BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Rodney “Smokie” Bourgeois, former East Baton Rouge metro councilman, has died at 78 after battling pancreatic cancer, according to his colleagues.
“Smokie was one-of-a-kind. In his restaurant you could always count on him for a great story," said Mike Walker, former EBR mayor pro tem. "On the metro council we could rely on him to hold local government accountable. He was a Baton Rouge original and we will miss him greatly.”
Walker served with Bourgeois for eight years on the EBR metro council. Bourgeois served district 12 on the council and ran for mayor in 2016.
“Councilman Bourgeois served his district with passion and distinction during his time on the metro council," said Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston-Broome. "He was a local business owner who cared deeply for our community. His loved ones are in my thoughts and prayers today.”
Bourgeious was also the owner of the popular George’s Restaurant chain based in Baton Rouge. He bought the restaurant from George Williams who was the founder.
Bourgeois was known for being outspoken and colorful during his term on the Metro Council. He lost a runoff to fellow mayoral candidate John Delgado in 2012. He often disagreed with Mayor-President Kip Holden on issues like the failed bond proposals and the new downtown library.
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