Kenneth Lee Volentine Sr. (born January 9, 1941), is a livestock and dairy farmer who previously served as a state representative and sheriff of his native Claiborne Parish in north Louisiana.
Volentine is a descendant of early pioneer of Claiborne Parish, the son of Fredrick Dan Volentine (1921–2011) and the former Sudie Bernice Lee, also deceased. His paternal grandparents were Daniel Bell Volentine, Jr. (1892–1968) and Cleo Volentine (1894–1968). Volentine had a sister, Wanda Lou "Lucy" Volentine Head (1943-2016), wife of John Calvin Head, and two surviving brothers, Edwin Bo Volentine, and Dan Millard Volentine and wife, Dianne.
Volentine graduated in 1960 as the class president at Athens High School in Athens, Louisiana, in the building now occupied by Mt. Olive Christian School. He then attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston.
Volentine is member of the Athens Masonic Lodge F.&A.M. and one of seven members of the Claiborne Industrial Development Board.He is also affiliated with the Louisiana Cattleman's and Dairyman's associations. He is Baptist.
Volentine and his wife, the former Beverly Ann Pixley (born 1940), reside in Athens, a rural community in southern Claiborne Parish. They have three children, Sherry Volentine Broughten, Angie Volentine Grayson, and Kenny B. Volentine Jr., of Athens. He has three grandchildren, Brandy Benefield, Broddie Ebarb, and Brittany Fowler. Volentine also has 6 great grandchildren and three step, Peyton Benefield, Savannah Benefield, Landon Benefield, Caison Fowler, Caleb Fowler, Kenlee Fowler, Ethan Harvey, Tristan Harvey and Jackson. Volentine also has two brothers, Edwin "Bo" Volentine (born 1942) and Dan Volentine, both of Athens, and a sister, Wanda V. Head of Shreveport, Louisiana.
From 1988-1992, during the administration of Governor Buddy Roemer, Volentine served a single term in the state House of Representatives. Volentine was unseated in the general election held on November 16, 1991, by his fellow Democrat Pinkie C. Wilkerson, an African American attorney from Grambling in Lincoln Parish. Volentine's defeat occurred after redistricting and in the same election in which Edwin Washington Edwards returned to the Louisiana governorship for his fourth term in a ringing defeat of the Republican State Representative David Duke. Volentine had led Wilkerson in the nonpartisan blanket primary held in October 1991. He received 6,150 votes (46.9 percent) to Wilkerson’s 4,358 ballots (33.2 percent). Two other candidates held the remaining 20 percent of the vote. In the general election, Wilkerson unseated Volentine, 8,590 (51.8 percent) to 7,992 (48.2 percent).
In 1995, as Wilkerson won easy reelection to the legislature, Volentine secured the first of his two terms as Claiborne Parish sheriff. The office is based in the parish seat of Homer. Incumbent James R. "Snap" Oakes (1929-2014) retired, and in a two-candidate race Volentine defeated fellow Democrat Donald Ray "Chic" Ceccarelli (born 1965) of Homer, 3,760 (61.5 percent) to 2,350 votes (38.5 percent). In 1999, Ceccarelli ran again, this time as a "No Party" candidate. Volentine prevailed, 3,619 (69 percent) to 1,487 (28.4 percent). Another 141 ballots went a second "No Party" candidate.
In July 2003, the Baton Rouge firm Utopia Entertainment, Inc., sued Claiborne Parish, through Sheriff Volentine, and LaSalle Management Company, under contract to manage the men's division of the parish jail. The company claimed copyright-infringement because inmates and visitors to the Claiborne Parish Detention Center for a $3 fee could purchase unlicensed copies of recordings by such performers as Eminem, John Tesh, and George Strait. An inmate named Bo Fain was specifically cited for having made the recordings.
In July 2003, Volentine joined another former state representative from the area, Virgil Orr of Ruston, in supporting the unsuccessful Democratic gubernatorial contender Randy Ewing of Jackson Parish, a former member of the Louisiana State Senate. The position ultimately went to another Democrat, Kathleen Blanco of Lafayette.
In 2003, Volentine did not seek a third term as sheriff and was succeeded by Kenneth R. Bailey of Homer (born 1958), the runaway victor in the nonpartisan blanket primary held that fall.