Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Front Page - By JANET McCON­NAUGHEY

Cathy Long, a Louisiana Demo­crat who won her hus­band’s U.S. House seat after his sud­den death in 1985 and served one term, died Satur­day in Chevy Chase, Mary­land. She was 95.

Cathy Long, a Louisiana Demo­crat who won her hus­band’s U.S. House seat after his sud­den death in 1985 and served one term,

She died Satur­day in Chevy Chase, Mary­land. The cause was de­men­tia, her fam­ily said.

Long beat three com­peti­tors with 56% of the vote in 1985, with a 2-1 mar­gin over the se­cond-place fin­isher for the seat held for a to­tal of 16 years by Gil­lis Long. The district covered 15 cen­tral Louisiana par­ishes, in­clud­ing Ba­ton Rouge, the state cap­i­tal.

“It was a chal­leng­ing time. She had two weeks to de­cide whether or not to run for his seat,” her son Ge­orge Long, who was 30 at the time, said in a phone in­ter­view Satur­day.

“Our dad had just died, and peo­ple were giv­ing her cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions,” said his sis­ter, Ja­nis Long. She said U.S. Rep. Lindy Boggs, D-La, who had won her hus­band’s seat after his plane dis­ap­peared in Alaska in 1972, en­cour­aged Cathy Long to run.

Gil­lis Long was first elected to Congress in 1962 and then lost in the next election be­fore be­ing voted back into of­fice in 1972, hold­ing the seat for seven straight terms.

Cathy Long al­ready had ex­pe­ri­ence in pol­i­tics, work­ing early on for a U.S. se­na­tor from Ore­gon and a U.S. rep­re­sen­ta­tive from

Ohio, and later cam­paign­ing and giv­ing speeches for her hus­band, as well as ad­vis­ing him.

“I don’t have to start from scratch. I al­ready know how Congress works,” she told The As­so­ci­ated Press in 1985.

Ge­orge Long de­scribed her as one of the last mod­er­ates elected from the area.

“I was glad she de­cided not to run for re-election,” he said. “The tide was turn­ing.”

Mary Cather­ine Small was born in Dayton, Ohio. She joined the Navy at age 20 dur­ing World War II, serv­ing at a Navy hospi­tal in Cor­pus Christi, Texas.

The Longs met at Louisiana State Univer­sity, where both en­rolled after the war. They mar­ried in 1947.

Ge­orge Long noted that one of their mother’s early cam­paign ex­pe­ri­ences was rid­ing around the state with for­mer Gov. Earl K. Long — her hus­band’s cousin — while he was run­ning for Congress. Earl Long won a Demo­cratic pri­mary runoff and was pre­par­ing to run un­op­posed in the gen­eral election when he died in 1960. His death prompted Gil­lis Long to move the fam­ily back to Louisiana to es­tab­lish res­i­dency so he could run for the seat in 1962, Ge­orge Long said.

Cathy Long also cam­paigned for the Equal Rights Amend­ment, her chil­dren said.

The sib­lings re­called their mother as an ad­ven­tur­ous spirit who loved scuba diving, fish­ing trips and even tried para­sail­ing when she was about 60. She also was a giv­ing per­son who worked in the 1960s to pro­mote the Spe­cial Olympics and more re­cently fed home­less peo­ple and tu­tored read­ing at a Wash­ing­ton, D.C., neigh­bor­hood or­ga­ni­za­tion called Miriam’s Kitchen, they said.

Ja­nis Long said her mother asked for 90th birth­day gifts of do­na­tions to Miriam’s Kitchen, which re­ceived about $12,000.

A me­mo­rial ser­vice is planned Dec. 7 at All Souls Church Uni­tar­ian in Wash­ing­ton.


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