James Miller Tunnell (August 2, 1879 – November 14, 1957) was an American lawyer and politician from Georgetown, in Sussex County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, and served as U.S. Senator from Delaware.
|United States Senator|
January 3, 1941 – January 3, 1947
|Preceded by||John G. Townsend Jr.|
|Succeeded by||John J. Williams|
|Born||August 2, 1879|
Clarksville, Delaware, U.S.
|Died||November 14, 1957 (aged 78)|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Sarah Ethel Dukes|
|Residence(s)||Georgetown, Delaware, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Franklin College|
Early life and familyEdit
Professional and political careerEdit
Tunnell taught in the public schools, eventually becoming principal of the schools at Frankford, Selbyville and Ocean View, Delaware. Meanwhile, he studied the law, was admitted to the bar in 1907 and began a practice in Georgetown, Delaware. He was president of the Georgetown Board of Education from 1919 until 1932. Tunnell was also a banker and owned and operated a number of farms in Sussex County, Delaware.
Tunnell first ran for a seat in the United States Senate in 1924, but was defeated by Republican T. Coleman du Pont, a former senator. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1940, this time defeating the incumbent Republican Senator John G. Townsend, Jr. During this term, he served with the Democratic majority in the 77th, 78th, and 79th Congresses. He was chairman of the Committee on Pensions in the 78th and 79th Congresses. Tunnell lost his bid for a second term in 1946 to Republican John J. Williams from Millsboro, Delaware. He served from January 3, 1941, to January 3, 1947, during the administrations of U.S. presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.
Death and legacyEdit
James M. Tunnell died age 78 on November 14, 1957, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is buried in the Blackwater Church Cemetery, near Clarksville, Sussex County, Delaware. His son James M. Tunnell Jr. was the Democratic nominee for the Class 2 Senate seat in 1966, but lost to incumbent J. Caleb Boggs.
Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. U.S. Senators are popularly elected and take office January 3 for a six-year term.
|Office||Type||Location||Began office||Ended office||notes|
|U.S. Senator||Legislature||Washington||January 3, 1941||January 3, 1947|
|United States Congress service|
|1941–1943||77th||U.S. Senate||Democratic||Franklin D. Roosevelt||class 1|
|1943–1945||78th||U.S. Senate||Democratic||Franklin D. Roosevelt||class 1|
|1945–1947||79th||U.S. Senate||Democratic||Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
|1924||U.S. Senator||James M. Tunnell||Democratic||36,085||41%||T. Coleman du Pont||Republican||52,731||59%|
|1940||U.S. Senator||James M. Tunnell||Democratic||68,294||51%||John G. Townsend, Jr.||Republican||63,799||47%|
|1946||U.S. Senator||James M. Tunnell||Democratic||50,910||45%||John J. Williams||Republican||62,603||55%|
- Carter, Richard B. (2001). Clearing New Ground, The Life of John G. Townsend, Jr. Wilmington, Delaware: The Delaware Heritage Press. ISBN 0-924117-20-6.
- Hoffecker, Carol E. (2000). Honest John Williams. Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press.
- Martin, Roger (1997). Elbert N. Carvel. Wilmington, Delaware: Delaware Heritage Press. ISBN 0-924117-08-7.