Jessel Ourso selected for state hall of fame

Staff reports

The late Iberville Parish Sheriff Jessel Ourso is one of six selected for induction into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Political Museum has announced.

The induction proceedings are scheduled for February 7 in Winnfield, with a reception for friends and family members of the honorees. An induction banquet will be held at 7 p.m. at the Winnfield Civic Center the same day.

The late Sheriff Ourso was first elected in 1963 at age 31, making him the state’s youngest sheriff.

He served four terms as sheriff and survived his removal from office on federal extortion charges and 33 state criminal charges, according to museum officials.

Ourso also served as an elected member of the 1973 Louisiana Constitutional Convention.

His son, J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr. was elected in 1997 as the first – and, so far, only -- Iberville Parish president under the home rule charter form of government.

Other new inductees into the Political Hall of Fame include former state Rep. Al Ater of Ferriday, who served as chief deputy commissioner of the Department of Insurance and acting secretary of state after Fox McKeithen’s death; former state Sen. and current Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell; former state Rep. And U. S. Rep. Chris John; Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Walter Lee, who has served in the office since 1955, and the late Pat Taylor, chairman, president and chief operating officer of Taylor Energy Company, and creator of the TOPS college fund.

Tickets to the induction banquet at $50 each are available from the Louisiana Political Museum by calling 1-877-628-5928 before January 23.