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Thomas J. Manton (November 3, 1932 – July 22, 2006) was a Democratic congressman. He represented the 9th and 7th Congressional District of New York.

Thomas J. Manton
ThomasManton.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York
In office
January 3, 1985 – January 3, 1999
Preceded byGeraldine Ferraro
Succeeded byJoe Crowley
Constituency9th district (1985–93)
7th district (1993–99)
Personal details
BornNovember 3, 1932
New York City, New York
DiedJuly 22, 2006(2006-07-22) (aged 73)
Bronx, New York City, New York
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materSt. John's University

Life and careerEdit

Thomas J. Manton was born in New York City, and was of Irish descent. He attended private Catholic schools, before entering St. John's University, from which he earned his LL.B. degree. Manton served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.

Prior to entering politics, Manton held several jobs. He was a New York City Police Officer from 1955 to 1960, and he then became a marketing executive for IBM. In 1964, Manton began to practice law privately. He joined the law firm of Manton, Sweeney, Gallo, Reich & Bolz in 1999; and practiced law under that name until his retirement. He was elected to the New York City Council in 1970, and served until 1984.

Manton ran in the Democratic primary for what was then the 9th District in northern Queens in 1978, following the retirement of 30-year incumbent James J. Delaney. However, he lost to assistant Queens County district attorney Geraldine Ferraro. Manton had also run against Delaney in 1972 and lost.[1]

When Ferarro gave up her seat to join Walter Mondale's presidential ticket, Manton jumped into the Democratic primary for the seat. In a hotly contested primary, he defeated Clifford Wilson, Walter Crowley and Gloria D'Amico before narrowly defeating Republican Serphin Maltese in the general election with 52 percent of the vote. He was reelected six more times from this district, only once facing a contest nearly as close as the first one. In 1992, he was held to only 56 percent of the vote–the only time after his first run for the seat that he failed to win at least 60 percent of the vote. To date, the 1992 contest is the last time that a Republican has even garnered 30 percent of the vote in the district and its successors.

Manton was elected Chairman of the Democratic Organization of Queens County in 1986, succeeding John Sabini who had served as the interim Chairman following the suicide of Donald Manes.

Manton quietly retired from the Congress in 1998, having already filed for and circulated petitions for re-election. He withdrew on the last day it was legally possible to do so and arranged for his chosen successor, State Assemblyman Joseph Crowley, to replace him on the ballot. Crowley wasn't aware of this until Manton phoned him to tell him his name would be on the general election ballot. Crowley won the election and held the seat until losing in the 2018 Democratic primary to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.[2] Manton continued to serve as the Party Chairman to the date of his death (Crowley then held that post until 2019).

Tom Manton was the first major party chairman in the nation to endorse Bill Clinton for President in 1992. As the Co-chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs in the United States Congress he was instrumental in obtaining a visa for Gerry Adams to travel to the United States.[citation needed]As a member of Congress Mr. Manton served as a member of the House Energy Committee and was a subcommittee chairman of the House Government Operations Committee that supervised the Capitol Police.

His last vote in the House was to vote against the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

He lived in the Queens neighborhoods of Woodside, later moving to Sunnyside, and finally to Astoria.

Thomas Manton died on July 22, 2006, following a battle with prostate cancer.[3]

The Thomas J. Manton Post Office in Woodside, New York was named in his honor after his death. Also a 20 block stretch of Queens Boulevard in Queens, New York City was renamed Thomas J. Manton Boulevard.[4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Barone, Michael; Ujifusa, Grant (1987). The Almanac of American Politics 1988. National Journal. p. 813.
  2. ^ "Many Foes May Struggle To Replace Rangel". The New York Sun. August 4, 2006. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  3. ^ Thomas J. Manton, 73, Influential Queens Democrat, Dies
  4. ^ Stretch Of Queens Boulevard Renamed For Manton

External linksEdit