Dan "Blade" Morrish

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Dan Wesley "Blade" Morrish​

Louisiana State Senator
for District 25​ (Acadia, Calcasieu,
Cameron, and Jefferson Davis parishes)
In office
January 14, 2008​ – January 13, 2020​
Preceded by Gerald J. Theunissen
Succeeded by Mark Abraham

Louisiana State Representative for District 37 (Jefferson Davis and Calcasieu parishes)​
In office
1996​ – January 14, 2008​
Preceded by Gerald J. Theunissen ​
Succeeded by John E. Guinn

Born October 20, 1950​
Political party Democrat-turned-Republican (2005)​
Spouse(s) Kathleen Vidrine Morrish​
Children Erin Morrish Boudreaux

Christopher J. Morrish​

Alma mater McNeese State University​
Occupation Businessman
Religion Roman Catholic
Notes:
  • In his first elections to the Louisiana House of Representatives and the state, Morrish succeeded Gerald J. Theunissen, also a Democrat-turned-Republican from Jennings in Jefferson Davis Parish.​
  • Senator Morrish has been ranked highly by both the Louisiana Family Forum and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, but the conservative radio talk show host Moon Griffon of Lafayette is a fierce critic of Morrish because of the legislator's association with Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.​

Dan Wesley Morrish, known as Blade Morrish (born October 20, 1950), is a Democrat-turned-Moderate Republican former state senator for District 25, which encompasses Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jefferson Davis parishes in southwestern Louisiana. He was term-limited in the 2019 state elections. Morrish resides in Jennings in Jefferson Davis Parish.

Background

Formerly the owner-operator of Capitol City Hardware & Implement Company in Jennings, Morris was thereafter the business manager of Lake Charles Pilots.[1]

Morrish graduated in 1968 from Jennings High School. He then procured a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from McNeese State University in Lake Charles. Morrish is a past president of the Greater Jennings Chamber of Commerce and the Jennings Merchants Credit Bureau. He is active in Jennings Rotary International and a member of Our Lady of Help Christians Roman Catholic Church. Morrish is married to the former Kathleen Vidrine, originally from Lake Charles. The couple has two children, Erin Morrish Boudreaux and Christopher J. Morrish.[1]

Political life

Morrish won his Senate seat in the general election held on November 17, 2007, when he defeated the then Democrat Gil Pinac of Crowley in Acadia Parish, who was also a departing state representative from a nearby district. In a low-turnout contest, Morrish polled 11,186 votes (53.9 percent) to Pinac's 9,556 (46.1 percent).[2]

Gil Pinac thereafter switched to Republican affiliation and ran third in a special election held on April 4, 2009, for the Louisiana Public Service Commission. The second placed candidate, Democratic former state Senator Joe McPherson of south Rapides Parish, withdrew from a runoff contest against Republican former U.S. Representative Clyde Cecil Holloway (1943-2016), also of south Rapides Parish.[3]

Prior to his state Senate tenure, Morrish was the Democratic state representative for District 37 (Jefferson Davis and Calcasieu parishes) from 1996 to 2008. He won a special election in 1996 to succeed Gerald J. Theunissen, who resigned from the House upon election to the state Senate seat that Morrish would hold for twelve years. Morrish was then unopposed as a Democrat for the House seat in the nonpartisan blanket primaries held in 1999 and 2003.[4] Morrish switched parties on November 18, 2005.[5]

Like Morrish, Theunissen, another Democrat-turned-Republican from Jennings, served first in the House and then the Senate. Theunissen, a banker, was term-limited and ineligible to seek a fourth Senate term in the 2007 primary. Meanwhile, Morrish was succeeded in the House by another Jennings Republican businessman, John E. Guinn.[6]

Morrish served his last term in the House as a member of the Appropriations Committee as the representative for the since disbanded 7th congressional d.[7] As senator, Morrish served on the Legislative Rural Caucus, Environmental Quality, Insurance, Coastal Restoration & Flood Control, and Revenue & Fiscal Affairs committees. He was also vice-chairman of the Natural Resources Committee.[8]

In 2008, Morrish supported the conservative Louisiana Family Forum 89 percent of the time. However, in 2009, Morrish voted with the Louisiana Restaurant Association and against the Family Forum's position[9] when he supported a measure sponsored by Democratic Senator Lydia P. Jackson of Shreveport and signed by then Governor Bobby Jindal, which allows restaurants to assess cover charges for live entertainment and to serve alcoholic beverages.[10] Morrish similarly received an 86 percent rating from another conservative interest group, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.[10]


As a Democrat, Morrish endorsed George W. Bush for U.S. President in 2000 and 2004. When Bush visited Lafayette, Louisiana, in 2001, he singled out Morrish for his support: " ... There is one other fellow, a man who stuck his neck out in the course of the campaign. You see, he doesn't happen to have the Republican label by his name. His name is Dan Morrish. He's a Democrat. He put party aside and did what he thought was right for the country. And Dan, I'm honored to have your support. I thank you for your friendship."[11]

Support for Democratic Governor Edwards

Statewide radio talk show host Moon Griffon, a conservative, is a long-term Morrish critic. Griffon predicted that Morrish will obtain a high-level appointed state position in 2020 from the re-elected Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards, who defeated in a runoff the Republican Eddie Rispone of Baton Rouge. Morrish cut a commercial backing Edwards. Griffon calls Morrish, "Switchblade" Morrish, a reference to perceived betrayal of conservative principles.[12]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Senator Dan "Blade" Morrish, District 25. senate.legis.state.la.us. Retrieved on October 15, 2009.
  2. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 17, 2007.
  3. "Senator drops out of runoff for PSC," The New Orleans Times-Picayune, April 14, 2009, p. B2.
  4. Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2020 (Calcasieu and Jefferson Davis parishes). legis.state.la.us. Retrieved on December 5, 2019.
  5. "Our Campaigns", Louisiana House race 2005, party switch". ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved on December 5, 2019.
  6. Louisiana House of Representatives: John E. Guinn. louisiana.gov. Retrieved on October 14, 2009.
  7. Morrish Elected to Appropriations Committee. house.legis.state.la.us. Retrieved on October 14, 2009.
  8. Louisiana State Senate: Dan W. "Blade" Morrish. senate.legis.state.la.us. Retrieved on October 14, 2009.
  9. "Chelsea's bill approved by the House," The Baton Rouge Advocate]]|accessdate=October 19, 2009
  10. 10.0 10.1 Project VoteSmart: Senator Dan W. 'Blade' Morrish. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on December 5, 2019.
  11. George W. Bush: Remarks in Lafayette, Louisiana. presidency.ucsb.edu (March 9, 2001). Retrieved on October 14, 2009.
  12. The Moon Griffon Show, October 14, 2019.

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