Chuck Graham

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Chuck Graham (born February 24, 1965) is a Democratic politician who formerly represented the 19th Senate District in the Missouri General Assembly, which includes the city of Columbia, Missouri, where he lives. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987 with a B.S. in journalism.

He was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1996, and served there through 2002. He was first elected to the Missouri State Senate in 2004, and served as the party's Assistant Minority Floor Leader. He had been mentioned as a possible candidate in the 2006 U.S. Senate Election, but dropped out in support of then State Auditor and present Senator Claire McCaskill.

He served on the following committees:

  • Education
  • Gubernatorial Appointments
  • Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence
  • Pensions, Veterans' Affairs and General Laws

In 1998, Graham proposed a bill which would have permitted death row prisoners awaiting execution to donate organs (kidneys or bone marrow) in exchange for a commutation of their death sentence.[1][2][3] He is a strong supporter of stem-cell research.

On October 20, 2007, Graham was arrested by Columbia Police on suspicion of driving while intoxicated after rear-ending a vehicle near his home in Southwest Columbia. His license was subsequently suspended.[4] On January 10, 2008, his license was reinstated and he is free to drive again after one month, despite the state mandated period of suspension for refusing the chemical blood alcohol test being one year.[5][6]

Graham is a paraplegic following an automobile accident at age 16. He received national attention during a 2008 televised campaign rally in Columbia. Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden asked him to stand up, apparently unaware of his paralysis. When Joe Biden realized Chuck couldn't stand up, he asked for the crowd to stand up for him.[7]

On November 4, 2008, Graham lost his seat after being defeated in the general election by Republican Kurt Schaefer. He announced that he has no plans to run for office in the near future.


  • Official Manual, State of Missouri, 2005-2006. Jefferson City, MO: Secretary of State.

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