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William Henson Moore

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William Henson Moore

William Henson Moore, III
Henson Moore
White House Deputy Chief of Staff
In office
February 3, 1992 – August 23, 1992
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Andrew Card
Succeeded by Robert Zoellick
United States Deputy Secretary of Energy
In office
January 20, 1989 – February 3, 1992
President George H. W. Bush
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by John Richard Rarick
Succeeded by Richard Hugh Baker
Personal details
Born (1939-10-04) October 4, 1939 (age 74)
Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish
Louisiana, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Carolyn Cherry Moore (born 1941)
Children William Henson Moore, IV (born 1964)

Jennifer Lee Moore
Cherry Ann Moore

Alma mater Baton Rouge High School

Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University Law Center

Occupation Retired attorney; lobbyist
Religion Episcopalian
Military service
Service/branch United States Army

William Henson Moore, III (born October 4, 1939), is a retired attorney and businessman who is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, having represented Louisiana's 6th congressional district, based about Baton Rouge, from 1975 to 1987. He was only the second Republican to have represented Louisiana in the House since Reconstruction, the first having been David C. Treen, then of Jefferson Parish.

In 1986, Moore was the unsuccessful Republican candidate in the race to replace the retiring U.S. Senator Russell B. Long. He lost to Democrat John B. Breaux of Crowley, the seat of Acadia Parish in southwestern Louisiana.

Early years, education

Moore was born in Lake Charles, the seat of Calcasieu Parish in southwestern Louisiana, to W.H. Moore, II, an oil company executive, and the former Madge Pearce. The family lived in Hackberry in Cameron Parish and then moved to Baton Rouge, where Moore graduated in 1958 from Baton Rouge High School. In 1957, at the age of seventeen, Moore was elected governor of the Baton Rouge-based Boys State government/citizenship program. In 1961, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. In 1965, he obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the Louisiana State University Law Center. He was admitted to the bar in 1966 and the next year joined the Baton Rouge law firm Dale, Woen, Richardson, Taylor, and Mathews, first as an associate and then as a member. Moore also obtained a master's degree from LSU in 1973.

Moore served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1967. In 1969, he switched party allegiance from Democrat to Republican after having supported Richard M. Nixon in the 1968 general election. He served on the elected Louisiana Republican State Central Committee from 1971 to 1975, when he entered Congress. He was a delegate to the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, which renominated the Reagan-Bush ticket.

In Congress

Moore was initially elected to Congress on November 5, 1974, during mid-term elections which produced huge Democratic gains in both houses of Congress. He succeeded John Robert Rarick of St. Francisville in West Feliciana Parish north of Baton Rouge. Rarick, a conservative at odds with his national party leadership, had lost the Democratic primary to Jeff LaCaze, a young liberal broadcaster who declared himself a "national Democrat". Moore and LaCaze squared off in the general election. Because Moore's margin over LaCaze was only 14 votes (61,034 to 61,020) and a voting machine had malfunctioned, a special election rematch was directed by the Louisiana courts.

Moore won the special election held in January 1975 with a decisive 74,802 votes (54.1 percent) to LaCaze's 63,366 ballots (45.9 percent). Moore gained 13,768 votes in the second election, while LaCaze netted only an additional 2,346 ballots. Moore fared best in Washington Parish and his parish of residence, East Baton Rouge. He also carried that part of Livingston Parish within the district as well as Tangipahoa Parish. He lost in East Feliciana, St. Helena, and West Feliciana parishes. West Feliciana had been the only parish to support George McGovern for president in 1972. Moore's share of the vote in West Feliciana, a heavily African-American region, was 32.4 percent.

In 1976, Moore faced a spirited Democratic challenger in liberal State Senator J.D. DeBlieux of Baton Rouge, who had opposed the late Senator Allen J. Ellender in the 1966 Democratic primary. Moore polled 99,780 (65.2 percent) to DeBlieux's 53,212 (34.8 percent). Moore won most of the traditionally Democratic parishes in the district despite the popularity of the Carter-Mondale ticket. For the remainder of his tenure in the House, Moore did not face strong challenges from the Democrats.

In Congress, Moore compiled a conservative voting record. Early in 1985, he described his political philosophy:

"You can't be all things to all people. People don't waqnt any more taxes. They don't believe that the additional revenue would be applied to the budget. There would be just more money for Congress to spend. ... Taxes alone won't eliminate deficits. ... We've got to start thinking about the survival of the nation. It's not a matter of what is good - it's a matter of what is necessary. ...[1]

Moore stressed in speeches that the longstanding American deficit is financed by foreign capital, whose owners consider the United States as a good place to invest.[1]

1986 U.S. Senate campaign

Moore was the first candidate to declare for Long's seat after the veteran lawmaker announced his retirement. He had the immediate support of Republican colleague Bob Livingston of First District, who in 1987 launched an unsuccessful bid for governor of Louisiana. Republican chairman George Despot of Shreveport pronounced Moore's as his party's "strongest possibility" to fill Long's seat.[2] Former Governor David C. Treen at first indicated that he might run for the Senate too, but within a month endorsed Moore. Treen noted that all states on the Gulf of Mexico had at least one Republican senator at the time except for Louisiana.[3]Also strongly for Moore was his friend Frank Spooner, the outgoing Republican national committeeman and an oil and natural gas producer in Monroe, who had lost the 1976 race for Louisiana's 5th congressional district to the Democrat Jerry Huckaby.[4]

In this campaign, Moore sounded more like a candidate for governor than for the U.S. Senate, having consistently claimed that Louisiana needed "a new image". He specifically called for greater job opportunities, expanded port facilities and exports, more emphasis on tourism, and the designation of a research hospital in Louisiana. "We're going to have to use our business and commercial leaders to turn it around. Don't depend on politicians," Moore said.[5]Moore called for placing offshore revenues into a trust fund to support education. He demanded protection of American business from unfair foreign trade practices.[6]

In the nonpartisan blanket primary, Moore led John Breaux of Louisiana's 7th congressional district with 529,433 votes (44.2 percent) to 447,328 (37.3 percent). State Senator Samuel B. Nunez, Jr., of Chalmette polled a potentially critical 69,853 votes (5.9 percent). Other candidates included the Republican Robert Max Ross (1933–2009), a small businessman] from Mangham in Richland Parish in northeast Louisiana,[7] who had earlier opposed David Treen for governor in 1971 and 1983 and J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., for the U.S. Senate in 1984. During the 1986 campaign, Democrats accused the Louisiana GOP of attempting to establish schemes to depress black turnout. The Republicans replied that they were merely trying to remove names from the rolls of those who had not voted in four years, a procedure required by Louisiana law.

In the general election, Breaux turned the tables on Moore: 723,586 (52.8 percent) to 646,311 (47.2 percent), a margin of 77,275 ballots. Nationally, the Democrats regained control of the Senate for the two remaining years of the Reagan administration. Breaux held the Senate seat for eighteen years, when he was succeeded by David Vitter, the first Republican U.S. senator from the state since Reconstruction.

To run for the seat Long vacated, Moore had to relinquish his House seat. Moore's seat was won in 1986 by a fellow Republican, State Representative Richard H. Baker of Baker, a town north of Baton Rouge in East Baton Rouge Parish. Baker held the seat until 2008, when he resigned to become a lobbyist.

Post-congressional years

After his House service, U.S. President Reagan named Moore commissioner of the Panama Canal Consultative Committee (1987–1989). In April 1989, he became deputy secretary of the United States Department of Energy, having been sworn into that position by then Vice President Dan Quayle.[8] In 1992, Moore became White House Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush during Bush's last year in office.

After his service in the first Bush administration, Moore was until 1995 a partner in the Texas and New York-based law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani (includes senior partner Rudolph W. Giuliani). Afterwards, he was the president and CEO of the interest group, the American Forest and Paper Association and then the president of the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations. Both positions involved considerable lobbying. Moore retired in 2007, and he and his wife, the former Carolyn Cherry, built a new home in Baton Rouge. The Moores met in Baton Rouge in May 1960 at the second inauguration of Louisiana Governor Jimmie Davis.[9] The couple has three children, W. H. Moore, IV, Jennifer Lee Moore, and Cherry Ann Moore.

Moore serves on the boards of directors of the American Council for Capital Formation and the United States - New Zealand Council. He is a member of the American Legion and Rotary International. He is Episcopalian and a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge.

In 2002, Moore was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.

In 2005, he accepted chairmanship of Forever LSU: The Campaign for Louisiana State University. His involvement – as spokesman and fundraiser – made a huge difference for his alma mater, future generations of students and faculty, and for Louisiana. Thanks to his leadership, the campaign reached and exceeded its $750 million goal.

On April 1, 2011, Moore was honored as the 2011 Alumnus of the Year as part of the LSU Alumni Association's Hall of Distinction. It was Moore's second time to be honored by the association; he was also inducted to the hall in 1991.


  • Louisiana Political Museum
  • Who's Who in America, 41st edition, 1980–1981
Preceded by
John Robert Rarick (D)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Richard Hugh Baker (R)

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