Two years later, he earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the Tulane Law School.[2]

Elections to the state House and Senate

Having served only two years as a representative, Mouton entered a special election for the District 23 Senate seat early in 1966. He was elected and served in the Senate for fourteen years. When Mouton became a senator, his state House seat went Republican—the first time since Reconstruction that a Republican had won a legislative seat in Lafayette Parish. The new lawmaker was Mouton's special friend, Roderick Miller. He completed Mouton's term but was defeated in his own state Senate race held on February 6, 1968. Miller lost to Mouton, 57 to 43 percent. Miller, however, would not give up so easily. In 1972, Miller challenged Mouton for the state Senate and lost again. Mouton then polled 18,771 votes (62.2 percent) to Miller's 11,395 (37.8 percent).[3]

Miller and Mouton, in their two campaigns, debated "issues" and declined to engage in personal attacks to gain an advantage. Miller depicted himself as one oriented toward business growth, whereas Mouton's philosophy, he claimed, involved the expansion of government. Mouton saw himself as a "people senator" there to lend assistance to those that he could help.

Mouton was a major supporter of the new Louisiana State Constitution approved in 1974 He defended the interests of teachers and state employees. He worked for salary increases, which more likely than not were less than he had desired. He was generally considered a "liberal" senator by Louisiana standards but "moderate" from a national viewpoint. He was a legislative floor leader for Governor Edwin Edwards. In his third full Senate term, 1976–1980, he was elected Senate President Pro Tempore, having preceded Michael O'Keefe, who was one of Mouton's pallbearers.[2]

Mouton voted to expand such projects as the Lafayette Regional Technical Vocational Institute, the University Medical Center, and the Cajundome and Cajun Field. He worked to fund capital construction projects at what is now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and to construct roads and bridges statewide.[2]

The "Cajun" candidate for governor, 1979

In 1979, at the age of fifty, Senate President Pro Tempore Mouton sought to become the "Cajun" candidate to succeed Democrat Edwin Edwards, Louisiana's first governor from what had become known as "Acadiana" in many decades. Mouton's claim as the "Cajun" candidate was strengthened by virtue of his having been the principal author of the legislation which created the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, popularly known as CODOFIL. Mouton had also pushed successfully for adoption of the state constitution, which assures all citizens of their cultural and linguistic heritage.[2]

However, he faced a rival within the "Cajun" ranks, young Secretary of State Paul Hardy who though he has an English name is fluent in French. Mouton and Hardy divided the "Cajun" vote in the primary, and neither secured a general election slot. In fact, Hardy ran fourth, with 227,026 votes (16.6 percent) followed by outgoing House Speaker E. L. "Bubba" Henry og Jonesboro in Jackson Parish in north Louisiana. Mouton finished in a disappointing sixth position. Henry received 135,299 votes (9.9 percent) to Mouton's 123,126 (9.1 percent).[4]

In the state Senate election which Mouton forfeited by virtue of his gubernatorial run, Democrat Allen Bares, a two-term state representative and a Lafayette attorney known for his pro-life views, won the right to succeed Mouton by defeating several candidates, including future Lafayette Republican Mayor Dud Lastrapes.

The general election was between the Republican frontrunner Treen (21.8 percent) and then Public Service Commissioner Louis Lambert (20.7 percent) of Ascension Parish near Baton Rouge. Treen emerged as the general election winner by fewer than 10,000 votes. Hardy, Henry, Mouton, and the third-place primary finisher, outgoing Lieutenant Governor Jimmy Fitzmorris, of New Orleans all endorsed Treen over Lambert, who had the support of the traditional Democratic interest groups.[4]

Treen appointed Mouton as his gubernatorial counsel. Mouton succeeded his friend, Judge Edmund Reggie of Crowley in Acadia Parish, whose daughter, Victoria, was married to Democratic U.S. Senator Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy of Massachusetts.

In 1983, Mouton broke with the Treen administration and endorsed Edwin Edwards, who then unseated Treen in the nonpartisan blanket primary that Edwards had succeeded in creating in the 1975 election cycle. In that same election, Mouton failed badly in his bid to return to the state Senate, having lost to Allen Bares, who had won the position in 1979, when Mouton ran for governor.[5]


Mouton was a Roman Catholic. Mouton was a president of the Hub City Kiwanis Club, national vice-president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, a board member of Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Bishop Services Appeal, a board member of Catholic Charities, and a member of the Lafayette Parish Bar Association.[2]

When his friend, former Lafayette Mayor Kenny Bowen, a Democrat, died of cancer in 2002, Mouton delivered a moving eulogy at the funeral. When his friend Roderick Miller, a Republican, died of cancer early in 2005, Mouton issued a similarly touching tribute in an article published in The Lafayette Daily Advertiser, his hometown newspaper.

During the 1970s on three occasions, Mouton was named Louisiana’s "Best Legislator." He was also designated "Best Orator." In 2003, he was nominated as a "Living Legend" by the Acadian Museum in Erath.[2][6]

Sketch of Mouton upon induction into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame

In 2004, along with Judge Reggie, Mouton was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.[7] In 2008, he received the first ever "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Lafayette Parish Democratic Executive Committee. Afterwards, Mouton and his wife, the former Patsy Dauphin, were given the keys to the city by then Lafayette Mayor-President Joey Durel.[2]

Mouton and his wife, the former Patricia "Patsy" Dauphin (born 1932), were married, until his death, for sixty-four years. They had four daughters, Cheryl Trumps and husband Jerry, Patti Judice and husband Clay, Kathy Aycock (Larry), and Mary Whitaker. There were also sixteen grandchildren, and twenty-six great-grandchildren.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Edgar G. Mouton, Jr.. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on June 16, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Edgar G. "Sonny" Mouton, Jr.. The Lafayette Advertiser (March 27, 2016). Retrieved on June 16, 2021.
  3. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, February 6, 1968.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Billy Hathorn, The Republican Party in Louisiana, 1920-1980 (Natchitoches: Northwestern State University, Master's thesis, pp. 284, 307.
  5. Ron Gomez, My Name Is Ron And I'm a Recovering Legislator: Memoirs of a Louisiana State Representative (Lafayette, Louisiana: Zemog Publishing, 2000), p. 126, 1949.
  6. Living Legends. acadianmuseum.com (June 16, 2021).
  7. Meet Our Inductees. Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame. Retrieved on June 16, 2021.