Sam Coppersmith

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Samuel G. Coppersmith
Sam Coppersmith.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by John Jacob Rhodes III
Succeeded by Matt Salmon
Personal details
Born (1955-05-22) May 22, 1955 (age 59)
Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA
Political party Democratic Party
Alma mater Harvard University (1976);
Yale Law School (1982)
Occupation Lawyer
Website liberaldesert.blogspot.com (personal blog)

Samuel G. "Sam" Coppersmith (born May 22, 1955) is an attorney and former Democratic United States Congressman from Arizona from 1993 to 1995.

Early years[edit]

Coppersmith was born May 22, 1955 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.[1] He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1976,[2] and then worked as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. State Department, assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.[1] He returned to the U.S. then earned a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1982.[2] After law school, he clerked for Judge William C. Canby, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and served as an assistant to the Mayor of Phoenix.[2]

House of Representatives[edit]

In 1992, Coppersmith won the Democratic primary in Arizona's 1st District and faced three-term Republican Jay Rhodes in the general election. This East Valley constituency had been represented only by a Republican since 1953, and became even more Republican when many Hispanic neighborhoods in Phoenix were shifted to the 2nd District during redistricting. Also, popular Senator John McCain (who had represented the district from 1983 to 1987) was running for re-election. Rhodes, however, was hobbled by ethics problems, and Coppersmith defeated him in what was later call one of the biggest upsets in Arizona political history.[3]

While serving in Congress, he kept a campaign promise by returning a congressional pay raise he opposed by writing a check each month to the U.S. Treasury. Coppersmith also gained national attention with his leadership of the effort to eliminate the Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor program, an effort that united a coalition of budget-cutters, environmentalists, and foreign policy experts concerned about plutonium. Also, through his efforts, the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Education talked with each other to end an interpretation of labor laws that kept parents in some Arizona schools from participating in their children's classrooms.

Senate race and private practice[edit]

In 1994, Coppersmith gave up his seat after only one term to run for the U.S. Senate when Dennis DeConcini retired. He lost to fellow Congressman Jon Kyl by 14 points. No Democrat has come within 10 points of winning the district, which has since been renumbered as the 6th and now the 5th, since Coppersmith left office.

After leaving Congress, Coppersmith spent two years as the chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party.[1] He is currently an attorney specializing in real estate law and a managing partner of the law firm of Coppersmith Schermer & Brockelman PLC.[2] He has a blog called LiberalDesert.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sam Coppersmith". Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership. Archived from the original on 2003-01-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Samual G. Coppersmith". Coppersmith Schermer & Brockelman PLC. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  3. ^ Former Arizona Congressman John Rhodes III dies. East Valley Tribune, 2011-01-20.

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Rhodes III
U.S. Representative for Arizona's 1st Congressional District
1993–1995
Succeeded by
Matt Salmon
Party political offices
Preceded by
Dennis DeConcini
Democratic Party nominee for United States Senator from Arizona
(Class 1)

1994
Succeeded by
Jim Pederson