Walter "Dee" Huddleston
Walter Darlington "Dee" Huddleston (April 15, 1926 – October 16, 2018) was an American politician. He was a Democrat from Kentucky who represented the state in the United States Senate from 1973 until 1985. Huddleston lost his 1984 Senate re-election campaign to Mitch McConnell in an upset by about 5100 votes.
Walter "Dee" Huddleston
|United States Senator|
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1985
|Preceded by||John Cooper|
|Succeeded by||Mitch McConnell|
|Member of the Kentucky Senate|
from the 10th district
January 4, 1966 – December 1972
|Preceded by||Paul Fuqua|
|Succeeded by||Joe Prather|
Walter Darlington Huddleston
April 15, 1926
Burkesville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Died||October 16, 2018 (aged 92)|
Warsaw, Kentucky, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Jean Pearce (1947–2003)|
|Education||University of Kentucky (BA)|
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1944–1946|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Huddleston was born in Burkesville, Kentucky. After he graduated from high school, he enlisted in the United States Army and served as a tank gunner in Europe during and after World War II from 1944 to 1946. He then attended the University of Kentucky with support from the G.I. Bill, and he graduated in 1949. In 1947, Huddleston married Martha Jean Pearce, who died in 2003.
After graduating from college, Huddleston worked as the sports and program director for WKCT in Bowling Green, Kentucky. In 1952, he became the general manager of WIEL in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. He later became president of the Kentucky Broadcasters Association.
Huddleston entered politics in 1964 when he was elected to the Kentucky State Senate. He was elected as a state senator in 1965, serving until 1972; for a time, he was the body's majority leader.
In 1972, Huddleston ran for the United States Senate seat which was being vacated by retiring Republican John Sherman Cooper. He narrowly defeated Republican Louie B. Nunn, a recent former governor, receiving a 51% to 48% margin. Huddleston was reelected in 1978 with 61 percent of the vote over the former Republican state Representative Louie R. Guenthner Jr., of Louisville.
In 1984, Huddleston's Republican opponent was Jefferson County (Louisville) Judge-Executive Mitch McConnell. McConnell gained political traction with a series of television campaign ads making sport of Huddleston's attendance record in the Senate. McConnell accused him of putting "his private speaking engagements ahead of his Senate responsibilities." Despite these ads, the race was very close, with McConnell only defeating Huddleston when the last returns came in (49.9% to 49.5%).
Huddleston was known as a member of the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, as was typical of party members from Kentucky.
In the late 1980s, Huddleston served on the National Board of Advisors of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an anti-immigration group advocating for a lower rate of legal immigration.
In 2012, Huddleston announced he was stepping down as chairman of First Financial Service Corporation.
- "Walter 'Dee' Huddleston, who lost Senate seat to Mitch McConnell, dies". Courier-Journal. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
- "Former U.S. Sen. Walter 'Dee' Huddleston dies at 92". Kentucky. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
- Sheroan, Ben (October 16, 2018). "Broadcaster turned legislator, Dee Huddleston impacted area". The News-Enterprise. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
- "Walter 'Dee' Huddleston, former U.S. Senator, dies at age 92 at son's home in Warsaw". Kentucky Forward. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
- "Former Kentucky U.S. Senator Walter 'Dee' Huddleston has died". WDRB. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
- "Former US Sen. Walter 'Dee' Huddleston dies at 92". Herald Mail Media. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
- "Nixon sweeps to landslide victory". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. November 8, 1972. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
- "KY US Senate". Our Campaigns. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
- "Walter Huddleston, Kentucky Senator Who Preceded Mitch McConnell, Dead at 92". RollCall. Retrieved October 16, 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Mayer, Jane (15 February 2012). "Who Let the Attack-Ad Dogs Out?". New Yorker. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Mark R. Chellgren (November 7, 1984). "Dee upset by McConnell in close race". Williamson Daily News. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- "Former US Sen. Walter 'Dee' Huddleston dies at 92". Finger Lake Times. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
- "Former Kentucky senator Dee Huddleston dead at 92". The Hill. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
- "CEO of First Financial in Kentucky Stepping Down for Health Reasons". Americanbanker.com. 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
- United States Congress. "Walter "Dee" Huddleston (id: H000905)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
|Party political offices|
John Y. Brown Sr.
| Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Kentucky
1972, 1978, 1984
Harvey I. Sloane
Les AuCoin, Joe Biden, Bill Bradley, Robert Byrd, Tom Daschle, Bill Hefner, Barbara B. Kennelly, George Miller, Tip O'Neill, Paul Tsongas, Tim Wirth
| Response to the State of the Union address
Served alongside: Max Baucus, Joe Biden, David Boren, Barbara Boxer, Robert Byrd, Dante Fascell, William H. Gray, Tom Harkin, Carl Levin, Tip O'Neill, Claiborne Pell
John Sherman Cooper
| U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Kentucky
Served alongside: Marlow Cook, Wendell H. Ford