BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Former Louisiana Senate Secretary Glenn Koepp, a lawyer who worked in the Senate for decades before rising to the chief administrative officer’s position, has died. He was 76 years old.
Koepp’s death was confirmed Monday by Gov. John Bel Edwards and lawmakers. No cause of death was immediately provided.
“Glenn Koepp’s genuine kindness, inquisitive nature and spirit of adventure were as unmatched as his expertise and knowledge of the Louisiana Legislature where he spent decades on staff in both chambers culminating with his retirement as secretary of the Louisiana Senate. Glenn’s service to the state was exemplary,” Edwards, a Democrat and former House member, said in a statement.
Koepp worked 16 years as Senate secretary, retiring at the start of the new term in 2020 from the job that is critical to the functioning of the Legislature. The Senate secretary, elected every four years by the senators, dispenses advice on the 39-member body’s rules and parliamentary procedure, acts a general counsel to the chamber and serves as custodian of records.
“He leaves behind a legacy of dedicated public service and a genuine understanding and respect of the legislative process in the state of Louisiana,” Senate President Page Cortez, a Republican from Lafayette, said in a statement.
Koepp was elected Senate secretary in 2004, but he had been a legislative employee for years prior to that job, working in the Louisiana Capitol through seven different governors. Koepp was secretary under three Senate presidents and assistant secretary under five more before that.
He was an expert on redistricting, the redrawing of political maps that happens every 10 years with the release of new U.S. census data.
Lawmakers offered tributes on social media.
“Such a sad day learning of the passing of Glenn Koepp, former Secretary of the Senate! He was one of kind and served the state with honor for many years,” Republican Sen. Rick Ward of Port Allen said on Twitter.
Rep. John Stefanski, the Crowley Republican who will oversee redistricting work in the House, posted: “Very sad news. Glenn was incredibly smart. The state lost a great mind. I will miss him.”
Koepp started in the Legislature in May 1972.
He told The Associated Press in 2019 shortly before his retirement that as a law student, he hitchhiked to the Capitol seeking a summer job and ended up getting a position as an assistant sergeant-at-arms. He worked at the state’s constitutional convention a year later and left the Legislature for a three-year break in the mid-1970s before returning to the Senate for the rest of his career.
Even after his retirement, Koepp was hired back at the Louisiana Capitol to help Cortez with redistricting work for the upcoming special session planned in early 2022.
Koepp is survived by his wife, Anna, and two sons, according to the Legislature’s communications office.