George Peddy

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George Edwin Bailey Peddy
Texas State Representative from District 8 (Shelby County)
In office
January 9, 1917 – September 10, 1917
Preceded by Willie B. Savage[1]
Succeeded by John C. Rogers
Personal details
Born (1892-08-22)August 22, 1892
Tenaha, Shelby County
Texas, USA
Died June 13, 1951(1951-06-13) (aged 58)
Houston, Texas
Resting place Ramah Cemetery in Tenaha, Texas
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Gertrude Irwin Peddy (married 1921-1951, his death)
Children Reared two of his nephews by marriage
Alma mater

University of Texas

University of Texas School of Law
Occupation Lawyer for Vinson & Elkins
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Lieutenant colonel
Battles/wars

World War I

World War II - Invasion of Normandy

George Edwin Bailey Peddy (August 22, 1892 - June 13, 1951) was a Texas lawyer and politician who ran in 1922 as a combination Independent Democrat/Republican write-in candidate for the United States Senate and in 1948 as a Democrat, losing both times.

He was defeated by the official Democratic nominee, Earle Bradford Mayfield, an outgoing member of the Texas Railroad Commission. Mayfield, a native of Overton in East Texas, carried the backing of the Ku Klux Klan, which Peddy opposed.[2]

Background[edit]

Peddy was born on a farm near Tenaha, in Shelby County in East Texas. He was the seventh son of William Henry Peddy and the former Laura Gertrude Chambers. His father died soon after Peddy's birth, and Peddy worked as a young man to help support his mother.

He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas in Austin. In 1920, he graduated from the University of Texas School of Law.[3]

Early political career[edit]

Peddy was the UT student body president in 1917 as well as the District 8 state representative from Shelby County. He opposed Governor James E. Ferguson's policies regarding UT funding and procedures but, like Ferguson, was a strong opponent of the Klan. During World War I, Peddy accepted a commission as a captain in the United States Army.[3]

While in training at Camp Funston in Kansas, he obtained leave to attend the impeachment proceedings against Governor Ferguson, which resulted in hisconviction in the Texas State Senate and removal from office and the accession of Lieutenant Governor William P. Hobby to the governorship. Peddy resigned his House seat on September 10, 1917 to complete his military duties.[4]

With his law degree in hand, Peddy and two former classmates established a law practice in Houston. For two years, he was the assistant district attorney in Harris County. Peddy was then appointed as the assistant United States attorney assigned to prosecute mail fraud cases.[3]

Senate race[edit]

Because the Klan was backing Mayfield for the Senate, a group known as the "Independent Democrats" met in Dallas on September 16, 1922 to nominate Peddy to run in the general election scheduled for November 7. The longtime ncumbent senator, Charles Allen Culberson, had been eliminated in the primary in which Peddy had supported Ferguson against Mayfield because of the Klan question.

Democratic Party regulars managed to keep Peddy's name off the general election ballot, and so Mayfield was unopposed. Mayfield's critics said that his ties to the Klan he squalified him from being a Democrat. Mayfield, like the Klan, was supported prohibition, but Ferguson favored legal sales of alcoholic beverages despite being illegal anywhere in the United States by the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Republican leadership endorsed Peddy, but it was too late to place a candidate for senator on the Republican line.[3]

Among those working to elect Peddy to the Senate by encouraging the write-in against Mayfield and raising campaign funds were two Republican industrialists from Wichita Falls in North Texas, Frank Kell and his son-in-law, Orville Bullington, later the state party chairman.[5]

Peddy polled 130,744 (33%) write-in votes, compared to Mayfield's 264,260 ballots (67%). Thereafter, Peddy challenged Mayfield's election before the Senate itself, mostly because Peddy had been kept off the ballot because of filing deadlines. The challenge succeeded only in delaying Mayfield's seating by nine months.[6] Mayfield was unseated for a second term in the Democratic runoff primary in 1928 by Tom Connally.

Later years[edit]

From 1925 to 1942, Peddy practiced with the prominent Houston firm Vinson & Elkins.[3]

During World War II, Peddy, then in his early fifties, volunteered for further military service and attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. He served as a staff officer for the Third Army from the Invasion of Normandy until the end of the war in Europe in May 1945. Peddy was then named as the deputy military governor of Frankfurt, Germany. He was awarded both the Bronze Star Medal and the French Croix de Guerre.[3]

In 1948, Peddy entered the Democratic primary for United States senator from Texas to succeed the retiring W. Lee O'Daniel and polled nearly 20% of the vote, sufficient to force his two major opponents, former Governor Coke Stevenson and U.S. Representative Lyndon B. Johnson into a runoff election, which Johnson won in a controversial race marred by 87 disputed ballots in Jim Wells County in South Texas.

Peddy ran on a strongly states' rights and anticommunist platform.[3]

In 1921, Peddy married the former Gertrude Irwin; they reared two of her nephews. Peddy died shortly before his 59th birthday while he was serving as the chairman of the Texas Cancer Crusade in Houston. He is interred at Ramah Cemetery in Tenaha.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Willie Savage". lrl.state.tx.us. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Mayfield, Earle Bradford". tshaonline.org. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "George Edwin Bailey Peddy". tshaonline.org. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  4. ^ "George Edwin Bailey Peddy". Legislative Reference Library of Texas. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ Norman D. Brown, Hood, Bonnet, and Little Brown Jug: Texas Politics, 1921-1928, p. 122. Texas A&M University Southwestern Studies, 1984; ISBN 0-89096-157-3. Retrieved April 16, 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Election Case of George E. B. Peddy v. Earle B. Mayfield of Texas (1925)". senate.gov. Retrieved April 16, 2013. 
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Willie B. Savage
Texas State Representative from District 8 (Shelby County)

George Edwin Bailey Peddy
January 9 - September 10, 1917

Succeeded by
John C. Rogers