Richard Cranwell

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C. Richard Cranwell
Dick Cranwell 2008-08-27.jpg
Dick Cranwell at the 2008 Democratic National Convention
Minority Leader of the
Virginia House of Delegates
In office
2000–2002
Preceded by Vance Wilkins
Succeeded by Franklin Hall
Majority Leader of the
Virginia House of Delegates
In office
1992–2000
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from the 8th district
In office
1972–2002
Preceded by Franklin Slayton
Succeeded by Danny Marshall
Personal details
Born ( 1942 -07-26) July 26, 1942 (age 72)
Ceredo-Kenova, West Virginia
Political party Democratic
Children six (6)
Residence Roanoke County, Virginia
Alma mater Virginia Tech
University of Richmond School of Law
Profession Lawyer
Committees Finance (chair 1988–1997, cochair 1998–2001)
Militia and Police (chair 1978–1987)
Religion Methodist

Charles Richard ('Dick' or 'Dickie') Cranwell (born July 26, 1942 in Ceredo-Kenova, West Virginia) is an American lawyer and Democratic Party politician. He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates 1972–2001, and was its Democratic floor leader 1991–2001. From 2005 to 2010, he was chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia.[1][2]

Personal life and non-political career[edit]

Cranwell attended Richlands High School in Tazewell County, Virginia. He received a B.S. degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1965, and his J.D. from the University of Richmond School of Law in 1968. He was then admitted to the Virginia State Bar and took up practice in Roanoke County, Virginia.[1]

He is an active member in good standing of the Virginia State Bar, the American Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and the Roanoke County-Salem Bar Association.

Cranwell currently resides in Vinton, Virginia and is a member of Vinton's Chamber of Commerce and its Lions Club. He has been married twice and had six children.

Political career[edit]

Cranwell was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1972, sharing the multi-member 8th district (Craig and Roanoke Counties and the city of Salem) with Republican Raymond Robrecht. In 1982, after redistricting, he shared the same district, now numbered the 7th, with another Republican, G. Steven Agee. A second redistricting converted the House entirely to single-member districts in 1983. He won election in the new 14th district, made up of pieces of Craig, Roanoke and Bedford Counties. He stayed in the 14th until his retirement from the House in 2001.[1][3][4][5]

Cranwell served as chair of the Militia and Police committee 1978–1987, then took over the chairmanship of the Finance committee. In September 1991, Speaker A. L. Philpott, a terminal cancer patient, retired. Cranwell lost a close contest with Tom Moss of Norfolk for the Democratic Caucus nomination to succeed Philpott.[citation needed] Moss then became Speaker, and Cranwell became Majority leader.[1][6][7]

Republicans gained parity with Democrats in the House after the 1997 elections, part of a Republican sweep driven by gubernatorial candidate Jim Gilmore's campaign promise to eliminate the personal property tax on automobiles.[citation needed] While the Democrats retained nominal majority caucus status and Moss remained Speaker, committee chairs were shared between the two parties, and Republican Harry Parrish became Finance co-chair with Cranwell. The committee sharing relationship continued for two years after Republicans took majority control in 2000. Moss conceded the Minority leader position to Cranwell.[1][7][8]

Cranwell retired from the House in 2001, a year in which Republicans controlled the redistricting process. He returned to focusing on his law practice.

Cranwell was elected as state Democratic party chair on June 18, 2005.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Session 2001; C. Richard 'Dick' Cranwell". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  2. ^ a b "Party Chair". vademocrats.org. Archived from the original on 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  3. ^ "Session 1972; C. Richard 'Dick' Cranwell". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  4. ^ "Session 1982; C. Richard 'Dick' Cranwell". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  5. ^ "Session 1983; C. Richard 'Dick' Cranwell". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  6. ^ "Session 1978; C. Richard 'Dick' Cranwell". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  7. ^ a b "Session 1988; C. Richard 'Dick' Cranwell". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  8. ^ "Session 1998; Harry J. Parrish". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 

References[edit]

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