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Henry Watson Powell, known as Henry "Tank" Powell (born July 18, 1945), is an insurance agent in Ponchatoulamarker in Tangipahoa Parishmarker, Louisianamarker, who served as a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 73 from 1996 until term-limited in 2008. He was subsequently appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal to the five-member Louisiana Board of Pardons.

A native of Bogalusamarker in Washington Parish, Powell graduated in 1963 from Bogalusa High School, where he excelled as an All-American football player, and presumably acquired his unusual nickname. Powell graduated in 1968 from Southeastern Louisiana Universitymarker in Hammondmarker, also in Tangipahoa Parish. In 1982, he was named to the board of directors of First Savings and Loan Association of Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond.

Powell has long been affiliated with Prudential Insurance, having been "Agent of the Year" and also "Man of the Year" designation from Tangipahoa Life Underwriters. Powell is a member of both the Hammond and Ponchatoula chambers of commerce as well as the Economic Development Foundation of Tangipahoa Parish. He is a member of the SLU Alumni Association. His wife is Kathy N. Powell (born ca. 1944).Powell is a former member of the Southwood Academy School Board in Hammond. He is also active in the Masonic lodge in Ponchatoula. He is a Baptist deacon.

Powell initially ran for the state House in the nonpartisan blanket primary in 1995, when he faced two Democrats, incumbent Dennis P. "Bubba" Hebert and W.E. Blackwell. Powell nearly won the position outright, having polled 6,605 (49.27 percent) to Hebert’s 5,814 (43.37 percent), and Blackwell’s remaining 988 votes (7.37 percent).In the ensuing general election Powell narrowly topped Hebert, 7,803 (50.8 percent) to 7,563 (49.2 percent).

In 1999, Hebert challenged Powell in a comeback bid in the primary but lost, 4,258 votes (32 percent) to 9,037 (68 percent).In the 2003 primary, Powell handily dispatched fellow Republican Charles J. “Chuck” Fulda, IV, 9,769 votes (75 percent) to 3,256 (25 percent).In the 2007 primary, Powell was succeeded by fellow Republican Steve Pugh, who had been defeated in 1991 by Hebert. By 2007, the district had become so Republican that a lone Democratic House candidate received less than 12 percent of the vote.


  1. "House District 73", Louisiana Encyclopedia (1999)

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