George Darden

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Buddy Darden
George Darden Headshot.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 7th district
In office
November 8, 1983 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Larry McDonald
Succeeded by Bob Barr
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1943-11-22) November 22, 1943 (age 73)
Hancock County, Georgia
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lillian Darden

George Washington "Buddy" Darden, III (born November 22, 1943) is an American politician and lawyer.

Early life[edit]

Darden was born in Hancock County, Georgia and graduated from Sparta High School in Sparta, Georgia in 1961. He earned his Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) at the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens in 1965 and his Juris Doctor from the UGA School of Law in 1967.[1] He received many honors and awards while a student, including being elected president of the student body.[2]


Upon graduation from law school, Darden was employed in the office of the District Attorney of Cobb County, Georgia. After serving as assistant district attorney in Cobb County from 1968 to 1972, he was elected District Attorney and served from 1973 to 1977.[3] Darden was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1980. He served in that body from 1981 until 1983. Upon the sudden death of U.S. Representative Larry McDonald in the 1983 downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007, Darden resigned from the Georgia General Assembly after winning the special election to fill McDonald's seat for the remainder of the Ninety-eighth Congress.[4]

During his tenure in office, Darden sponsored 61 bills, including H.R.2044, legislation that authorize and direct the National Park Service to assist the State of Georgia in relocating a highway affecting the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in Georgia.[5] Darden also shepherded numerous bills, including those benefiting Lockheed Aeronautical Corp., through Congress as part of the Armed Services Committee and co-sponsored others. "You don't have to introduce a tiny little bill with your name on it to make a difference," he said.[6]

Darden was a member of the Standards of Official Conduct committee, elected in 1991, and served on the Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.[7][8] He opposed federal funding for Medicaid abortions except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the life of the mother.[9] He supported the death penalty.[9] Darden advocated maintaining a strong defense in spite of improved East-West relations. He said any money saved from a "peace dividend" should go to deficit reduction.[9] In 1992, the Americans for Democratic Action gave Darden's 1991 voting record 40 points out of 100; the American Conservative Union gave him 35 points.[9]

He was reelected to five more terms in that seat until losing his reelection bid in 1994 to Bob Barr.[10] He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House in 2002.[11]

After Congress[edit]

Since leaving Congress, Darden has served as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1996, 2000 and 2004. In 2000, President Clinton announced the recess appointment of Darden to serve as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).[12] Darden also served as chairman of the Judicial Nominating Commission in the administration of Georgia Governor Roy Barnes from 1999 to 2003.[13]

In 1992, Darden became a member of the Board of Trustees for LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia. In 2002, Darden was named Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and served as Chairman for five years. He retired as Chair in 2007. In recognition of his service to the college, LaGrange College conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on May 19, 2007. Darden was the commencement speaker at the graduation ceremony during which he was honored.[14]

Darden is a member of the ReFormers Caucus of Issue One.[15]

Since 1998, Darden has been a partner in the Atlanta law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge (formerly Long, Aldridge & Norman).[16]

Personal life[edit]

Darden married Lillian Budd (born May 15, 1945) on February 18, 1968, and has two children, Lillian Christine (born December 17, 1971; now Christine Darden Brennan) and George Washington IV (born August 7, 1974).[2][17] Darden currently resides in Marietta, Georgia.


  1. ^ "Darden, George (Buddy)". Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  2. ^ a b "Congressional Record, Volume 140, Number 147". GPO. 1994-11-29. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  3. ^ Evans, Randy (2010-08-08). "The Buddy Darden Rule". Neighbor Newspapers. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  4. ^ Larry McDonald, Pat Buchanan, Tom Braden (May 1983). Crossfire (Television Production). United States: CNN. 
  5. ^ "Bill Summary & Status– George Darden – 100th Congress". THOMAS (Library of Congress). Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  6. ^ "Darden-Beverly sequel even hotter, Debate opens war wounds in 7th District". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1992-09-28. pp. B3. 
  7. ^ "Bill Text – 102nd Congress – H.RES.57". THOMAS (Library of Congress). Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  8. ^ "Bill Text – 101st Congress – H.RES.39". THOMAS (Library of Congress). Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  9. ^ a b c d "George Washington Darden – candidate Profile". The Associated Press. 1992-11-07. 
  10. ^ "Bob Barr". Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  11. ^ Bullock, Charles S., III (2003), "It's a Sonny Day in Georgia", in Sabato, Larry, Midterm Madness: the elections of 2002, p. 185 
  12. ^ "President Names Darden as Member of Board of Directors of the OPIC" (Press release). The White House Office of the Press Secretary. 2000-12-22. Retrieved 2012-02-01. [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Rollercoaster for Northern Georgia U.S. Attorney Candidate". Main Justice. 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  14. ^ "College Awards Three Honorary Doctorates" (Press release). LaGrange College. 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Revolving Door: Buddy Darden Employment Summary". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  17. ^ "Lillian B. Darden (Secretary)". Georgia Department of Human Resources. Retrieved 2012-02-01. [permanent dead link]
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Larry McDonald
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 7th congressional district

November 8, 1983 – January 3, 1995
Succeeded by
Bob Barr