Ben Jones (Georgia congressman)

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Ben Lewis Jones
Ben L. Jones and the General Lee (1999).jpg
Ben Jones and the General Lee, taken outside his store "Cooter's Place" in Sperryville, Virginia in 1999
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Pat Swindall
Succeeded by John Linder
Personal details
Born (1941-08-30) August 30, 1941 (age 73)
Tarboro, North Carolina U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Profession Actor

Ben Lewis Jones (born August 30, 1941) is an American actor, politician, playwright and essayist, best known for his role as Cooter Davenport in The Dukes of Hazzard. Jones also served for four years in the United States House of Representatives from January 1989 to January 3, 1993.

Personal life[edit]

Jones is a 1959 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, Virginia and attended the University of North Carolina for four years. He is married to Alma Viator.[1] By previous wives, Ben has a daughter, Rachel, and a son, Walker. Jones is a long-time friend of Cincinnati Reds announcer Marty Brennaman.[citation needed]

Since the 1990s, Jones has run a chain of "Cooter's museums" across the U.S., dedicated to The Dukes of Hazzard. He also organized the annual "Dukefest" gathering and has most recently been hosting "The Shenandoah Jamboree" music shows featuring country music legends, past and present, at The Shenandoah Caverns Yellow Barn in Shenandoah county Virginia.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Following the end of The Dukes of Hazzard, Jones entered the political arena as a Democrat. In 1986, he ran unsuccessfully against Pat Swindall for a seat in the United States House of Representatives from Georgia, but lost, winning 47% of the vote, more than expected.[citation needed] He ran again in 1988, against Swindall, this time easily winning. Jones was narrowly re-elected in 1990, but in 1992, following redistricting which moved his home into another district, he was defeated in the Democratic primary election. In 1994, he ran against the then-House Minority Whip and soon-to-be House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Jones received 35% of the vote.

Jones has since returned to acting, as well as becoming a well-known writer, writing many political essays and a one-man play about Dizzy Dean in which he plays the famous "Gas House Gang" pitcher and baseball announcer.[citation needed]

In 1998, he broke from most Democrats and asked President Bill Clinton to resign during his trial and impeachment. Jones is still active in the Democratic Party. In 2002, he ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the United States House from Virginia against Republican incumbent Eric Cantor, thus becoming one of very few recent American politicians to seek elective office in more than one state.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top Fund-Raiser Is Also a Billionaire's Wife" New York Times November 3, 1996 By Elizabeth Bumiller
  2. ^ Republicans projected to retain House

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Pat Swindall
United States Representative for the 4th Congressional District of Georgia
January 3, 1989–January 2, 1993
Succeeded by
John Linder