Bud Courson

He has been singled out as “one of the hardest working” and “most effective people in state government” by Louisiana’s foremost political columnist John Maginnis. Bud Courson has served both a former Louisiana Governor and Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry. He served the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry for 18 years, rising to the position of Deputy Commissioner. In 1986, at the age of 27, Courson became First Assistant to the Commissioner, the youngest person in the nation to hold such a position. As Deputy Commissioner, he was second in command of one of the seven Louisiana governmental agencies headed by a statewide elected official. His administrative responsibilities included the day-to-day management of 1,200 employees and a budget of more than $100 million.

A member of the 1985 Louisiana Trade Delegation to Taiwan, Courson participated in negotiations that led to the Sister State Trade Agreement with that country. He also was instrumental in negotiations that helped persuade France’s largest exotic hide tannery to establish the nation’s first major alligator tannery in Louisiana.

Courson was responsible for amending the state appropriations bill numerous times to include millions of dollars in additional funding for his agency. He has successfully lobbied for passage of more than 150 pieces of legislation and was also responsible for stopping hundreds of pieces of other legislation. In addition, he traveled to Washington on many occasions to work directly with presidential cabinet members on national and international issues and programs.

Leaders of both political parties have recognized Courson’s expertise in the political arena and organizational skills. He co-chaired Governor Mike Foster’s 1996 and 2000 inauguration ceremonies, as well as the 1996 and 2000 Governor’s Inaugural Ball and served on the Executive Board of the Governor’s Mansion Foundation. He also organized and Co-Chaired the 2008 Inaugural Ceremonies for Governor Bobby Jindal.

Since 1987 Courson has raised more than $2 million for various political causes. One of his fundraising events generated more than $500,000, setting a Louisiana record for both attendance and contributions. As Campaign Manager for five successful campaigns, Courson coordinated races for governor and other statewide elected offices, a Louisiana presidential primary as well as congressional and school board candidates. Courson also organized the Agriculture and Forestry Roundtable of Louisiana, consisting of the presidents of every farm and forestry industry in the state. He was also named as an Outstanding Young Man in America. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Old State Capitol and the BREC Foundation.

Courson’s governmental relations clients include: 3M, CH2MHill, Sempra Energy, City of Baton Rouge, Tunica Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, IBM, Louisiana Horsemen’s Association, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, The Louisiana Academy of Medical Psychologists, The American Advertising Association, ATT, The Louisiana Police Jury Association, Motorola, LAMAR, McKesson Group, Stonehenge Capital and ACS, A Xerox Company.

Courson is married to the former Gay Blouin of Baton Rouge and is the father of two children, Chancely, 20 and Christian, 17. They are members of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge.


Jim Nickel

Jim Nickel, a native of Crowley, Louisiana and graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge has 25 years of governmental and political experience at all levels in Louisiana and throughout the United States.

Nickel was hired directly out of college to serve as State Field Director for the successful U.S. Senate campaign for then Congressman John Breaux of Louisiana. Jim worked for Senator Breaux in Washington, DC in a number of capacities including serving as National Events Director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chaired by Senator Breaux.

In 1991, Nickel was selected to serve as Executive Director for the Louisiana Democratic Party and coordinated successful campaigns for dozens of statewide, legislative, parish and local offices. In 1995 Nickel was elected as Chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party. Nickel was retained in 1997 as State Director and Campaign Manager for United States Senator John Breaux.

Called “the most effective political operative in Louisiana politics” by noted political commentator John Maginnis, Nickel has also served in leadership capacities for many of Louisiana’s statewide, federal and state legislative campaigns including U.S. Senate campaigns, Presidential campaigns and campaigns for statewide office. Nickel has two decades of experience in working with elected officials, businesses and community leaders, and the media throughout Louisiana. He is a regular political commentator on television and radio stations across the state.

Nickel served on the Board of Advisors for the Academy of Politics at Louisiana State University and is a regular guest lecturer at universities throughout the state. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Louisiana Public Broadcasting and former Chairman of the Board of WRKF Public Radio in the Greater Baton Rouge area.

Nickel’s governmental relations clients have included: Sempra Energy, Tunica Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, 3M Corporation, IBM, Rite Aid Corporation, ATT, The Louisiana Police Jury Association, Motorola, Stonehenge Capital, LOMCSA, LAMAR, Interstate Logos and ACS, a Xerox Company.

Nickel is married to the former Susan Shaw of Houma and is the father of three daughters, Samantha, 24, Maggie, 20 and Isabella, 17. They are members of First United Methodist Church of Baton Rouge.



Courson Nickel, LLC
453 Lafayette St., Ste. A
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Phone: (225) 346-6900
Fax: (225) 346-6933

cell: (225) 324-8121
cell: (225) 235-8060