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Hyram Copeland

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Hyram Barney Copeland, Jr.
Mayor of Vidalia, Louisiana
In office
Preceded bySam Randazzo
Succeeded byEdwy Gene "Buz" Craft
Personal details
Born (1940-12-30) December 30, 1940 (age 80)
Ferriday, Concordia Parish
Louisiana, USA
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Sandra E. Copeland (born 1944)
ChildrenStacey Denee' Copeland (born 1966)
Alma materLouisiana College
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Army Reserve

Hyram Barney Copeland, Jr. (born December 30, 1940),[1] is the former mayor of Vidalia, the seat of government of Concordia Parish in eastern Louisiana, opposite the Mississippi River from Natchez, Mississippi. First elected in 1992, Copeland was unseated in the primary election held on March 5, 2016, by his fellow Democrat, businessman Edwy Gene "Buz" Craft (born November 24, 1959), 1,025 votes (53.7 percent) to 885 (46.3 percent).[2]


Copeland was born in Ferriday in Concordia Parish and graduated from Ferriday High School. He attended the Southern Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville and the University of Louisiana at Monroe, then known as Northeast Louisiana State College. From 1965 to 1971, he was a member of the United States Army Reserve. For more than twenty years, he worked for Sears as a department manager in Vidalia. He was self-employed from 1977 to 2000, while he also served part of that time as mayor.[3]

Political life[edit]

Copeland served on the Vidalia City Council from 1976 until his election as mayor. On March 10, 1992, he unseated the incumbent Mayor Sam Randazzo (1925 – deceased), also a Democrat, 1,156 (52.9 percent) to 1,030 (47.1 percent).[4] Four years earlier, on March 8, 1988, Randazzo had defeated two other Democrats with nearly two thirds of the vote to win his own second term as mayor.[5] In 2008, Copeland won his fifth term as mayor over another Democrat, William "Bill" Murray, 1,088 (61.6 percent) to 678 (38.4 percent).[6] Copeland was unopposed for his current sixth term in 2012.

He is or has been affiliated with the Concordia Parish Chamber of Commerce, Highway 84 Commission, Concordia Parish Economic and Industrial Development District, and the Mississippi River Parkway Commission. In addition, Copeland has served on the board of directors of the following organizations: Louisiana Energy and Power Authority (four terms as chairman); Louisiana Gas Authority (past president); Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative; and Natchez Regional Hospital. Other affiliations have included Kisatchie-Delta Regional Planning and Development District, Macon Ridge Economic Development Corporation, Governor's Economic Development Task Force and Highway Task Force, and the Louisiana Committee of Development.[3]

In 2010, Copeland was honored with the designation of Concordian of the Year by the Concordia Parish Chamber of Commerce.

In May 2011, Copeland struggled with the highest Mississippi River water levels Vidalia had ever faced and the looming loss of three hundred jobs. Citizens, including prisoners, built 8-foot barriers downtown around the medical and convention centers and a hotel, and the two municipal water wells.[7]

In 2013, along with George Dement, former mayor of Bossier City in northwestern Louisiana and several others, Copeland was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.[8]

Copeland is listed among the state and local officials who endorsed the reelection in 2014 of Democrat U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu,[9] bit she was unseated by the Republican Bill Cassidy.


  1. "Plug in Hyram Copeland, December 1940". voterportal.sos.la.gov. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. "Results for Election Date: Concordia Parish". Louisiana Secretary of State. March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Mayor Hyram Copeland". concordiaed.com. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  4. "Louisiana Secretary of State, Official Election Results: 3/10/1992". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  5. "Official Election Results: 3/8/1988". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  6. "Official Election Results: 2/9/2008". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  7. "La. town works to save economic engine from flood, May 10, 2011". newsok.com. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  8. "Copeland, Hataway among inductees into Louisiana Political Hall of Fame, February 9, 2013". Alexandria Daily Town Talk, February 9, 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  9. "Landrieu's GOP Endorsements Pale In Comparison To 2008 Election". thehayride.com. Retrieved September 12, 2014.

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