Robert Kennon, Reformist Who Was Louisiana Governor

Robert Kennon, 85, a reformist who opposed Earl K. Long and served as Louisiana governor from 1952 to 1956. Kennon, known as "judge" because of his term on the state 12th Circuit Court of Appeals in Shreveport before he became governor, brought about several reforms during his sole term. With Long, the brother of the late political leader Huey Long, unable to succeed himself as governor, Kennon entered the race as the head of the anti-Long forces. There were nine candidates, but Kennon handily defeated Long's man, Carlos Spaht, in the runoff. During his term, the Legislature ordered voting machines for every precinct in the state, a constitutional amendment was passed requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise taxes, and another amendment placed civil service in the Constitution so that it could not be repealed by a simple majority of the Legislature. Under state law, Kennon could not succeed himself as governor, and Long easily won another term. In Baton Rouge, La., on Monday.

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