Charles I. Dawson

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Charles I. Dawson (February 13, 1881 – April 24, 1969) was a lawyer and politician from Kentucky who ran several high-profile campaigns as the nominee of the Republican party, and served for ten years as a United States federal judge.

Born in Logan County, Kentucky, Dawson studied at the University of Kentucky and read law in 1905, practicing law in Russellville, Kentucky before returning to Pineville. He was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1906, and became county attorney for Bell County, Kentucky in 1910, a post he would hold for ten years. In 1920, he was elected Attorney General of Kentucky.

In 1923 Dawson, still serving as attorney general, was the Republican nominee for Governor of Kentucky. The Democratic nominee, J. Campbell Cantrill, suddenly died that September, after defeating Alben Barkley for the nomination. Democrat William J. Fields quickly replaced Cantrill on the ticket after Barkley declined the nomination. Dawson lost the general election to Fields, winning 306,277 votes (46.2%) to Fields' 356.035 (53.8%).

On January 2, 1925, Dawson was nominated by President Calvin Coolidge to a seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky seat vacated by Charles H. Moorman. He was confirmed by the Senate on January 13, 1925, and received his commission the same day. Dawson resigned from the court on 30 June 1935.

In 1950 Dawson was the Republican nominee for a seat in the United States Senate. Dawson lost that race to Democrat Earle C. Clements, who won 300,276 votes (53.9%) to Dawson's 256,876 (46.1%). Clements went on to become the assistant majority floor leader under Lyndon B. Johnson, serving as Majority Leader of the United States Senate during Johnson's extended absence due to medical reasons.


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Party political offices
Preceded by
Edwin P. Morrow
Republican nominee for Governor of Kentucky
Succeeded by
Flem D. Sampson
Legal offices
Preceded by
Charles H. Morris
Attorney General of Kentucky
Succeeded by
T. B. McGregor
Preceded by
Charles Harwood Moorman
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
Succeeded by
Elwood Hamilton