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On December 13, 1997, Cleo Fields was elected to the 14th Senatorial District of Louisiana, returning him to his political origin as State Senator. Alice took in laundry and worked as a maid to make ends meet. (Being a lawyer in Louisiana, or anywhere in the United States, is not simply a matter of having a law degree, although that is usually a prerequisite, but of being licensed to practice law, which almost always requires passing a bar examination. 18Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1996 (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1997): 11–37. "Voters have had an opportunity to see me and see how I operate as an elected official," he explained during a news conference covered by the Chicago Tribune. “I was under a dark cloud the whole time I was up there. [1] "I know I'm going against the odds, but I am an odds-buster," he noted in The Commercial Appeal. Fields was elected to represent Louisiana's 4th congressional district in the House of Representatives in 1992 and re-elected in 1994. Representing himself, Fields appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court; however, the state legislature—following the lead of the newly elected Governor Foster—adopted the plan in April 1996, despite Fields’s plea to the statehouse.17 The new lines, including a larger wedge running south from the northwest border through Shreveport, retained a substantial black voting bloc in the new district, but African Americans were no longer the majority. As the polls predicted, Fields was defeated soundly in the runoff. 23Mercurio, “Return Engagement? Rosa took a seat so we all could take a stand. He advanced his agenda in Congress through the House Small Business Committee, the House Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs Committee, the Housing and Community Opportunity Committee, and several others. Exit polling showed that 95% of his votes came from the black community. He also was active in the 1996 presidential campaign, serving as a senior advisor on the Clinton–Gore re–election campaign. Without money to launch a campaign, he depended on student volunteers and the aid of his siblings to oust a well–entrenched incumbent. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. "Anyone who thinks Cleo Fields is not tough is not living in this world," he noted in the Tribune. It ran like a long, thin snake along the Mississippi River, picking up most of the black neighborhoods in Monroe and Alexandria along the way. In 1990, he entered the nonpartisan blanket primary for the 8th District, but was defeated in the first round by incumbent Republican Clyde Holloway. Fields Plotting Political Comeback,” 8 June 2000, Roll Call. Pilgrim Baptist Church. 15Tyler Bridges, “Jefferson Joins Race, Is Pitted With Fields,” 9 February 1995, Times–Picayune (New Orleans, LA). Jesse Jackson ran so Obama could win. "[8] Another version has Fields saying, "W. E. B. 17Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1995: 12–5; Jack Wardlaw and Ed Anderson, “Black District Realignment OK’d,” 29 March 1996, Times–Picayune (New Orleans, LA). Fields married his high school sweetheart, Debra Horton. In 1980, he founded the fundraising group Young Adults for Positive Action and in 1987 he was elected to the Louisiana Senate. He became the youngest person ever elected to the State Senate in Louisiana’s history and at that time, the youngest in the nation. He finished first in a crowded seven-way primary, coming roughly 1,500 votes short of winning outright. [6] On April 9, 1998, he did become licensed to practice law. He could boast of a 0 percentage rating (out of a possible 100 percent) by such conservative organizations as the Christian Coalition and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. His home in Baton Rouge was placed in the 6th District of Republican Richard Baker, while the northern portions were split between the 4th and 5th districts. He went on to complete two terms as Congressman. Fields not only enjoyed creating the law, but also practicing it. State Sen. Cleo Fields was driving to his Government Street office after church Jan. 19 when he noticed graffiti up and down the street, including on his office. Fields served until he became ineligible to run for re-election because of term limits. “For four years, I had one foot in the House and one foot across the street in the Supreme Court,” Fields later recalled. 12Michael J. Dubin et al., U.S. Congressional Elections, 1788–1997 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 1998): 779. If no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, the state held a runoff election between the top–two vote getters. Fields then began a general consulting group known as Cleo Fields and Associates where he serves as President and C.E.O. Fields was elected back to the State Senate in 1997 and re-elected in 2003, then running unsuccessfully for the Louisiana Public Service Commission in 2004. Attic, Thomas Jefferson BuildingWashington, D.C. 20515(202) 226-1300, Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives. Fields is credited with the original version of a quotation that became popular following Barack Obama's victory in the 2008 presidential election. According to Congressional Quarterly, Fields "was a leader against illicit drug use and was regarded favorably by environmentalists, but not so much so that he was perceived as an enemy of the state's powerful natural gas industry." Cleo Fields. He's lost his mind.'" Pilgrim Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Throughout his youth, Fields worked several jobs to aid his family, taking a shift at a fast food restaurant and working at the Baton Rouge mayor’s office of youth opportunity to save money for college. Some analysts actually wagered that Fields chances in the election might be helped by the likelihood that many of Foster's supporters would go duck hunting on election day. In the fall of 1996, he decided not to seek re-election due to redistricting. 1Joan McKinney, “‘There’s A Bright Future Ahead’: Rep. Cleo Fields Plans to Rest, Get a Job—And Return to Office,” 1 December 1996, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA): 1A. Pilgrim Baptist Church. I'll never forget that day." Also, Fields no longer lived in the district he was supposed to represent; his Baton Rouge home ended up being within the same boundaries as House veteran Republican Richard Baker’s residence.18 Fields chose not to run against the very popular and well–entrenched Baker in 1996, further admitting that running in his former district would be “self–serving,” as his home was no longer located there. 9Bruce Alpert, “Fields’ Focus Earns Praise From Liberals,” 29 October 1995, Times–Picayune (New Orleans, LA): A1. Fields is a member of Mt. During high school, Fields worked for the Mayor's Office of Youth Opportunity, which helped pay for his college tuition. In 1997 Fields was again elected to the Louisiana Senate for the 14th district. He ran again in 1992, this time in the newly created 4th District, a 63 percent black majority district stretching in a "Z" shape from Shreveport to Baton Rouge. He defeated Jones handily with 74 percent of the vote, emphasizing three goals he would advocate throughout his political career: creating jobs, lowering the cost of health care, and reducing the federal deficit.8. That's when I realized what my mother was going through.". Fields ran an energetic door–to–door campaign. [1] During this race Fields began a feud with fellow Democrat Mary Landrieu who did not endorse him in the second round. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) Governor's Office Coronavirus Information Page .

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