BATON ROUGE, La. - Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statement on the passing of former congressman, state representative and Democratic Party chairman Anthony C. “Buddy” Leach Jr.

Gov. Edwards said:

“Buddy Leach dedicated his life to serving our great state. From the Louisiana Legislature to Congress to his many civic contributions, Buddy worked to make life better for all Louisianans. When I decided to run for governor, he was one of the first people to encourage me. In addition to being a strong leader, he also had a heart for giving back and generously supported the efforts of Donna’s Louisiana First Foundation to enrich the lives of children. He was a friend, a mentor, and a true gentleman. Donna and I are praying for his family and all who were blessed to know him.”

Governor Edwards has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on the day of the funeral.