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Troyce Guice

American businessman

Troyce Eual Guice (November 1, 1932 – March 29, 2008) was a businessman in northeastern Louisiana who twice ran for the United States Senate in campaigns thirty years apart, 1966 and 1996. A conservative Democrat, Guice later moved to nearby Natchez, Mississippi. There he joined the Republican Party and became a donor. He was involved in three major business ventures – automobile dealerships, restaurants, and Guice Farms, which he purchased in 1961. He expanded operations into five states.

Background

Guice was born in St. Joseph in Tensas Parish, to Ivy Eual Guice (1910–1994) and the former Tressie Westbrook (1911–1999), later of Vidalia. Tensas Parish, the smallest of Louisiana's sixty-four parishes, is located along the west side of the Mississippi River north of Natchez, Mississippi, where Guice spent his later years.

Guice graduated from the former Joseph Moore Davidson High School, which was then segregated. He attended the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. He served in the United States National Guard.In 1954, Guice opened his Buick dealership in Ferriday in Concordia Parish. He relocated to Wisner in 1958 with his Guice Chevrolet, but moved the dealership to Ferriday in 1959. He launched his farming operation at that time. Three decades later, he opened another Chevrolet dealership in Winnsboro in Franklin Parish, also in northeast Louisiana.

Thereafter, Guice went into the restaurant business, opening T. G. Ribs and The Natchez Landing in both Natchez and Baton Rouge. He also operated a bed and breakfast in Natchez.

The Natchez restaurant closed after a casino opened nearby, as the business became noncompetitive. "The bottom line is that money they're spending at the casino is money they're not spending at other businesses," Guice said in an interview with Casino City Times on March 17, 2003. Guice also traded stock on the Internet. In an interview with the Natchez Democrat newspaper, he described his investment strategy after September 11, 2001, as one of "watching and waiting" though he remained optimistic about long-term investor prospects.He was a former member of the Louisiana Cattleman's Association, the Louisiana Levee Board, and the Mississippi River Bridge Commission. He was affiliated with the First Baptist Church of Natchez.

Political activities

In 1966, Guice challenged entrenched U.S. Senator Allen J. Ellender of Houma in Terrebonne Parish in south Louisiana. A liberal candidate who supported the civil rights agenda also entered the race, then State Senator J.D. DeBlieux, a Caldwell Parish native who represented a Baton Rouge-area district. Ellender swept to his sixth and, as it turned out, last term. Guice, unable to gain sufficient name recognition, finished last in the race with some 74,000 votes (11 percent).

In 1975, Guice entered the first-ever jungle primary in Louisiana for the District 21 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives. He sought to succeed Representative (and former state senator) J.C. "Sonny" Gilbert of Catahoula Parish. However, Guice, despite backing from the Concordia Parish sheriff, did not make the second round of balloting, called the general election in Louisiana. Dan Richey, then of Ferriday, a former neighbor of Guice, defeated former state Representative David I. Patten for the seat.

Guice re-entered politics in the 1996 race, after Democratic U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., Ellender's long-term successor, first elected in 1972, retired after four terms. Guice was a minor candidate in the race, finishing with 15,277 votes (1.24 percent). At some point thereafter, Guice began donating to Republican candidates.

Death

Guice died in a Natchez hospital after a lengthy illness. Survivors included his wife, the former Lynda McLaurin of Natchez; three daughters, Carroll Smith of Germantown, Tennessee; Kimberly Morrow of Opelousas, Louisiana; and Anne McDaniel of Natchez; a son, Westbrook Guice of Natchez; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; three sisters, Faye Gordin of Crystal Springs, Mississippi; Elaine Andrews of Longview, Texas, and Linda Rachalof Patterson in south Louisiana.Services were held in Natchez on April 1, 2008. He is interred at Natchez City Cemetery.

Timeline

November 1, 1932
Troyce Guice was born in Saint Joseph.

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