Ed Bryant

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This article is about the U.S. Congressman. For the science fiction writer, see Edward Bryant. For the indologist, see Edwin Bryant (disambiguation).
Edward G. Bryant
EdBryant.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 7th district
In office
January 4, 1995 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Don Sundquist
Succeeded by Marsha Blackburn
Personal details
Born (1948-09-07) September 7, 1948 (age 66)
Jackson, Tennessee
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cyndi Bryant
Religion Presbyterian

Edward Glenn Bryant, usually known as Ed Bryant, (born September 7, 1948), American politician, is a former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Tennessee (1995–2003). Born in Jackson, Tennessee, he earned his B.A. in 1970 and J.D. in 1972, both from the University of Mississippi. As a student he was active in the Sigma Nu fraternity. He later served in the United States Army, teaching constitutional law to cadets at West Point among other duties. From 1991-1993, he served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. On December 12, 2008, he was sworn in as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Tennessee.

Entrance into politics[edit]

Bryant first became politically active in a high-profile way in 1988 when he served as an early organizer for the abortive presidential bid of conservative televangelist Pat Robertson. Earlier that year, Eighth District Congressman Ed Jones decided not to run for reelection. Bryant won the Republican nomination for the district, a largely Democratic area mostly in the northwestern part of the state. He lost in the general election to Union City attorney and state representative John S. Tanner. Bryant resumed the practice of law, having been appointed as United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee by President George H. W. Bush in 1991.[1] He later moved to Henderson, near Jackson, located in the neighboring Seventh Congressional District.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

When Seventh District Congressman Don Sundquist did not run for re-election in 1994 (choosing instead to wage an ultimately successful campaign for governor), Bryant won the Republican primary for the district. The 7th is as heavily Republican as the neighboring 8th is heavily Democratic — in fact, it is arguably the state's most Republican district outside of East Tennessee. Under the circumstances, Bryant's victory in November was a foregone conclusion.

In his three subsequent re-elections, Bryant never failed to receive under 60% of the vote. His only serious opposition — indeed, one of only three serious runs Democrats have made in this district since it fell into Republican hands in 1972 — came in his first reelection bid, when Clarksville mayor Don Trotter faced him. Bryant defeated him by over 30 points, and was completely unopposed in 1998.

Bryant established a solidly conservative record and was a darling of both business-oriented groups such as the National Federation of Independent Business and social conservative groups such as the American Conservative Union, the National Rifle Association, and National Right-to-Life. He was best known as one of the "House managers" (prosecutors) in the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. Bryant was regarded by many as one of the less strident and pompous and more personable managers. This is supposedly why Monica Lewinsky chose Bryant to be the manager to interview her about the case.

2002 U.S. Senate election[edit]

In 2002 Bryant entered the Republican primary for the United States Senate after Republican Fred Thompson announced that he was changing his mind from an earlier announcement and would not be seeking re-election. The circumstances resulted in his piecing together a hurried, underfinanced campaign. Bryant was opposed by former governor of Tennessee, U.S. Secretary of Education, and two-time presidential candidate Lamar Alexander for the Republican nomination. Alexander had both greater statewide name recognition and greater financial resources, even though he hadn't appeared on a ballot for a statewide office in Tennessee in 20 years. Despite this, Bryant held Alexander to 55% of the primary vote while garnering 44%. Additionally, Bryant made a good impression on many Republican activists in the state, especially with his willingness to make appearances on the Republican ticket's behalf during the fall campaign after his own defeat.

2006 U.S. Senate election[edit]

After Bryant's defeat in 2002, he moved to Nashville briefly, but soon returned to West Tennessee. Bryant sought the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat then-held by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who did not seek re-election in 2006.

Bryant faced two other major Republicans in the primary on August 3, 2006:

In an interview with John Gibson of Fox News Bryant stated that he did not believe Harold Ford, Jr. should be considered a serious candidate for the senate because of Ford's young age (36).[2]

On August 3, 2006, at 10:50 p.m., Ed Bryant conceded the GOP primary election to Bob Corker.[3]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Library of Congress, Presidential Nominations "Presidential Nominations," retrieved on 2011-1-13
  2. ^ "Rep. Ed Bryant Tells His Side of Battle for Tenn. Senate Seat". Fox News. June 29, 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  3. ^ "Corker wins GOP Primary". The Tennesseean. 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-03. [dead link]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Don Sundquist
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 7th congressional district

1995–2003
Succeeded by
Marsha Blackburn