Ryan DeGraffenried

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Ryan DeGraffenried, Jr.
Alabama State Senator from 16th and 21st districts
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1994
Preceded by Richard Shelby (D)
Succeeded by William J. Cabaniss, Jr. (R)
Personal details
Born (1950-04-02)April 2, 1950[1]
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Died December 7, 2006(2006-12-07) (aged 56)
Hoover, Alabama
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Sandra Sims-deGraffenried

William Ryan deGraffenried, Jr. (April 2, 1950 – December 7, 2006) was an American politician who served as President Pro Tempore of the Alabama State Senate from 1987 to 1995.

DeGraffenried was a graduate of the University of Alabama and the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He represented Tuscaloosa in the Alabama State Senate from 1978 until 1994 and served as the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, from 1987 until 1994. He was elected to the Senate in a special election when then- State Sen. Richard Shelby was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to fill the vacancy of Walter Flowers.

After Governor H. Guy Hunt was removed from office due to criminal conviction, the Lieutenant Governor, Jim Folsom, Jr. became the new governor. DeGraffenried, as the President Pro Tempore of the state Senate, became next in line for the governorship for the remainder of the quadrennium.

DeGraffenried ran unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor in 1994, losing the Democratic primary to future Governor Don Siegelman. He then returned to practicing law in Tuscaloosa and later became a contract lobbyist.

His father, Ryan DeGraffenried, Sr., was also a notable Alabama politician.

He died unexpectedly of undisclosed natural causes in 2006 while attending a conference in Hoover, Alabama, aged 56.[2]


Electoral history[edit]

Alabama Senate (16th district), 1982

  • Ryan DeGraffenried (D) (inc.) - 20,149 (100.00%)

Alabama Senate (21st district), 1983

  • Ryan DeGraffenried (D) (inc.) - 7,164 (100.00%)

Alabama Senate (21st district), 1986

  • Ryan DeGraffenried (D) (inc.) - 23,101 (100.00%)

Alabama Senate (21st district), 1990

  • Ryan DeGraffenried (D) (inc.) - 24,445 (100.00%)

Lieutenant Governor of Alabama (Democratic primary), 1994

Lieutenant Governor of Alabama (Democratic primary runoff), 1994

  • Don Siegelman - 297,937 (57.32%)
  • Ryan DeGraffenried - 221,877 (42.68%)

Source: OurCampaigns.com DeGraffenried page