Former Lafayette Mayor Dud Lastrapes Dies at 94
Former Lafayette mayor Dud Lastrapes passed away on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at the age of 94.
William Dudley Lastrapes Jr. served as the Mayor of Lafayette from 1980-1992, serving three consecutive terms. This was before the adoption of the current consolidated form of government.
He was the first Republican to serve as mayor of the city after Reconstruction. At that time, Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city. That changed over the years, with those numbers flipping in recent years.
Before his time as mayor, Lastrapes served on the Lafayette School Board from 1972-1980.
While in the mayor's office, Lastrapes oversaw the opening of the Cajundome, a $64 million project. He also recommended the first plans which would become the Camelia Bridge.
Lastrapes was born in New Orleans but grew up in Opelousas and graduated from then-Southwest Louisiana Institute with a bachelor's degree in English and communications.
He also served four years in the U.S. Air Force in Korea.
In 1955, Lastrapes went to work as a reporter and newscaster for the newly opened Lafayette television station KLFY-TV. Sans a brief stint in radio, Lastrapes stayed at KLFY until 1970, rising to the position of news director.
Later in his political career, Lastrapes would serve as Chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party from 1992 to 1994.
Lastrapes leaves behind two sons and five grandchildren.
In Memoriam: 2024 Deaths
Gallery Credit: Allison Rapp