Former longtime East Baton Rouge Parish state lawmaker Donald Ray Kennard was in intensive care at a local hospital Sunday.
Kennard, who is 73, had a brain aneurysm rupture in the wee hours of Saturday morning, close friend state Rep. Clif Richardson said Sunday afternoon.
An aneurysm is a bulging, weak area in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain.
Kennard served in the Louisiana House for eight terms, representing Central and nearby communities, where he was a life-long resident.
He was also a member of the LSU Football radio broadcast team.
Kennard did not seek re-election in 2007 to the House District 65 seat representing Central and other nearby communities. He was first elected in 1975.
The district, which Richardson now represents, is bounded on the east by the Livingston Parish line, on the south by Harrell’s Ferry Road, on the west by Flannery, Joor and Blackwater roads and on the north by McCullough and Denham.
Kennard started out his legislative career as a Democrat and switched to Republican in the mid-1990s.
Kennard was a leader in efforts to allow Central schools to leave the East Baton Rouge Parish School District and to get funding for road projects in the fast-growing district as well as for the Comite River Diversion Canal.
Kennard is a former vice chairman of the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice where he pushed for stricter driving while intoxicated laws.
He is a former chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a national group that promotes principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty.
A graduate of Central High School, Kennard received an undergraduate degree from Southeastern Louisiana University and a master’s degree from LSU.