Pete Heine

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Norman E. "Pete" Heine

Pete Heine and Baker Mayor Darnell Waites (right) in 2016 event honoring Heine for starting the local prayer breakfast

Mayor of Baker,
East Baton Rouge Parish,
Louisiana, USA
In office
1964​ – 1976​
Preceded by Henry Grady Smith, Sr.​
Succeeded by Michael A. "Mike" Cross​
In office
1981​ – 1992​
Preceded by Mike Cross
Succeeded by Bobby Simpson​

President of the Louisiana Municipal Association​
In office
1967​ – 1968​
Preceded by John W. Perritt​
Succeeded by James G. Sherman ​

Born December 4, 1928​
Baton Rouge, Louisiana​
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Georgia Lea Pilcher Heine (died 2006)​
Children Kathryn Earn Heine Overfield

Steven Kerry Heine (deceased)
​ Charles Norman "Chuck" Heine
​ George Lee Heine
​ James Donald "Scooter" Heine​

Residence Baker, Louisiana, U.S.​
Alma mater Jefferson Military College​
Occupation Public official​
Religion Southern Baptist

Norman E. Heine, known as Pete Heine (born December 4, 1928), is a Democratic former mayor of the East Baton Rouge Parish city of Baker, located east of the capital city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, having served from 1964 to 1976 and again from 1981 to 1992.[1] Heine (pronounced HINEY) was the president of the Louisiana Municipal Association from 1967 to 1968.[2]


Heine is the son of the Reverend A. Charles Heine (1900-1976) and the former Edna Cook (1902-1974), who are interred at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens and Mausoleum in Baker.[3] Charles Heine was a Baptist minister who helped to organize two churches in the Baton Rouge area and was the pastor of several others. An active layman in his denomination, Pete Heine was named in 2008 as the "Peoples Health Champion" in recognition of those over sixty-five who perform exceptional community service. In Heine's case, he was honored for having coordinated the construction of a church in the Leland community.[4]

Heine was born in Baton Rouge and attended public schools there before enrolling at the defunct Jefferson Military College in Washington, Mississippi. He served in the United States Air Force from 1948 to 1952 as a staff sergeant, having participated in the Berlin Airlift and later was crew chief on an F-86 Sabre jet.[5]

Heine is the widower of the former Georgia Lea Pilcher (September 2, 1926 – December 12, 2006), a pianist at the First Baptist Church of Baker. He was the father of Steven Kerry Heine (1956-2002), who was married to the former Mary Strahan, and four surviving children: Kathryn Earn Heine Overfield, herself a piano teacher in Zachary in East Baton Rouge Parish; Charles Norman "Chuck" Heine, George Lee Heine, and James Donald "Scooter" Heine.[6] A Heine grandson, Steven Heine, II, died in 2016 at the age of thirty-four.[7]

Political life

Heine was an alderman and Mayor pro tem when he was elected mayor of Baker in 1964 to succeed the retiring Henry Grady Smith, Sr. (1921–2009), who served from 1956 to 1964.[1][8] Only the fourth mayor in Baker history, Heine stepped down in 1976 to run unsuccessfully for the mayor-presidency of East Baton Rouge Parish, having lost to the incumbent Democrat, Woodrow Wilson Dumas. A Republican, Mayor Jack Breaux of Zachary, finished third in that race.​

As the Baker mayor, Heine was succeeded by Michael A. "Mike" Cross, who served until 1981, when he resigned the position to succeed state Senator Gaston Gerald, who had been expelled from the chamber in a 33-3 vote because of his conviction and imprisonment of extortion to receive a bribe.[9] Heine then returned to the mayoralty post to succeed Cross. Heine served until 1992, when he declined to run again. The Baker mayoralty then went to the Republican Bobby Simpson, who subsequently became mayor-president for a single term in 2001.[1]

In Heine's last campaign for mayor on March 8, 1988, he defeated another Democrat, Jewel E. "Duke" Welch, 2,244 (53.9 percent) to 1,923 (46.2 percent), a member of the East Baton Rouge Metro Council who was later elected as a state court judge. In that same election, the Democrat Sid J. Gautreaux, III, won the position of police chief in Baker. In 2007, Gautreaux won a special election as sheriff of East Baton Rouge Parish to fill the seat vacated by Republican Elmer Litchfield. Thus far, Heine has served as a mayor in East Baton Rouge Parish longer than any other person.[5]

From 1993 to 2000, Heine was the first parish manager for West Feliciana Parish in St. Francisville, north of Baton Rouge.[5][4]

Heine ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in the 1971 Democratic closed primary, the last of its kind held in the state prior to adoption of the nonpartisan blanket primary. The eventual winner was former New Orleans City Council member James E. Fitzmorris, Jr. In 1973, Heine was elected in a nonpartisan race as a delegate from East Baton Rouge Parish to the Louisiana Constitutional Convention, which drafted the current charter approved by voters statewide in 1974.[5][10]

In 1991, Heine forced Mike Cross, his first successor as mayor of Baker, into a general election runoff for Cross' Senate seat. Cross led with 19,650 votes (45 percent) to Heine's 13,808 (31.8 percent). Two other Democratic candidates shared the remaining 23 percent of the ballots cast.[11] In the second round of balloting, Cross prevailed, 28,234 votes (57.8 percent) to Heine's 20,813 (42.4 percent).[12]

After his mayoral tenure, Heine was elected to the Place 2 position on the Baker City Council. In his bid for reelection in the primary election held on March 5, 2016, Heine, polled 402 votes (47.8 percent) and was placed into a runoff with fellow Democrat Cleveland Thomas, who trailed with 219 votes (26.1 percent). Two other Democrats with a combined 26 percent of the vote were eliminated from further contention.[13] Heine then defeated Thomas, 365 votes (60 percent) to 244 (40 percent), to retain his city council seat.[14]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kathleen Stephens, List of Baker Mayors, City of Baker,
  2. Pictures of past presidents of the Louisiana Municipal Association. Retrieved on August 2, 2011.
  3. Rev. Charles A. Heine. Retrieved on March 6, 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Hope and Faith: Kathy Heine Overfield's music is an inspiration to all". (January 5, 2009). Retrieved on November 27, 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 House Resolution No. 72 by State Representative Melvin "Kip" Holden. (2001). Retrieved on December 3, 2009.
  6. Kathy’s Keyboards. Retrieved on November 27, 2009.
  7. Steven Kerry Heine, II, obituary. The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved on November 6, 2016.
  8. Henry Smith dies, former Baker mayor. The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved on November 27, 2009.
  9. Pol in the Pen. Time Magazine (June 8, 1981). Retrieved on November 18, 2009.
  10. Constitution drafters meet, reminisce 33 years later. Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved on November 27, 2009.
  11. Louisiana election returns. Louisiana Secretary of State (October 19, 1991). Retrieved on November 6, 2016.
  12. Louisiana election returns. Louisiana Secretary of State (November 16, 1991). Retrieved on November 6, 2016.
  13. Results for Election Date: East Baton Rouge Parish (March 5, 2016). Retrieved on March 6, 2016.
  14. Election Returns. Louisiana Secretary of State (April 9, 2016). Retrieved on April 10, 2016.