Conservative Democrat

In American politics, a conservative Democrat is a member of the Democratic Party with conservative political views, or with views relatively fiscal conservative or social conservative with respect to those of the national party. While such members of the Democratic Party can be found throughout the nation, actual elected officials are disproportionately found within the Southern states, and to a lesser extent within rural regions of the United States generally, more commonly in the Midwest.

21st century conservative Democrats are similar to liberal Republican counterparts, in that both became political minorities after their respective political parties underwent a major political realignment which began to gain speed in 1964. Prior to 1964, both parties had their liberal, moderate, and conservative wings, each of them influential in both parties; President Franklin D. Roosevelt had proposed a realignment of the parties in the 1940s, though the trends which brought it about did not accelerate until two decades later. During this period, conservative Democrats formed the Democratic half of the conservative coalition. After 1964, the conservative wing assumed a greater presence in the Republican Party, although it did not become the mainstay of the party until the nomination of Ronald Reagan in 1980. The Democratic Party retained its conservative wing through the 1970s with the help of urban machine politics while blue-collar workers still aligned with the Democrats. This political realignment was mostly complete by 1980.

After 1980, the Republicans became a mostly right-wing conservative party, with conservative leaders such as Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, and Tom DeLay, while the Democrats, while keeping their core liberal bases intact with such Senators as Ted Kennedy, Christopher Dodd, and Paul Sarbanes, grew a substantial moderate/centrist wing, the New Democrats, in the 1990s in place of their old conservative wing, with leaders such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Evan Bayh. In the 2010 midterm elections, many conservative Democrats lost their seats to the Republicans.

Ideology and polls

The modern view of a conservative Democrat is a Democrat who is fiscally conservative, with a moderate or conservative foreign policy, but with varying views on social or civil policy. Some members of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party apply the term "Democrat in name only" (DINO) to conservative Democrats.

According to a 2015 poll from the Pew Research Center, 54% of conservative and moderate Democrats supported same-sex marriage in 2015, an increase of 22% from a decade ago.[1]

A 2015 Gallup poll found that 19% of Democrats identify themselves as conservative, a decline of 6% from 2000.[2]

In 2018, Gallup's ideology polling found that 35% of Democrats self-identified as moderate and 13% identified as conservative; 50% of Democratic respondents described their ideology as liberal.[3]

History

1800–1865: From Jackson to the Civil War

The 1828 presidential election marked the beginning of the Democratic Party as a modern, mass-based political party. The opposition to Andrew Jackson in the Democratic-Republican party splintered off into the short-lived National Republican Party, which later combined with other opponents of Jackson to form the Whig Party. Jackson's supporters dropped the "Republican" part of the name and became known as the Democratic Party. Andrew Jackson is notable as the first U.S. President to be elected from the frontier rather than from the East Coast.

The Democratic Party split along regional lines for the first time in 1860 over slavery. This split between southern and northern factions led to a brand new party in 1854, the Republican Party and its candidate Abraham Lincoln being elected in 1860. The Civil War followed shortly thereafter.

In 1865, the 13th Amendment—abolishing slavery—became part of the Constitution when it was ratified by three-quarters of the states. Despite protests from the Democrats, the Republican Party made banning slavery part of its national platform in 1864. Senator Lyman Trumbull (R-IL) wrote the final version of the text, combining the proposed wordings of several other Republican congressmen.

1876–1964: The 'Solid South'

The Solid South describes the reliable electoral support of the U.S. Southern states for Democratic Party candidates for almost a century after the Reconstruction era. Except for 1928, when Catholic candidate Al Smith ran on the Democratic ticket, Democrats won heavily in the South in every Presidential election from 1876 until 1964 (and even in 1928, the divided South provided most of Smith's electoral votes). The Democratic dominance originated in many Southerners' animosity towards the Republican Party's role in the Civil War and Reconstruction.

1874–1896: The rise of agrarian populism

The United States Populist Party, United States Greenback Party, and the Agrarianism movement are often cited as the first truly left-wing political movements within the United States. Nonetheless, while they emphasized economic issues that were radical by the political standards of the time, they are relatively conservative by today's standards. Historian Richard Hofstadter has taken the view that the Populist and Agrarian movements were essentially right-wing and reactionary movements, left-wing economic issues notwithstanding.

Because of the political dominance of one party or the other in many states, the real political races during this period would often be within the party primary. Indeed, in many southern states, there was hardly any Republican Party at all, and the serious candidates of both the conservative and liberal kind were all Democrats. For example, in the southern states the race might be between a populist left-wing Democrat and a conservative Democrat in the primary, while in regions of the country such as the Midwest or New England in which the Republican Party was dominant, the race might be decided in the primary between a progressive Republican and a conservative Republican.

In 1896, William Jennings Bryan won the Democratic Party nomination by adopting many of the Populist Party's proposals as his own.

1932–1948: FDR and the New Deal coalition

The 1932 election brought about a major realignment in political party affiliation, and is widely considered to be a realigning election. Franklin D. Roosevelt was able to forge a coalition of labor unions, liberals, Catholics, African Americans, and southern whites. These disparate voting blocs together formed a broad majority and handed the Democrats seven victories out of nine presidential elections to come, as well as control of both houses of Congress during much of this time. In many ways, it was the American civil rights movement that ultimately heralded the demise of the coalition.

Roosevelt's program for alleviating the Great Depression, collectively known as the New Deal, emphasized only economic issues, and thus was compatible with the views of those who supported the New Deal programs but were otherwise conservative. This included the Southern Democrats, who were an important part of FDR's New Deal coalition.

There were a few conservative Democrats who came to oppose the New Deal, including Senator Harry F. Byrd, Senator Rush D. Holt, Sr., Senator Josiah Bailey, and Representative Samuel B. Pettengill.

Political anomalies during the Great Depression

During the Roosevelt administration, several radical populist proposals which went beyond what Roosevelt was willing to advocate gained in popularity. It is notable that all four of the main promoters of these proposals, Charles Coughlin, Huey Long, Francis Townsend, and Upton Sinclair, were originally strong New Deal supporters but turned against Roosevelt because they believed the New Deal programs didn't go far enough. Like the New Deal programs, these populist proposals were based entirely on single economic reforms, but did not take a position on any other issue and were therefore compatible with those holding otherwise conservative views. Some historians today believe that the primary base of support for the proposals of Coughlin, Long, Townsend, and Sinclair was conservative middle class whites who saw their economic status slipping away during the Depression.[4]

A different source of conservative Democratic dissent against the New Deal came from a group of journalists who considered themselves classical liberals and Democrats of the old school, and were opposed to big government programs on principle; these included Albert Jay Nock and John T. Flynn, whose views later became influential in the libertarian movement.

Conversely, it also held the party to increasing commitment to ending segregationism and Jim Crow, and disengaging itself from its segregationist wing, held to be too far right for the new centrist consensus. This led to a conservative backlash by southern Democrats during the same period.

1948–1968: Segregationist backlash

The proclamation by President Harry S. Truman and Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey of support for a Negro civil rights plank in the Democratic Party platform of 1948 led to a walkout of 35 delegates from Mississippi and Alabama. These southern delegations nominated their own "States Rights Democratic Party" (a/k/a "Dixiecrat Party") nominees with South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond leading the ticket (Thurmond would later represent South Carolina in the U.S. Senate, and join the Republicans in 1964). The Dixiecrats held their convention in Birmingham, Alabama, where they nominated Thurmond for president and Fielding L. Wright, governor of Mississippi, for vice president. Dixiecrat leaders worked to have Thurmond-Wright declared the "official" Democratic Party ticket in Southern states. They succeeded in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina; in other states, they were forced to run as a third-party ticket.

Similar breakaway Southern Democratic candidates running on states' rights and segregationist platforms would continue in 1956 (T. Coleman Andrews), and 1960 (Harry F. Byrd). None would be as successful as the American Independent Party campaign of George Wallace, the Democratic governor of Alabama, in 1968. Wallace had briefly run in the Democratic primaries of 1964 against Lyndon Johnson, but dropped out of the race early. In 1968, he formed the new American Independent Party and received 13.5% of the popular vote, and 46 electoral votes, carrying several Southern states.[5] The AIP would run presidential candidates in several other elections, including conservative Southern Democrats (Lester Maddox in 1976 and John Rarick in 1980), but none of them did nearly as well as Wallace.

1977–1981: Jimmy Carter

When Jimmy Carter entered the Democratic Party Presidential primaries in 1976, he at first was considered to have little chance against nationally better-known politicians. However, the Watergate scandal was still fresh in the voters' minds, and so his position as an outsider distant from Washington, D.C. became an asset. He ran an effective campaign, did well in debates, and won his party's nomination and then the election, receiving 50.1% of the popular vote. The centerpiece of his campaign platform was government reorganization. Carter was the first candidate from the Deep South to be elected president since Antebellum.

He is a born-again Christian and was (until 2000) a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. While the Republican Party began to pursue a strategy of wooing born-again Christians as a voting bloc after 1980, led by activists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, in 1976, 56% of the evangelical Christian vote went to Carter. However, he had both liberal fiscal and social policies with liberal views on peace and ecology, with weak foreign policies making him unsatisfied by most of the Southern conservative Democrats.

Carter's 1976 electoral sweep of all the states of the former Confederacy except Virginia (which he narrowly lost to Gerald Ford) was the first time a Democrat (excluding the third-party campaigns of George Wallace and Harry Byrd) had swept the South since 1956, and would never be repeated. In 1992 and 1996, Bill Clinton won some southern states, and Barack Obama was successful in some coastal Southern states such as Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, but otherwise the South turned solidly Republican after 1976.

1981–1989: The boll weevils of the Reagan era

After 1968, with desegregation a settled issue, conservative Democrats, mostly Southerners, managed to remain in the United States Congress throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These included Democratic House members as conservative as Larry McDonald, who was also a leader in the John Birch Society. During the administration of Ronald Reagan, the term "boll weevils" was applied to this bloc of conservative Democrats, who consistently voted in favor of tax cuts, increases in military spending, and deregulation favored by the Reagan administration but opposed to cut social welfare spending.

Boll weevils was sometimes used as a political epithet by Democratic Party leaders, implying that the boll weevils were unreliable on key votes or not team players. Most of the boll weevils eventually retired from office, or in the case of some such as Senators Phil Gramm and Richard Shelby, switched parties and joined the Republicans. Since 1988 the term boll weevils has fallen out of favor.

Political anomalies during the 1980s and 1990s

In 1980, a political unknown named Lyndon LaRouche entered the New Hampshire Democratic Primary and polled 2% of the vote, coming in fourth place. He and his National Democratic Policy Committee were largely ignored until 1984, when he became something of a curiosity by paying for half-hour political ads proclaiming Walter Mondale a Soviet agent of influence, and 1986, when two followers of his won upset victories in Democratic primaries for statewide races in Illinois. After the media began to pay attention, LaRouche was promptly labeled an ultraconservative Democrat by some, and a nut by others, primarily due to the overlap of some of his views with those of the Reagan administration.[6] Others disputed the label and noted LaRouche's background as a Marxist/Trotskyist from the 1940s until the early 1970s.[7] Among those to criticize LaRouche as a "leftist" was conservative Democratic Congressman and John Birch Society leader Larry McDonald, who was killed when the passenger aircraft he was travelling in was shot down by Soviet interceptors.[8]

Aside from LaRouche, some Democratic leaders during the 1980s did turn toward conservative views, albeit very different from the previous incarnations of southern Democrats. In 1988, Joe Lieberman defeated Republican U.S. Senate incumbent Lowell Weicker of Connecticut by running to the right of Weicker and receiving the endorsements of the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association. Colorado governor Richard Lamm, and former Minnesota Senator and presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy both took up immigration reduction as an issue.[9] Lamm wrote a novel, 1988, about a third-party presidential candidate and former Democrat running as a progressive conservative, and Lamm himself would go on to unsuccessfully seek the nomination of the Reform Party in 1996. McCarthy began to give speeches in the late 1980s naming the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Election Commission as the three biggest threats to liberty in the United States.

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., known during the 1950s and 1960s as a champion of "Vital Center" ideology and the policies of Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, wrote a 1992 book, The Disuniting of America critical of multiculturalism.[10] Jerry Brown, meanwhile, would adopt the flat tax as a core issue during the 1992 Democratic primaries. Bill Clinton, the winner of the 1992 Democratic nomination, ran as a New Democrat and a member of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, distancing himself from the party's liberal wing.

Current trend

The Conservative Democratic movement received a recent, but short, rebirth in party structure. During the 2006 midterm elections, the Democratic Party ran moderates and even a few conservative Democrats for at-risk Republican seats.[11] The Blue Dog Democrats gained nine seats during the election.[12] The New Democrats had support from 27 of the 40 Democratic candidates running for at-risk Republican seats.[11] In 2010, the Blue Dog Coalition lost more than half its members. As of 2015, the Blue Dog Coalition has 14 members.

According to Noam Chomsky, the Democratic Party as a whole has gradually moved further to the right and are now "moderate Republicans."[13]

According to The New York Times, the party as a whole has shifted to the left. Although the country as a whole has shifted to the left, they aren't increasing their liberalness at the same rate as Democrats. Democrats like Bill Clinton were considered to be centrists but Obama ran to the left of Clinton on the budget, social issues, welfare reform, entitlement reform, and Israel relations. Obama has focused on income inequality while President Clinton stressed opportunity and mobility. Bill Clinton lowered capital gains taxes while President Obama supported raising it.[14]

2009–2017: Presidency of Barack Obama

2008 United States presidential election

During the Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, he received the endorsement of prominent Obamacons, conservatives and Republicans who supported Obama.[15] This was due to Bush's unpopularity. Despite receiving support from some Republicans, Obama ran to the left of Bill Clinton.

2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries

During the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Hillary Clinton ran to the left of Barack Obama on economic issues, but on the right on national security and foreign policy issues. On the issue of health care, Clinton was willing to include an individual mandate to buy health insurance as part of a program for universal coverage. Obama was not willing to go so far, and came in for substantial criticism from liberals for it. Clinton proposed a Cabinet-level poverty czar position. Clinton secured more labor union backing than Obama, and Obama did better than Clinton at gaining primary votes from self-identified independents. However, Clinton opposed certain liberal aspects of Obamacare such as the cadillac tax.[16][17]

Modern

Congressional caucuses

Blue Dog Coalition

In 1994 after the Republican revolution, moderate and conservative Democrats within the U.S. House of Representatives organized themselves into the Blue Dog Democrats, in response to the Republican victories at the polls that November. The explanation was that the Blue Dogs felt the party had moved so far left that it had "choked them blue." The name is a reference to an earlier term, Yellow dog Democrat (typically, a southerner who would vote for a Democrat even if a "yellow dog" were the Democratic candidate) and also to the "blue dog" paintings of a Louisiana artist. The Blue Dog Coalition is not considered as conservative as the earlier Dixiecrat and Boll Weevil incarnations of conservative Democrats.

New Democrats

Endorsements of Democratic candidates

During the 2004 election, several high-profile conservative writers endorsed the Presidential campaign of John Kerry, arguing that the Bush Administration was pursuing policies which were anything but conservative. Among the most notable of these endorsements came from Andrew Sullivan and Paul Craig Roberts, while a series of editorials in Pat Buchanan's The American Conservative magazine made a conservative case for several candidates, with Scott McConnell formally endorsing Kerry,[18] and Justin Raimondo giving the nod to independent Ralph Nader.[19]

In 2006, Democratic Nebraska senator Ben Nelson received the endorsements of groups such as the National Right to Life Committee and the National Rifle Association, respectively a pro-life group and pro-gun group, that both typically endorse Republicans.

In South Carolina in 2008, the Democratic candidate for United States Senator was Bob Conley, a traditional Catholic, and a former activist for the presidential candidacy of Ron Paul. Conley failed in his bid to defeat Republican Lindsey Graham, receiving 42.4 percent of the vote.[20] Conley was the only Paul supporter to be a Senate candidate for either main party in 2008. Conley was widely expected to, but did not, challenge Joe Wilson for his seat in the House of Representatives in 2010.

In his 2010 campaign for reelection, Walter Minnick, the U.S. Representative for Idaho's 1st congressional district, was endorsed by Tea Party Express, an extremely rare occurrence for a Democrat.[21][22] Minnick was the only Democrat to receive a 100% rating from the Club for Growth, an organization that typically supports conservative Republicans.[23] Minnick ultimately lost to Raúl Labrador, a conservative Republican, in the general election.

Also in 2010, Travis Childers, the U.S. Representative for Mississippi's 1st congressional district, was endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee[24] and the National Rifle Association[25] in his reelection campaign. Childers lost to conservative Republican Alan Nunnelee.

Conservative Democrats as described by others

Public officials

Presidents

Vice Presidents

Senators

Current public officials

Governors

U.S. Senators

U.S. House of Representatives

See also

References

  1. ^ "Changing Views of Same-Sex Marriage | Pew Research Center". People-press.org. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  2. ^ Newport, Frank. "U.S. Liberals at Record 24%, but Still Trail Conservatives". Gallup.com. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  3. ^ Inc., Gallup,. "Conservative Lead in U.S. Ideology Is Down to Single Digits". Gallup.com. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  4. ^ Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression. Alan Brinkley. Knopf Press (1982).
  5. ^ The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics. Dan T. Carter. Simon & Schuster Press (1995).
  6. ^ "Perennial presidential candidate focusing on states". The Fredereick Post. Frederick, Maryland. Associated Press. March 21, 1986.
  7. ^ Mintz, John (January 14, 1985). "Ideological Odyssey: From Old Left to Far Right". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  8. ^ "Congressional Record – 97th Congress - Vol. 127 No. 123 p. 1". Knology.net. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  9. ^ A Colony of the World: The United States Today. Eugene J. McCarthy. Hippocrene Books (1992).
  10. ^ The Disuniting of America. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. Norton Press (1992).
  11. ^ a b Hook, Janet (October 26, 2006). "A right kind of Democrat". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 14, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2013. See also: Dewan, Shaila; Kornblut, Anne E. (October 30, 2006). "In Key House Races, Democrats Run to the Right". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2006.
  12. ^ by Michael. "Blue Dogs | The Blue Dogs of the Democratic Party". Bluedogs.us. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  13. ^ "Noam Chomsky: Republicans & Democrats Have Shifted to the Right, and the GOP Is 'Off the Spectrum'". Truthdig. February 21, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  14. ^ "Have Democrats Pulled Too Far Left?". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  15. ^ Bartlett, Bruce (October 21, 2014). "Obama Is a Republican". The American Conservative. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  16. ^ "Hillary Clinton has always been to Obama's left on economics". Vox. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  17. ^ Louis, Errol (October 1, 2015). "Hillary Clinton breaks with Obama on 'Cadillax tax'". CNN.com. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  18. ^ McConnell, Scott (November 8, 2004). "Kerry's the One | The American Conservative". Amconmag.com. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  19. ^ Raimondo, Justin (November 8, 2004). "Old Right Nader | The American Conservative". Amconmag.com. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  20. ^ "South Carolina – Election Results 2008". Elections.nytimes.com. December 9, 2008. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  21. ^ Stein, Sam (April 15, 2010). "Walt Minnick Tea Party Endorsement: Minnick Campaign Accepts". Huffington Post.
  22. ^ "Walt Minnick: The Tea Party's 'token Democrat'?". Theweek.com. April 22, 2010. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  23. ^ Cadei, Emily (August 13, 2009). "Minnick Earns Perfect Score on 'RePork Card'". CQ Politics.
  24. ^ "Miss. Right to Life Grades The Candidates". Majorityinms.com. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  25. ^ West, Phil. "Travis Childers receives NRA endorsement". Commercialappeal.com. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  26. ^ Chaffin, Tom (October 3, 2012). "Mitt Romney: The Second Coming of James K. Polk?". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  27. ^ Busick, Sean (October 14, 2013). "Franklin Pierce, Forgotten Conservative". Nomocracy In Politics. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  28. ^ "Reconstruction: Radicalism versus Conservatism". Impeach-andrewjohnson.com. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  29. ^ Michael Lind (February 8, 2011). "How Reaganism actually started with Carter". Salon.com. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  30. ^ Grant Schulte. "Ben Nelson Retiring Ahead Of 2012 Election". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  31. ^ http://search.proquest.com/docview/398239199
  32. ^ "Article | In The News | Newsroom | U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana". Donnelly.senate.gov. June 10, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  33. ^ "2004: PRESIDENTIAL PROSPECTS -- Joseph I. Lieberman; Trying Out the Perilous Leap From No. 2 to No. 1". The New York Times. December 24, 2002. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  34. ^ Kennedy, Robert F. (September 30, 2014). "Joe Manchin boosts fellow red-state Dems". Politico. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  35. ^ "New DSCC chair Jon Tester doesn't look or think like his party, and that could be a problem". Dailykos.com. November 14, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  36. ^ Ann, Leigh (January 27, 2014). "John Edwards says Dems should do more on poverty". Cnn.com. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  37. ^ Romero, Simon (November 13, 2018). "How Kyrsten Sinema Won Her Senate Seat and Pulled Off a Historic Arizona Triumph". The New York Times. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  38. ^ Kumar, Anita (September 8, 2014). "Democrat Mark Pryor struggles to hold Senate seat in Arkansas". McClatchy DC. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  39. ^ Eisele, Albert. "Jessamyn Conrad: political daughter, political author (with political future?)". MINNPOST. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  40. ^ Chafets, Zev. "CHAFETS". Newsweek. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  41. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Conservative Democrats Warn Against Funding Abortion in Healthcare Reform". US News. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  42. ^ Walsh, Deirdre (November 14, 2014). "No more white Southern Democrats in Congress". Cnn.com. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  43. ^ Litten, Kevin. "Conservative Democrats Hope John Bel Edwards' victory means New Direction for State Party". NOLA.com. NOLA Media Group. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  44. ^ Kennedy, Robert F. (September 30, 2014). "Joe Manchin boosts fellow red-state Dems". Politico. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  45. ^ "New DSCC chair Jon Tester doesn't look or think like his party, and that could be a problem". Dailykos.com. November 14, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2016.

External links


An example of a Conservative Democrat is Julian Charkes of Nebraska's fourth district is a well renowned Political Economist and Congressional Representative who wants to destroy "Libtards."

Albert S. Burleson

Albert Sidney Burleson (June 7, 1863 – November 24, 1937) was a conservative Democrat and United States Postmaster General and Representative. He is known for gaining cabinet support for instituting racial segregation in the US Post Office, which President Woodrow Wilson applied to other federal agencies.

Andrew Jackson Montague

Andrew Jackson Montague (October 3, 1862 – January 24, 1937; nickname "Jack") was a Virginia lawyer and American politician. He served as the 44th Governor of Virginia, from 1902 to 1906, and a Congressman from 1912 until his death in 1937. A Democrat, Montague is best remembered as the first Virginia governor since the American Civil War not to have served in the Confederate military. Initially a Progressive, Governor Montague expanded the state capitol building, supported public education and the Good Roads Movement and opposed the Martin Organization. However, later as U.S. Congressman, he became a Conservative Democrat and supporter of the Byrd Organization.

Angela Cockerham

Angela Cockerham is a Democratic member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, representing the 96th district. Cockerham joined the Mississippi House appropriations committee in 2013.According to Cockerham, she doesn't cast votes based on her party affiliation but based upon her beliefs:

"When I'm casting my vote, I'm voting my conscience, based upon what is in the best interest for my district and the state."

In its 2017 rankings of the members of the Mississippi legislature, the American Conservative Union (ACU) found Cockerham to be the most conservative Democrat in the House, with an overall rating of 56 per cent (the average for Democratic representatives that year was 28 per cent).

Beverly Byron

Beverly Barton Butcher Byron (born July 27, 1932), is a former American politician and member of the Democratic Party who served as the U.S. Congresswoman representing the 6th congressional district of Maryland from January 3, 1979, to January 3, 1993.

Byron was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She attended the National Cathedral School for Girls in Washington, D.C. Byron earned a two-year degree from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and after graduation she became involved in several nonprofit groups and in fundraising for the Democratic Party. She was elected to Congress to replace her husband, Representative Goodloe Byron, who died on October 11, 1978. While in Congress she served on the House Armed Services Committee, the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, and the House Select Committee on Aging. She was the first woman ever to fly aboard the SR-71 Blackbird of the USAF (checkout #429), on which she flew as a VIP in November 1985.

Like her husband, Byron was a conservative Democrat. She was defeated in the 1992 Democratic primary by a somewhat more liberal challenger, State Delegate Thomas Hattery. Hattery went on to lose to Republican Roscoe Bartlett in the general election. Bartlett had lost to Byron in the 1982 election.

Beverly Byron is the daughter-in-law of William D. Byron and Katharine E. Byron, who both represented Maryland's 6th district in 1939–1941 and 1941–1943, respectively.

Bill Chappell

William Venroe Chappell Jr. (February 3, 1922 – March 30, 1989) was a U.S. Representative from Florida.

Born in Kendrick, Florida, Chappell was in the University of Florida, B.A., 1947, LL.B., 1949, and J.D., 1967.

He served in the United States Navy, aviator from 1942 to 1946.

He retired as a captain from United States Naval Reserve in 1983.

He was a Marion County prosecuting attorney from 1950 to 1954.

Chappell was elected to Florida House of Representatives from 1954 to 1964, speaker from 1961 to 1963.

He did not seek reelection in 1964 but was elected again in 1966.

He served as member of the law firm of Chappell and Rowland, Ocala, Florida.

Chappell was elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-first and to the nine succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1989). He married the former Jeane Brown on September 28, 1985.

Chappell was a moderate to conservative Democrat and served on the United States House Appropriations Committee. At the time of his defeat he was serving as chairman of the United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1988 to the One Hundred First Congress.

He was a resident of Ocala, Florida, until his death in Bethesda, Maryland, on March 30, 1989 from bone cancer.

The Port Orange Causeway, spanning the Halifax River, in Port Orange, Florida, was named the Congressman William V. Chappell Jr. Memorial Bridge by the Florida Legislature in 1989.

Brian Higgins

Brian M. Higgins (born October 6, 1959) is the U.S. Representative for New York's 26th congressional district, serving since 2005. The district, numbered as the 27th district from 2005 to 2013, includes Buffalo and Niagara Falls. He is a member of the Democratic Party and is an active member of several congressional committees and caucuses. Higgins was born and raised in Buffalo, and graduated from college in Buffalo, later obtaining his graduate degrees from both Buffalo State College and Harvard University.Self-described as both an independent and conservative Democrat, Higgins is also considered a centrist. Higgins supports the strengthening of Social Security in the United States, and has been a proponent for a public option. He further supports national and regional economic development. Previously being pro-life, Higgins' position is now pro-choice. He has also supported efforts for peace in many areas of the world, and has been actively involved in the Northern Ireland peace process.

David Towell

David Gilmer Towell (June 9, 1937 – June 10, 2003) served a single term as a U.S. Representative from Nevada, representing the state's at-large district. He was a Republican.

Born in Bronxville, New York, Towell was the son of a Canadian-born mother and an English-born father. He attended Bronxville and New York City public schools before earning a B.A. at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California in 1960. He served in the Nevada Air National Guard from 1960 to 1966.

A real estate broker by profession, Towell's prior political experience included serving as chairman of the Douglas County Republican Central Committee and as a delegate to the Nevada State Republican conventions in 1968, 1970, and 1972. He ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972, expecting to face eight-term conservative incumbent Democrat Walter Baring in the general election. However, Baring was defeated in the Democratic primary by a considerably more liberal Democrat, James Bilbray. Boosted by the divided opposition and a late endorsement from Baring himself, Towell won by a narrow margin.

In 1974, Towell ran for reelection, but was soundly defeated by a more conservative Democrat, former judge Jim Santini. Towell ran for the U.S. Senate in 1976 against incumbent Democrat Howard Cannon, but lost by an overwhelming margin. Afterwards, he resumed the real estate business.

Edward E. Cox

Edward Eugene "Eugene" or "Goober" Cox (April 3, 1880 – December 24, 1952) served as a U.S. Representative from Georgia for nearly twenty-eight years. A conservative Democrat who supported segregation and opposed President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "New Deal," Cox became the most senior Democrat on the House Committee on Rules. Two special investigative committees that he chaired were heavily criticized as result-oriented persecutions of those Cox did not like. A failed attempt to create another such committee would turn out to have far-reaching consequences: in 1941, with American entry into World War II seeming inevitable, Cox proposed an investigative committee, similar to the Civil War-era Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, to deal with matters of national defense. When Roosevelt learned of Cox's intentions, he pre-empted them by agreeing to a similar proposal from Missouri Senator Harry S. Truman; the Truman Committee would come to be seen as a significant asset to the war effort, and its chairman - a little-known "backbencher" at the time of its founding - would become Roosevelt's Vice President and, after his death in 1945, President of the United States.

Fritz Windhorst

Fritz Heinrich Windhorst (born January 31, 1935) is an attorney from Gretna, Louisiana, who served from 1972 to 1992 as a member of the Louisiana State Senate for Jefferson and Orleans parishes, originally District 8, and later District 7. Windhorst was a conservative Democrat from 1972 to 1985, when he switched to Republican affiliation. His son, Stephen J. Windhorst, served as a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1992 to 2000, when he resigned to accept a state court judgeship.

Joseph B. Ely

Joseph Buell Ely (February 22, 1881 – June 13, 1956) was an American lawyer and Democratic politician from Massachusetts. As a conservative Democrat, Ely was active in party politics from the late 1910s, helping to build, in conjunction with David I. Walsh, the Democratic coalition that would gain an enduring political ascendancy in the state. From 1931 to 1935, he served as the 52nd Governor. He was opposed to the federal expansion of the New Deal, and was a prominent intra-party voice in opposition to the policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 1944 he made a brief unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Larry Bagley

Lawrence A. Bagley Jr. (born January 4, 1949), known as Larry Bagley, is a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 7, which encompasses Caddo, DeSoto, and Sabine parishes in northwestern Louisiana. In January 2016, he succeeded outgoing Republican Representative Richard Burford, an unsuccessful candidate against the Conservative Democrat John Milkovich for the District 38 seat in the Louisiana State Senate in the general election held on November 21, 2015.

Lawrence E. Gerosa

Lawrence Ettore Gerosa (August 10, 1894 Milan, Italy – June 24, 1972) was an Italian-American politician who served as New York City Comptroller from 1954–1961.A resident of the Riverdale section of the Bronx, Gerosa was a conservative Democrat who had been in the trucking industry before entering politics. After being jettisoned from the Democratic ticket in 1961 in favor of Abe Beame, he challenged incumbent mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. in 1961 as an Independent, proffering a fiscally conservative, law and order platform. He garnered 13% percent of the vote against Wagner and liberal Republican Louis Lefkowitz. The Gerosa campaign would articulate many of the themes which would be used again in 1969, when another conservative Italian-American Democrat Mario Procaccino challenged John V. Lindsay for control of city hall. Gerosa died of lung cancer at Albert Einstein Hospital in the Bronx.

Republican Revolution

The Republican Revolution, Revolution of '94 or Gingrich Revolution refers to the Republican Party (GOP) success in the 1994 U.S. midterm elections, which resulted in a net gain of 54 seats in the House of Representatives, and a pickup of eight seats in the Senate. The day after the election, conservative Democrat Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama changed parties, becoming a Republican; on March 3, 1995, Colorado senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell switched to the Republican side as well, increasing the GOP senate majority and angering the Democrats.

Rather than campaigning independently in each district, Republican candidates chose to rally behind a single national program and message fronted by Georgia congressman Newt Gingrich. They alleged President Bill Clinton was not the New Democrat he claimed he was during his 1992 campaign but was a "tax and spend" liberal. The Republicans offered an alternative to Clinton's policies in the form of the Contract with America.The gains in seats in the mid-term election resulted in the Republicans gaining control of both the House and the Senate in January 1995. Republicans had not held the majority in the House for forty years, since the 83rd Congress (elected in 1952). Republicans only controlled 4 years of both House and Senate from 1933 to 1995.

Large Republican gains were made in state houses as well when the GOP picked up twelve gubernatorial seats and 472 legislative seats. In so doing, it took control of 20 state legislatures from the Democrats. Prior to this, Republicans had not held the majority of governorships since 1972. In addition, this was the first time in 50 years that the GOP controlled a majority of state legislatures.

Discontent against the Democrats was foreshadowed by a string of elections after 1992, including the capture of the mayoralties of New York and Los Angeles by the Republicans in 1993. In that same year, Christine Todd Whitman captured the New Jersey governorship from the Democrats and Bret Schundler became the first Republican mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey that had been held by the Democratic Party since 1917.

Republican George Allen won the 1993 Virginia Governor election while Texas Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison took a U.S. Senate seat from the Democrats in the 1993 special election. Republicans Frank Lucas and Ron Lewis also picked up two congressional seats from Democrats in Oklahoma and Kentucky in May 1994.

Roger D. Branigin

Roger Douglas Branigin (July 26, 1902 – November 19, 1975) was the 42nd governor of Indiana, serving from January 11, 1965, to January 13, 1969. A World War II veteran and well-known public speaker, Branigin took office with a Democratic general assembly, the first time since the Great Depression that Democrats controlled both the executive and legislative branches of the Indiana state government. Branigin was a conservative Democrat who oversaw repeal of the state's personal property taxes on household goods, increased access to higher education, and began construction of Indiana's deep-water port at Burns Harbor on Lake Michigan. During his one term as governor, Branigin exercised his veto power one hundred times, a record number for a single term. Branigin was the last Democrat to serve as governor of Indiana until Evan Bayh took office in 1989.

In 1968 Branigin received national attention when he ran as a stand-in for Lyndon B. Johnson in Indiana's Democratic presidential primary. Johnson dropped out of the race on March 31, 1968, but Branigin continued to run as a favorite son candidate against Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy. Branigin hoped his efforts would gain a stronger role for Indiana at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. Branigin finished second in the primary to Kennedy.

After his term as governor ended, Branigin returned to Lafayette, where he resumed a private law practice and remained active in civic life, serving as president of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and the Harrison Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Branigin also served as a trustee for Franklin College, Purdue University, and the Indiana Historical Society.

Ronald M. Mottl

Ronald Milton Mottl (born February 6, 1934) is an American politician of the Democratic Party who had been a member of the state House of Representatives of Ohio from 1987 to 1997.

Mottl was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended the University of Notre Dame. He is of Czech descent Mottl played baseball at Notre Dame in 1955. He is a lawyer, and served in the city council of Parma, Ohio from 1960 to 1966 and the Ohio state legislature from 1967 until 1975, before serving in the United States House of Representatives from 1975 to 1983. A conservative Democrat, Mottl was an ally of Ronald Reagan's legislative agenda.

He lost the Democratic primary to Ed Feighan in 1982, thereby losing his seat. He then returned to local politics, serving on the Parma school board from 1985 until 1986, and as president of the school board in 1986, until he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives, where he served until 1997.He now lives in North Royalton, Ohio, and was an unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of North Royalton in 1999.

Rubén Díaz Sr.

Rubén Díaz Sr. (born April 22, 1943) is a U.S. politician and an ordained minister of Puerto Rican descent. He has represented the 18th Council District in the New York City Council since January 2018. A member of the Democratic Party, Díaz represented the 32nd district in the New York State Senate from 2003 to 2017; his Senate district included parts of the Bronx neighborhoods of Castle Hill, Parkchester, Morrisania, Hunts Point, Melrose, Longwood, and Soundview. A socially conservative Democrat, Díaz is known for his outspoken opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

William Gaston (Massachusetts)

William Gaston (October 3, 1820 – January 19, 1894) was a lawyer and politician from Massachusetts. A Democrat, he was the first member of that party to serve as Governor of Massachusetts (1875–1876) after the American Civil War. He was a successful trial lawyer and politically conservative Democrat, who won election as governor after his opponent, Thomas Talbot, vetoed legislation to relax alcohol controls.

Born in Connecticut, and educated at Brown University, Gaston established a successful law practice in Roxbury before becoming involved in local politics. In the 1860s, he served as mayor of Roxbury, and afterward promoted its annexation to Boston (completed in 1868). He then later served as Boston mayor, during a period which included the Great Boston Fire of 1872.

William Russell (governor)

William Eustis Russell (January 6, 1857 – July 16, 1896) was a lawyer and Democratic Party politician from Massachusetts. He served four terms as mayor of Cambridge, and was the 37th Governor of Massachusetts, serving from 1891 to 1894. He was the state's youngest ever chief executive, and was the first Democrat since the American Civil War to serve more than one term in that office.

Educated at Harvard and Boston University Law School, Russell practiced law in the family firm. He was politically a conservative Democrat, supporting the presidential campaigns of Grover Cleveland and the gold standard for the national currency. He gave a speech in favor of the latter at the 1896 Democratic National Convention immediately prior to William Jennings Bryan's Cross of Gold speech, and refused efforts to draft him as an opponent to Bryan for the Presidential nomination. About a week later, he died quite suddenly at a fishing camp in Quebec; he was 39. He was viewed by eastern Democrats as a future party leader and presidential contender.

Zell Miller

Zell Bryan Miller (February 24, 1932 – March 23, 2018) was an American author and politician from the U.S. state of Georgia. A Democrat, Miller served as lieutenant governor from 1975 to 1991, 79th Governor of Georgia from 1991 to 1999, and as U.S. Senator from 2000 to 2005.

Miller was a conservative Democrat as a senator in the 2000s, after having been more liberal as governor in the 1990s. In 2004, he supported Republican President George W. Bush against Democratic nominee John Kerry in the presidential election. Miller was a keynote speaker at both major American political parties' national conventions—Democratic in 1992 and Republican in 2004.

He did not seek re-election to the Senate in 2004. After retiring from the Senate, he joined the law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge as a non-lawyer professional in the firm's national government affairs practice. Miller was also a Fox News contributor.

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