Thursday, 14 March 2019 13:21

Jim Brown was destined to become Louisiana Secretary of State, twice

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Qualification for this fall’s gubernatorial election is less than five months away.  So far, there are only two races at the statewide level that are competitive. The governor’s race always draws a crowd, with Governor Edwards being challenged so far by two major and well-funded opponents.  The other major contest pits the incumbent insurance commissioner in the run for his political life against well-funded newcomer Tim Temple. Incumbents in the other statewide offices have no opposition so far. 


But can a statewide official ever end up being unopposed?  It rarely if ever happens. There are just too many political junkies in the state who know they can’t win and have little financial resources, but still get a kick out of having their name on the ballot. In recent memory, it happened one time back in 1983. Some guy named Jim Brown had no opposition in his effort to be re-elected as secretary of state. 

Yes, I’m that guy.  I suppose I could say it was because I was doing such an outstanding job that no one wanted to challenge me.  And hey, I did feel I was doing a good job. But no one is indispensable or that lucky. It was more than that. Here’s what I really think.  It was karma. Predestination. Someone from a past life had set the stage for me to be unopposed. It was fate, so read on and see if you agree. 

It all goes back to the Louisiana’s first secretary of state.  He served two terms and he is the reason I had no opposition. Here’s why. I was Louisiana’s 40th secretary of state.  I wondered just who was the first?  So I did a bit of research, and you can imagine my surprise of what I discovered about the first fellow to hold this office. Here is what I found out. 

The first SOS was raised in the Presbyterian Church. After a stint in the Church of God, my mother and father continued to raise me in the Presbyterian Church. 

The first SOS was an attorney, and I too am licensed to practice law in Louisiana. The first SOS had a brother who was an attorney, and my brother, Jack, was an attorney. 

The first SOS served was an active member in Louisiana’s first constitutional convention in 1811. I served as a delegate to the most recent constitutional convention in 1973, and like my predecessor, took an active role in drawing up many of the documents that serve as the law in Louisiana today. 

The first SOS wrote the first Louisiana Civil Code that was published in 1808. As a state senator, I was instrumental in drafting the most recent revision of the Louisiana Civil Code. 

The first SOS was fluent in French. I’m far from fluent, but French was the language I studied in college, and I can certainly get by when I’m in Cajun country or in France. 

The first SOS had three daughters, and I have three daughters. 

The first SOS was a captain in the Union Army, and I served for a number of years as a captain in the Louisiana National Guard. 

The first SOS was close to his family, with both his brother and sister as well as his parents being active participants in his political campaigns. The same is true in my case, since my family, including my mother, father, brother and sister, and other family members played a prominent role in my various political campaigns. 

The first SOS was named Louisiana’s first Secretary of State when he was 39 years old. I was 39 years old when I was sworn in as the 40th Louisiana Secretary of State. 

And his name?  The first to serve in this important office?  The bible says the first shall be last and the last shall be first.  So will I surprise you? The name of Louisiana’s first Secretary of State was........JAMES BROWN.  And he served two terms. 

Now you see why I was unopposed for re-election in 1983. 

Peace and Justice


Jim Brown


Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at


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