|Richard Terry "Richie" Burford, Sr.|
Louisiana State Representative for
District 7 (Caddo, DeSoto, and Sabine parishes)
January 14, 2008 – January 11, 2016
|Preceded by||Beverly Bruce|
|Succeeded by||Larry Bagley|
Member of the
DeSoto Parish Police Jury
|Born||August 19, 1946|
|Spouse(s)|| Sandra Amburn "Sandy" Burford|
|Occupation||Beef and dairy farmer|
Richard Terry Burford, Sr., known as Richie Burford (born August 19, 1946), is a beef and dairy farmer from Stonewall, Louisiana who is a Republican former state representative for District 7, which encompasses southern Caddo, DeSoto, and Sabine parishes in the northwestern portion of his state. Burford in 2008 became the first Republican to represent DeSoto Parish in the state legislature since Reconstruction. In 2015, Burford was an unsuccessful candidate for the Louisiana State Senate in District 38 to succeed the term-limited Moderate Republican Sherri Smith Cheek Buffington of Shreveport.
Burford is one of four children of dairy farmer James Underwood Burford, Sr. (1919-2013) and the former Bernice Midyett (1921-1986) of Gloster, also in DeSoto Parish. His older brother, Harvey Midyett Burford (1945-2017), was also a dairy farmer and the owner of H&J Burford Trucking, Inc. The parents and brother are interred at Gloster Trinity Cemetery. Burford and his wife, Sandra Amburn "Sandy" Burford, have a son, Richard, Jr.
Prior to his legislative service, Burford was one of eleven members of the DeSoto Parish Police Jury (the parish governing council), having represented District 3 from 1996 to 2008. He is a member of the DeSoto Parish Chamber of Commerce. Representative Burford pledged to support Blueprint Louisiana, a group which proposes reforms in the way Louisiana conducts its state government and promotes high technology and economic development. It is chaired by former State Representative Sean Reilly of Baton Rouge, an officer of Lamar Advertising Company in the capital city of Baton Rouge.
In the general election held on November 17, 2007, Burford defeated another Democrat, Kenny Ray Cox of Mansfield, 4,993 (63 percent) to 2,990 (37 percent) to win the House seat. In the earlier October 20 non-partisan blanket primary, Burford and Cox led three other candidates, Republican Dennis Freeman, the mayor of Logansport in DeSoto Parish until his death a few weeks after the legislative campaign, and Democrats Hilda Fair Rives and John G. Russell, a bank executive. Burford succeeded the term-limited Democrat Beverly Bruce, who was first elected in District 7 in 1995, when she defeated the Republican Tommy Armstrong of Shreveport, 7,027 (53 percent) to 62,35 (47 percent). Bruce ran without opposition in both 1999 and 2003.
In an interview with The Shreveport Times, Burford cited ethics as one of his legislative priorities: "I am certainly interested in seeing a good ethics package passed [and] the completion of Interstate 49 [and] Highway 3276, a connector between U.S. Highway 171 and I-49 in the Stonewall area. Fiscal responsibility and priority spending are big issues with me."
Burford easily won a second term in the House in the primary election held on October 22, 2011. He defeated the Democrat Cynthia "Cindy" Stephens Williams, 6,652 (68.9 percent) to 3,001 ballots (31.1 percent). Democrat Kenny Cox, who lost to Burford in 2007, meanwhile unseated Republican Representative Rick Nowlin of Natchitoches for the District 23 House seat in the general election held on November 19, 2011.
2015 unsuccessful state Senate race
In the state Senate primary, Burford led a four-candidate field for the seat with 9,566 votes (35.2 percent). Shreveport Democrat attorney John Milkovich, a Montana native who resides in Keithville in southern Caddo Parish, trailed with 9,061 votes (33.3 percent). Republican Cloyce Clark, who vowed "New Conservative Leadership" finished third with 5,885 votes (21.6 percent). The Democrat Jemayel Warren received a small but critical 2,693 votes (9.9 percent). Milkovich, who ran as a conservative Democrat who opposes abortion and supports school prayer, then defeated Burford in the runoff contest, 15,665 votes (52.4 percent) to 14,206 (47.6 percent).
In the primary election held on March 5, 2016, Burford won the Senate District 38 seat on the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee with 993 votes (88 percent). His lone opponent, Edward Austin Lazarus (born c. 1960) of Shreveport, received 135 votes (12 percent).
Burford's legislative ratings ranged from 78 to 95 percent from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. In 2012, he was rated 100 percent by the National Federation of Independent Business. In 2013 and 2014, the conservative Louisiana Family Forum scored him 90 and 100 percent, respectively. Louisiana Right to Life scored him 100 percent for every year that he was in the legislature. In 2013 and 2014, the Louisiana Association of Educators rated him 8 and 33 percent, respectively.
In 2014, Burford co-sponsored the requirement that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges near their clinics; the bill was approved by the full House, 88-5. In 2014, he voted against the extension of time for implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. He voted against the prohibition of the transportation of dogs in the beds of pick-up trucks while traveling on interstate highways; the measure passed the House, 53-34. He voted against the requirement that companies must give notice when they engage in hydraulic fracking. He did not vote on the repeal of the anti-sodomy laws. He voted for the establishment of surrogacy contracts. He voted against reducing the penalties for the possession of marijuana. He voted for lifetime concealed carry gun permits and supported concealed-carry privileges in restaurants that sell alcoholic beverages. He co-sponsored the prohibition against making information about gun permit holders a matter of public record. He voted in 2013 for an increase in judicial pay and supported the removal of the mandatory retirement age for judges.
In 2012, Burford voted against the prohibition of the use of telephones and other hand-held cellular devices while driving. He supported state income tax deductions for individuals who contribute to scholarship funds. He voted to reduce the number of hours that polling locations remain open; Louisiana has traditionally had 14-hour polling days. He supported drug testing of certain welfare recipients; the bill passed the House, 65 to 26. He supported changes in the teacher tenure law. In 2011, he voted against parole eligibility for elderly inmates; the measure passed the House, 65-25. He opposed the permanent tax on cigarettes and voted for the establishment of a commission to develop a plan for ending the state income tax. He supported redistricting plans for the Louisiana State Senate and Louisiana's six seats in the United States House of Representatives. Burford opposed the anti-bullying measure for public schools; the disputed bill failed, 43 to 54.
Burford was succeeded in the House by Larry Bagley, who on January 13, 2020, was among twenty-three Republican lawmakers who supportedr the Moderate Republican Clay Schexnayder of Ascension Parish, whose election as Speaker depended heavily on the votes of thirty-five Democrats combined with dissident Republicans.
- James Underwood Burford, Sr.. Oldfindagrave.com. Retrieved on February 14, 2018.
- Harvey Burford. The Shreveport Times (November 25, 2017). Retrieved on February 14, 2018.
- Blueprint Louisiana – To Fundamentally Improve Louisiana
- Election Returns: Legislative. Louisiana Secretary of State (Novemnber 17, 2007). Retrieved on February 14, 2018.
- Election Returns: Legislative. Louisiana Secretary of State (October 20, 2007). Retrieved on February 14, 2018.
- Election Returns: Legislative. Louisiana Secretary of State (November 18, 1995). Retrieved on February 14, 2018.
- The Shreveport Times
- Louisiana primary election returns, October 22, 2011. staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved on October 22, 2011.
- Cloyce Clark: New Conservative Leadership. Retrieved on July 25, 2015.
- Results for Election Date: 10/24/2015. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on October 24, 2015.
- Results for Election Date: 11/21/2015. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on December 3, 2015.
- Results for Election Date: Caddo Parish. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on March 6, 2016.
- Richard Burford's Ratings and Endorsements. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on May 16, 2015.
- Richard Burford's Voting Records. Project Vote Smart (May 19, 2015).