Last modified on 30 September 2019, at 21:13

Dudley Guglielmo

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Dudley Anthony Guglielmo, Sr.​

Louisiana State
Insurance Commissioner​
In office
1964​ – 1972​
Preceded by Rufus D. Hayes​
Succeeded by Sherman A. Bernard​

Born April 21, 1909​
Died July 30, 2005 (aged 96)​
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Nationality Italian-American
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Widower​

Two sons and a daughter​

Residence Baton Rouge, Louisiana​
Occupation Government employee​
Religion

Dudley Anthony Guglielmo, Sr. (April 21, 1909 – July 30, 2005), was the Louisiana state insurance commissioner from 1964 to 1972. He served two terms until he was denied renomination in the 1971 Democratic primary by Sherman Albert Bernard, Sr. (1925-2012), a house mover from Westwego in Jefferson Parish. Bernard won the position on the premise that Louisiana residents were paying too much in insurance premiums and that Guglielmo had presumably did little to stop the rate increases.

Political career

Guglielmo, who was of Italian ethnicity, went to work in 1930 for the administration of Governor Huey Pierce Long, Jr.. He held the position of administrator of personnel and finance until 1940, when Sam Houston Jones succeeded Huey's younger brother, Earl Kemp Long, as governor. Thereafter, Guglielmo served in numerous state-appointed posts.

In 1964, he succeeded Rufus D. Hayes as insurance commissioner. Hayes declined to seek a second elected term in the position. Among the losing candidates were State Representative Jack M. Dyer of Baton Rouge and state Senator Speedy Long of LaSalle Parish, the choice of John J. McKeithen, the successful gubernatorial candidate that year. Speedy Long went on to serve in the United States House of Representatives. The Long-Guglielmo rivalry reflected the split in the Long ranks which had surfaced in the first primary held in December 1963. Guglielmo carried the backing of defeated gubernatorial candidates Shelby M. Jackson, Robert F. Kennon, Claude Kirkpatrick, and Gillis Long.[1]

Though a freshman U.S. Representatives for Louisiana's since disbanded 8th congressional district, Gillis Long ran for governor in 1963 and then lost his U.S. House seat in 1964 to his third cousin, Speedy Long, who had run unsuccessfully for insurance commissioner in 1963.

In 1967, Guglielmo won a second term as insurance commissioner. He defeated four intra-party opponents, John W. Davidson, Jack Simpson, a young insurance agent and a member of the Natchitoches Parish Police Jury;[2] Raymond C. Wingate, and the conservative state Senator Willie Spencer Myrick (1918-1991) of Oak Grove in West Carroll Parish. In Guglielmo's second term, several insurance companies failed to pay claims in a timely manner and forced the insured to accept lower amounts by with-holding payment until the insured was desperate. Guglielmo worked to require claims be paid more faithfully and also backed the claims of numerous insurance agents against a number of the companies.[3] Guglielmo's failure to clarify and advertise these actions may have cost him a third term.

In 1971, Guglielmo faced the combined competition of once again John W. Davidson as well as Jerry ​Galliano and Sherman Bernard. Guglielmo was defeated in a runoff election by Bernard, who subsequently went to prison for extortion in connection with his insurance commissioner duties. Guglielmo subsequently ran an agency which serviced insurance companies.​

In 2004, Guglielmo was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame, located in the Longs' native Winnfield.[4] "I'm just very honored to even be here", said Guglielmo, a 42-year state employee, upon his induction into the museum. "I had no idea they had such a place. This goes back to Huey P. Long," whom Guglielmo described as "the best campaigner I ever saw. He would get out in those trucks with the horns and get his message to people. Today, politics has changed. They do it on TV".​

Guglielmo lived in Baton Rouge. At the time of his death, he was a widower and was survived by two sons, one of whom is Dudley A. Guglielmo, Jr. (born 1943), and a daughter.​

References

  1. Minden Press, November 4, 1963, p. 12.
  2. Jack Simpson advertisement, Minden Press-Herald, October 13, 1967, p. 4.
  3. Guglielmo advertisement. Catholicnewsarchive.org (November 2, 1967). Retrieved on March 25, 2019.
  4. Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame (2004). Louisiana politicalmuseum.com.

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