David C. Treen
1980 - 1984
Born: July 16, 1928 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Political Affiliation: Republican
Religious Affiliation: Methodist
Education: Tulane University and Tulane Law School
Career Prior to Term: Lawyer and U.S. Representative
How He Became Governor: Elected in 1980
Career after Term: Attorney in New Orleans involved in Republican Party activities
David Connor Treen, the first Republican governor in Louisiana since Reconstruction, knew well the political realities of the state. After receiving the endorsement of four Democrats he had faced in the open primary, which helped him defeat Democrat Louis Lambert in the "run-off' election, Treen appointed them to positions in his administration or made them legislative leaders. During his administration, Louisiana truly became a two-party state.
Treen's term unfortunately coincided with a harsh downturn in the state's economy as the oil boom went "bust." His own quiet personality surprised Louisiana voters attracted to flamboyance. The combination resulted in Treen's defeat by Edwards in the 1983 election.
His accomplishments as Chief Executive included the appointment of more blacks to office than any other previous governor, the strengthening of teacher certification requirements, and the establishment of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts.