Owen B. Pickett

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Owen B. Pickett
Owen Pickett 106th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 2001
Preceded byG. William Whitehurst
Succeeded byEdward Schrock
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 81st district
In office
January 12, 1983 – December 30, 1986
Preceded byNone (district created)
Succeeded byGlenn R. Croshaw
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 38th district
In office
January 13, 1982 – January 12, 1983
Preceded byFrederick H. Creekmore
Succeeded byNora Anderson Squyres
Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia
In office
1980–1982
Preceded byRichard J. Davis
Succeeded byAlan Diamonstein
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 40th district
In office
January 12, 1972 – January 13, 1982
Personal details
Born(1930-08-31)August 31, 1930
Richmond, Virginia
DiedOctober 27, 2010(2010-10-27) (aged 80)
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materVirginia Tech (B.S.)
University of Richmond (LL.B.)
ProfessionPolitician, lawyer

Owen Bradford Pickett (August 31, 1930 – October 27, 2010) was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Virginia.

Early life[edit]

Pickett was born in Richmond, Virginia on August 31, 1930. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1952 and the University of Richmond School of Law in 1955. Pickett was admitted to the Virginia State bar in 1955, and practiced law in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

State political career[edit]

Pickett served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1972 until 1986, representing a district centered on Virginia Beach. During this time, he also served as chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia from 1980 until 1982.[1]

Pickett was considered the unopposed favorite for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate in 1982 to run for the seat of retiring Democratic-turned-independent U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr.. In announcing his candidacy, Pickett paid tribute to the Byrd Organization, the political "machine" led by Senator Byrd's father, the late Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr. The reference enraged State Senator L. Douglas Wilder of Richmond, who found Pickett's glowing references to a political machine that supported segregation unacceptable. Wilder said he would mount an independent candidacy if Pickett won the Democratic nomination.[2] Convinced that Wilder was serious-and facing a likely loss in a three-way race with Wilder and the Republican nominee, Congressman Paul Trible, Pickett withdrew from the race. The Democrats instead nominated Lt. Governor Richard Joseph Davis, who lost narrowly to Trible in the 1982 general election, although Trible retired as his term ended and Democrat Chuck Robb gained the seat.

Congressional career[edit]

Meanwhile, voters of Virginia's 2nd congressional district elected Pickett in 1986 to become their U.S. Representative. Re-elected several times (and facing no opponent in 1998), Pickett represented the district from January 3, 1987 until January 3, 2001, announcing in 2000 that he was not a candidate for reelection to the 107th Congress. The Owen B. Pickett U.S. Custom House in Norfolk, Virginia was named in his honor in 2001.

Electoral history[edit]

  • 1986; Pickett defeated Republican A. Joe Canada Jr. and Independent Stephen P. Shao, winning 49.48% of the vote.
  • 1988; Pickett defeated Republican Jerry R. Curry and Independents Stephen P. Shao and Robert A. Smith, winning 60.55% of the vote.
  • 1990; Pickett defeated Independent Harry G. Broskie, winning 77.61% of the vote.
  • 1992; Pickett defeated Republican J.L. Chapman, winning 56.03% of the vote.
  • 1994; Pickett defeated Republican Chapman, winning 59.05% of the vote.
  • 1996; Pickett defeated Republican John F. Tate, winning 57.72% of the vote.
  • 1998; Pickett was unopposed for re-election in 1998.

Death[edit]

Pickett died on October 27, 2010 after several years of ill health.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Former Va congressman Owen Pickett dies at 80". WTKR. October 28, 2010.
  2. ^ Barone, Michael; Ujifusa, Grant (1987). The Almanac of American Politics 1988. National Journal. p. 1227.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
G. William Whitehurst
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 2nd congressional district

1987–2001
Succeeded by
Edward Schrock