Buddy Darden

(Redirected from George Darden)

George Washington "Buddy" Darden III (born November 22, 1943) is an American politician and lawyer from Georgia. He served in the state house and then for more than five terms as Congressman from Georgia. He served in his career as a legislator as a member of the Democratic Party.

Buddy Darden
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 7th district
In office
November 8, 1983 – January 3, 1995
Preceded byLarry McDonald
Succeeded byBob Barr
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives from District 19 Post-3
In office
January 1981 – November 1983
Preceded byBill Cooper
Succeeded byBill Cooper
District Attorney of the Cobb Judicial Circuit of Georgia
In office
January 1, 1973 – January 1, 1977
Preceded byBenjamin F. Smith
Succeeded byThomas J. Charron
Personal details
George Washington Darden III

(1943-11-22) November 22, 1943 (age 80)
Hancock County, Georgia
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of Georgia (AB, LLB, JD)[1]

Early life


Darden was born in Hancock County, Georgia. He lived in Sparta, Georgia and attended public schools, graduating from Sparta High School in 1961. He earned his Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) at the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens in 1965 and Bachelor of Laws and Juris Doctor from the UGA School of Law in 1967 and 1969.[2] He received many honors and awards while a college student, including being elected as president of the student body.[3]



Upon graduation from law school, Darden started his law career as assistant district attorney in Cobb County, Georgia, serving from 1968 to 1972. He was elected as County District Attorney and served from 1973 to 1977.[4]



In 1980 Darden was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as a Democrat representing District 19-Post3 (Cobb County). He took office in January 1981, and served until 1983, when he resigned to campaign for an open Congressional seat.[5]



Upon the sudden death of U.S. Representative Larry McDonald, who was killed in the 1983 downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007, Darden won a special election to fill McDonald's seat for the remainder of the Ninety-eighth Congress. He resigned from the Georgia General Assembly.[6][7]

During his tenure in office, Darden sponsored 61 bills, including H.R.2044, legislation that authorize and directs the National Park Service to assist the State of Georgia in relocating a highway affecting the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in Georgia.[8] Darden shepherded numerous bills, including those benefiting Lockheed Aeronautical Corp., through Congress as part of the Armed Services Committee and co-sponsored others. "You don't have to introduce a tiny little bill with your name on it to make a difference," he said.[9]

Darden was a member of the Standards of Official Conduct committee, elected in 1991, and served on the Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.[10][11]

Darden has supported socially conservative positions: he opposed federal funding for Medicaid abortions except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the life of the mother.[12] He supported the death penalty.[12] Darden advocated maintaining a strong defense in spite of improved East-West relations. He said any money saved from a "peace dividend" should go to deficit reduction.[12] In 1992, the Americans for Democratic Action gave Darden's 1991 voting record 40 points out of 100; the American Conservative Union gave him 35 points.[12]

He was reelected to five more terms until 1994, when he was defeated by Bob Barr.[13] He sought the Democratic nomination for his old seat, now numbered as the 11th district, in 2002, but lost to Roger Kahn.[14][15] He was the last white Democrat to represent the Atlanta suburbs until Carolyn Bourdeaux was elected from a nearby district in 2020.

After Congress


Since leaving Congress, Darden has served as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1996, 2000 and 2004. In 2000, President Clinton announced the recess appointment of Darden to serve as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).[16] Darden also served as chairman of the Judicial Nominating Commission in the administration of Georgia Governor Roy Barnes from 1999 to 2003.[17]

In 1992, Darden became a member of the Board of Trustees for LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia. In 2002, Darden was named Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and served for five years. He retired as Chair in 2007. In recognition of his service to the college, LaGrange College conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on May 19, 2007. As is customary, Darden was the commencement speaker at the graduation ceremony during which he was honored.[18]

Darden is a member of the ReFormers Caucus of Issue One.[19]

Since 1995, Darden has been a partner in the Atlanta law firm of Denton's (formerly Long, Aldridge & Norman, then McKenna, Long & Aldridge).[20] In 2018, he left Denton's to join Atlanta law firm Pope McGlamry as senior counsel.

Personal life


Darden married Lillian Budd (born May 15, 1945) on February 18, 1968. They had two children together: Lillian Christine Darden and George Washington Darden IV.[3][21] Darden currently resides in Marietta, Georgia.


  1. ^ Georgia Official and Statistical Register, 1975-1976 - page 940
  2. ^ "Darden, George (Buddy)". Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  3. ^ a b "Congressional Record, Volume 140, Number 147". GPO. 1994-11-29. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  4. ^ Evans, Randy (2010-08-08). "The Buddy Darden Rule". Neighbor Newspapers. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  5. ^ "Members Of The General Assembly Of Georgia - 136th Session - Term 1981-1982". State of Georgia. July 1981. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  6. ^ Larry McDonald, Pat Buchanan, Tom Braden (May 1983). Crossfire (Television Production). United States: CNN.
  7. ^ William Cotterell (November 9, 1983). "State legislator George 'Buddy' Darden, who soundly defeated Kathryn McDonald". United Press International. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  8. ^ "Bill Summary & Status– George Darden – 100th Congress". THOMAS (Library of Congress). Archived from the original on 2014-12-10. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  9. ^ "Darden-Beverly sequel even hotter, Debate opens war wounds in 7th District". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1992-09-28. pp. B3.
  10. ^ "Bill Text – 102nd Congress – H.RES.57". THOMAS (Library of Congress). Retrieved 2012-02-01.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Bill Text – 101st Congress – H.RES.39". THOMAS (Library of Congress). Retrieved 2012-02-01.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ a b c d "George Washington Darden – candidate Profile". The Associated Press. 1992-11-07.
  13. ^ "Bob Barr". Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  14. ^ Bullock, Charles S. III (2003), "It's a Sonny Day in Georgia", in Sabato, Larry (ed.), Midterm Madness: the elections of 2002, p. 185
  15. ^ "Our Campaigns - GA District 11 - D Primary Race - Aug 20, 2002".
  16. ^ "President Names Darden as Member of Board of Directors of the OPIC" (Press release). The White House Office of the Press Secretary. 2000-12-22. Retrieved 2012-02-01.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Rollercoaster for Northern Georgia U.S. Attorney Candidate". Main Justice. 2009-09-08. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  18. ^ "College Awards Three Honorary Doctorates" (Press release). LaGrange College. 2007-05-04. Archived from the original on 2011-07-12. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  19. ^ "Issue One – ReFormers Caucus".
  20. ^ "Revolving Door: Buddy Darden Employment Summary". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  21. ^ "Lillian B. Darden (Secretary)". Georgia Department of Human Resources. Retrieved 2012-02-01.[permanent dead link]
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 7th congressional district

November 8, 1983 – January 3, 1995
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative