Robert G. Jones

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Robert Gambrell "Bob" Jones​

Louisiana State Senator​ for Calcasieu and Jefferson Davis parishes
In office
1972​ – 1976​
Preceded by A . C. "Ace" Clemons, Jr.​
Succeeded by William L. McLeod​

Louisiana State Representative for Calcasieu and Cameron parishes​
In office
1968​ – 1972​

Born May 9, 1939​
Lake Charles, Louisiana​
Nationality American
Political party Democrat-turned-Republican (1978)​
Spouse(s) Sarah Quinn Jones​
Children Sam Houston Jones, II​

Genin Quinn Jones
​ Anna Gambrelle J. DiGiglia
​ Jennifer Louise Schindler
Sam Houston Jones (governor)
Louise Gambrell Boyer Jones​

Occupation Stockbroker​
Religion United Methodist

Robert Gambrell Jones, known as Bob Jones (born May 9, 1939), is a stockbroker in his native Lake Charles, Louisiana, who served as a state representative from 1968 to 1972[1] and in the state Senate from 1972 to 1976.[2] Jones was a son of the late Governor Sam Houston Jones, who held the state's highest office from 1940 to 1944.​

In 1975, Jones was an unsuccessful intra-party opponent to Democratic Governor Edwin Edwards, who secured the second of four nonconsecutive gubernatorial terms in the state's first ever nonpartisan blanket primary. In 1978, Jones switched affiliation to the Republican Party.[3] but he never sought office thereafter as a member of the GOP.​ ​


Jones was born to Sam Houston Jones (1897–1978) and the former Louise Gambrell Boyer (1902–1996). He has a sister, Carolyn Jelks Jones (born 1938) and two half-brothers from his mother's first marriage, James G. Boyer (born 1928) and William E. "Billy" Boyer (1930-1999). A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Billy Boyer was a member of the Lake Charles City Council from 1969 to 1974, and the elected mayor from 1974 until 1981.

Bobby Jones was a year old when his father became governor in 1940. He therefore spent his early years in the governor's mansion in the capital city of Baton Rouge. The Joneses returned to Lake Charles in 1944, when James Houston "Jimmie" Davis became governor. Sam Jones resumed his law practice, and young Jones and his sister, Jelks, grew up in Lake Charles in Calcasieu Parish in far southwestern Louisiana. Bob Jones graduated from Lake Charles High School in 1957 ​and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Tulane University in New Orleans. Upon college graduation in 1961, Jones wed the former Sarah Quinn, also from Lake Charles. He was then accepted into the Master of Business Administration program at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jones received his MBA in 1962 and returned to Lake Charles to work in the brokerage business.[4]

In the summer of 1962, he joined regional brokerage firm Kohlmeyer & Company in their Lake Charles office. Kohlmeyer was later absorbed by Thomson McKinnon Securities which later became Prudential Securities, then Wachovia Securities and Wells Fargo Advisors. Nevertheless, Jones has had the same home phone number and work phone number since 1962.​ ​

Political life

​ A tall, slender, ectomorphic man, Bob Jones was fully gray-haired before he was thirty, a physical feature which distinguished him from others in a group. His career was proceeding from the state House to the state Senate, but then he ran into an obstacle with his gubernatorial bid.​

Bob Jones, at twenty-eight, was elected to the Louisiana House in the 1967-1968 election cycle. He was one of five Democrats in an at-large delegation from Calcasieu and Cameron parishes. He became a leader of the group dubbed by the media as the "Young Turks." Among his reform colleagues was his friend Don Williamson of Caddo Parish. Jones opposed the construction in downtown New Orleans of the Louisiana Superdome, since the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. He questioned the spending of bond monies on questionable projects. The "Turks" were often seen as a thorn in the side of Governor John J. McKeithen.

In 1972, Rutgers University's Institute of Politics named Jones one of the two best state legislators in the nation. He was also the Lake Charles "Man of the Year."[5]

Jones left the House after a single term, when he was elected to the Senate in a district that encompassed about half of Calcasieu Parish and all of adjacent Jefferson Davis Parish. He succeeded A.C. "Ace" Clemons, Jr., a Democrat elected in 1968 who had switched parties in 1970 and served the second half of his third Senate term as a Republican.​ ​

Challenging Edwin Edwards, 1975

Jones joined Louisiana Secretary of State Wade Omer Martin, Jr. (1911-1990), another Democrat who later switched to Republican affiliation, in contesting the reelection of Edwin Edwards as governor. Jones claimed that Edwards failed in his promises to reduce crime, unemployment, and the cost of state government.[6] He also alleged that Edwards was partial to South Louisiana in appointments and policies, at the expense of the lesser-populated northern section of the state. No appointments to the State Mineral Board, for instance, came at the time from North Louisiana. Government, said Jones, "should operate on a philosophy of truth and responsiveness."[7] Jones also opposed gambling and urged a revised criminal rehabilitation program for Louisiana. Of Edwards, Jones said that the governor "promised an era of excellence and delivered an era of corruption.".[6]

Jones claimed too that Louisiana AFL-CIO President Victor Bussie of Baton Rouge exercised "a stranglehold on the legislature and the governor's office. Bussie doesn't have the support of the people, but he owns the governor and much of the legislature."[6] Jones said, "It is unhealthy when one man [Bussie] affects the type of control which Bussie does. He very substantially affects the governor's decisions and bears far more influence than any other politician or leader in Baton Rouge."[4]​ ​ Edwards won with 750,107 votes (62.3 percent). Jones polled 292,220 ballots (24.3 percent), and Martin trailed with 146,363 votes (12.2 percent).[8]​ ​ After Jones' gubernatorial defeat, he signaled that he might run again in 1979. Edwards ridiculed his opponent: "Yes, I think he's going to run again in four years. That's like the captain of the Titanic advertising for new passengers ... for his next voyage on the Good Ship Iceberg."[9]

Supporting Republican candidates

In 1979, Jones, by then a registered Republican, did not seek the governorship, as Edwards had predicted. Instead, he supported Republican gubernatorial candidate David C. Treen, who upon election appointed Jones to the Louisiana Racing Commission, on which he served from 1980 to 1984. Jones also supported Republican John Henry Baker's attempt to abolish the former office of Louisiana elections commissioner in the 1979 general election. Baker, however, was defeated in the race by Jerry Fowler, and the elections office continued to operate for another twenty-five years before it ceased to exist in 2004.​

In the 1980 presidential primaries, Jones contributed to former Governor John B. Connally, Jr., of Texas and U.S. Senator Howard Henry Baker, Jr., of Tennessee, but the nomination and election went to former Governor Ronald W. Reagan of California. In 1990, he contributed to his former "Young Turk" colleague Ben Bagert, of New Orleans, who later withdrew from the race against U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., of Shreveport. Jones contributed to George Herbert Walker Bush in the 1992 primary against Patrick J. Buchanan.

Jones is of English, Scottish, and Welsh extraction. He is a United Methodist, but Mrs. Jones is Roman Catholic. The Joneses have four children: Sam Houston Jones, II (born 1962), Anna Gambrelle Jones DiGiglia (born 1966), Genin Quinn Jones (born 1967), and Jennifer Louis Jones Schindler (born 1979).

From 2008 to 2014, he was appointed to serve on the Louisiana Gaming Control Board by Republican Governor Bobby Jindal. That board regulates the large gambling industry in the state.[10]

Jones filed his legislative papers and gubernatorial campaign memorabilia in the archives of McNeese State University in Lake Charles.[11]


  1. Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2020 (Calcasieu and Cameron parishes). Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on September 25, 2019.
  2. Membership in the Louisiana Senate, 1980 - Presen (Calcasieu and Jefferson Davis parishes). Louisianna State Senate. Retrieved on September 25, 2019.
  3. "Bob Jones turns Republican," Minden Press-Herald," February 27, 1978, p. 1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Minden first stop on Jones' campaign trail, Minden Press-Herald, May 9, 1975, p. 1.
  5. "Lions Host State Candidate," Minden Press-Herald, September 3, 1975, p. 1.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Jones Raps Edwards," Minden Press-Herald, September 5, 1975, p. 1.
  7. "Parade Crowd Hears Jone,s" Minden Press-Herald, October 1, 1975, p. 1.
  8. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 1, 1975.
  9. Minden Press-Herald, December 5, 1975, p. 1.
  10. Jindal Names Ex-Governor's Son to Board. KTBS-TV (ABC) in Shreveport. Retrieved on January 17, 2015.
  11. Robert G. Jones papers. McNeese State University (2007; no longer on-line.).

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