Former Baton Rouge state representative and mayoral candidate Steve Carter died of COVID-19 complications Tuesday, three weeks after he was first hospitalized with the virus.  Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat has known Carter since the late 1970s and said Carter was not only a good friend, he was a good legislator.

“He was just well-respected, super nice person, great personality, always had a smile on his face and as a legislator was very effective, got a lot done especially for his alma mater LSU,” said Pinsonat.

Carter, a former tennis coach at LSU, served 12 years in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 2008 until 2020 and served a tenure as chairman of the House Education Committee. Pinsonat said Carter was a well-respected lawmaker and acted as a mentor for incoming members.

“They would learn the importance of getting along, they’d learn the importance of helping your community and how you do it. Bringing them into the system and making them better legislators and better people. That is going to be his legacy,” said Pinsonat.

The Baton Rouge Republican championed school choice issues during his three terms in the state House.

Family spokesperson Charlotte Melder says Carter died Tuesday. His death came three weeks after he was hospitalized with the coronavirus illness.

Carter is the third Louisiana political figure to die of COVID, Representative Reggie Bagala of Lockport died last April, Congressman-elect Luke Letlow in December, and now Carter. Pinsonat said these are all great losses to the state.

“It’s a loss of political influence, it’s a loss of leadership but it’s also a reminder of how devastating this COVID-19 has become across the United States, across the world but especially here in Louisiana,” said Pinsonat.

Governor Edwards has order flags to be flown at half-staff for Carter’s funeral.  He was 77.

(Story written by Brooke Thorington/Louisiana Radio Network)