Robert E. Barton

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Robert Earl "Bob" Barton

Louisiana State Representative
for District 8 (Bossier Parish)
In office
Preceded by Robert Roy Adley
Succeeded by Jane H. Smith

Born July 3, 1948
Place of birth missing
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jane Susan Kohlhaas Barton
Residence Benton, Bossier Parish, Louisiana, USA
Alma mater Bay High School (Panama City, Florida)

University of West Florida
Florida State University in Tallahassee

Occupation Newspaper owner; Businessman
Religion Roman Catholic

Military Service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1970-1973
  • Though he served only one term in the Louisiana House of Representatives, Barton was the first Republican to represent Bossier Parish in the state legislature in the 20th century.
  • In 1999, Barton ran a weak third in the District 37 state Senate race. The seat was retained in the general election by Republican Max T. Malone.

Robert Earl Barton, known as Bob Barton (born July 3, 1948), is the first Republican to have served in the Louisiana House of Representatives for Bossier Parish since Reconstruction, which ended more than a century earlier.


Barton graduated from Bay High School in Panama City, Florida. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of West Florida at Pensacola and a master's degree from Florida State University in the capital city of Tallahassee. He served in the United States Army from 1970 to 1973. He has been affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce and Lions International. He is a Roman Catholic.[1][2]

In 1986, while at the The Ruston Daily Leader in Ruston in Lincoln Parish in North Louisiana, Barton purchased the weekly The Ouachita Citizen newspaper from Bert Hatten, a former mayor of West Monroe, Louisiana.[3]

Barton also formerly owned and published The Bossier Press (since The Bossier Press-Tribune) in Bossier City. [4] He is a past president of the Louisiana Press Association and held membership in the National Newspaper Association.

Barton and his wife, the former Jane Susan Kohlhaas, reside in Benton, the parish seat of government north of Bossier City.[5]

Political life

Barton held the District 8 seat from 1996 to 2000.[6] The position opened when the 16-year incumbent, Robert Roy Adley, ran for governor in the 1995 nonpartisan blanket primary. On October 21, 1995, Barton defeated the Democrat Bob G. Burford (1942–2009) in a low-turnout election, 5,416 votes (59.2 percent) to 3,740 (40.8 percent).[7] Burford served as an academic chairperson at Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City and as a two-term member of the Bossier Parish Police Jury prior to relocating in 1997 to Wilmington, North Carolina.[8]

Barton did not seek reelection in the 1999 state House primary but instead unsuccessfully challenged Republican state Senator Max T. Malone of Shreveport. Barton finished in third place in a three-candidate field with 27.4 percent of the vote.[9]

Fellow Republican Jane H. Smith, the former Bossier Parish school superintendent, won Barton's seat without opposition from either party in the 1999 primary.[10] Smith was since term-limited, and the House seat is now held by the Republican Raymond Crews of Bossier City. Adley was term-limited in the state Senate in 2015, and the post is now filled by Republican Robert Mills.

During the late 1990s, Barton, like former opponent Bob Burford, was employed at Bossier Parish Community College in the role of assistant to the then chancellor, Tom Carleton (1945-2023).[11] Barton was also a teacher from 1973 to 1978.[12]


  1. Information taken from former website, which provided short biographies of state legislators from Louisiana.
  2. "Louisiana: Barton, Robert E. (Bob)", Who's Who in American Politics, 2003-2004, 19th ed., Vol. 1 (Alabama-Montana) (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2003), p. 769.
  3. About The Ouachita Citizen. Retrieved on May 22, 2014.
  4. History of Bossier Parish Newspapers. Retrieved on October 2, 2013.
  5. Robert Earl Barton. Retrieved on May 25, 2014.
  6. Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2016. Retrieved on March 4, 2022.
  7. Election Returns, Louisiana Secretary of State, October 21, 1995.
  8. Obituary of Bob G. Burford, The Bossier Press-Tribune, June 25, 2009.
  9. Election Returns, Louisiana Secretary of State, October 23, 1999.
  10. {{cite web|url= Harris, "After 20 years of service in Bossier Parish, Jane Smith leaves to be a state representative," The Shreveport Times, November 26, 1999.
  11. Randy Brown (May 13, 2023). Former BPCC Chancellor Tom Carleton passes away at age 78. Bossier Retrieved on May 14, 2023.
  12. "Louisiana: Robert E. Barton, Who's Who in American Politics, 2007-2008 (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2007), p. 657.