Kenneth Addison Duncan, known as Ken Duncan (born August 23, 1945), is a Democratic lawyer from Baton Rouge, who from 1996 to 2000 served a single term as the elected Louisiana state treasurer. He was unseated in the 1999 primary election by fellow Democrat, later Republican, John Neely Kennedy, now the state's incoming junior U.S. senator.
Duncan was reared and educated in the public schools of Bossier City but later moved to Monroe, where he graduated in 1963 from Neville High School. Duncan received a Juris Doctorate from Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge and was admitted to the bar in 1971. He received a Master of Laws in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. Since 1978, he has headed Duncan & Associates in Baton Rouge, a firm of law, business entrepreneurship, and public service.
When he announced for treasurer, Duncan owned Savant Insurance Services. He is a co-founder of the Democratic Leadership Council, an organization originally associated with former U.S. President Bill Clinton. He promised if elected to act as the chief executive officer of the state and to stop fraud in the popular food stamp program.
In his initial election as treasurer to succeed the Democrat Mary Landrieu, who ran unsuccessfully for governor of Louisiana in 1995 in a crowded field dominated by Republican Mike Foster and was later a three-term U.S. senator, Duncan with 448,182 votes (34.9 percent) led a four candidate field of two Republicans, Mary Chehardy and Gayle Joseph, and his fellow Democrat Steve Theriot, who ran second with 372,500 votes (29 percent). Chehardy and Joseph finished with 335,463 (26.1 percent) and 128,272 (10 percent), respectively. In the second balloting, called the general election in Louisiana though both candidates were Democrats, Duncan defeated Theriot, a departing state representative from Jefferson Parish, 798,280 (56.7 percent) to 610,964 (43.4 percent).
Duncan is a former chairman, general counsel, and executive director of the National Association of Democratic State Treasurers. In 1999, Duncan announced the establishment of the Louisiana State Investment Task Force composed of officials from the four largest state pension funds, state employees, teachers, other school employees, and Louisiana State Police, all based in Baton Rouge. The task force was charged with studying economically-targeted in-state investments. As treasurer, Duncan was also the chairman of the Louisiana Bond Commission, which reviews and approves all state and local issuances of bonds. Early in his tenure as treasurer, Duncan sought to refunding of as much as $610 million of state general obligation bonds that was expected to save the state $30 million.
John Kennedy, no relations to the Kennedys of Massachusetts, unseated Duncan, 621,796 (55.6 percent) to 497,319 (44.4 percent). Kennedy remains the state treasurer and is expected to be a candidate for a fifth term in the nonpartisan blanket primary set for October 24, 2015.
Duncan was a delegate to both the 1996 and the 2000 Democratic National Conventions, which confirmed the Clinton-Gore and Gore-Lieberman tickets. He is a co-founder and member of the Louisiana Democratic Leadership Council.
Duncan and his wife, the former Margie Dumestie, have three daughters, Ashley, Laura-Lucia, and Kristin. He is Episcopalian.