Walter Dee Huddleston
|United States Senator
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1985
|Preceded by||John Cooper|
|Succeeded by||Mitch McConnell|
|Member of the Kentucky Senate
from the 10th district
January 4, 1966 – December 1972
|Preceded by||Paul Fuqua|
|Succeeded by||Joe Prather|
|Born||Walter Darlington Huddleston
April 15, 1926
Burkesville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Jean Pearce (1947–2003)|
|Education||University of Kentucky (BA)|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1944–1946|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Life and career
Huddleston was born in Burkesville, the seat of Cumberland County in south central Kentucky. After he graduated from high school, he enlisted in the United States Army and served as a tank gunner in Europe during and after World War II from 1944 to 1946. He then attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington, from which he graduated in 1949. In 1947 he married Martha Jean Pearce (1929–2003).
Huddleston was a manager of radio stations in Kentucky from 1949 to 1972. He entered politics in 1964 when he was elected to the Kentucky State Senate. He was elected as a state senator in 1965, serving until 1972; for a time, he was the body's majority leader.
In 1972, Huddleston ran for the U.S. Senate seat which was being vacated by retiring Republican John Sherman Cooper. He narrowly defeated Republican Louie B. Nunn, a recent former governor, receiving a 51% to 48% margin. Huddleston was reelected in 1978 with 61 percent of the vote over the former Republican state Representative Louie R. Guenthner, Jr., of Louisville.
In 1984, Huddleston's Republican opponent was Jefferson County (Louisville) Judge-Executive Mitch McConnell. McConnell gained political traction with a series of television campaign ads making sport of Huddleston's attendance record in the Senate. Mitch McConnell accused him of putting "his private speaking engagements ahead of his Senate responsibilities." Despite these ads, the race was very close, with McConnell only defeating Huddleston when the last returns came in (49.9%-to-49.5%).
Huddleston was known as a member of the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, as was typical of party members from Kentucky.
In the late 1980s, Huddleston was the head of the English Language Political Action Committee (a.k.a. "El Pac"). He currently serves on the National Board of Advisors of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
In 2012, Huddleston announced he was stepping down as Chairman of First Financial Service Corporation.
- "Nixon sweeps to landslide victory". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. November 8, 1972. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
- Mayer, Jane (15 February 2012). "Who Let the Attack-Ad Dogs Out?". New Yorker. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Mark R. Chellgren (November 7, 1984). "Dee upset by McConnell in close race". Williamson Daily News. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- "CEO of First Financial in Kentucky Stepping Down for Health Reasons". Americanbanker.com. 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
- United States Congress. "Walter Dee Huddleston (id: H000905)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
|Party political offices|
John Y. Brown Sr.
|Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Kentucky
1972, 1978, 1984
Harvey I. Sloane
Les AuCoin, Joe Biden, Bill Bradley, Robert Byrd, Tom Daschle, Bill Hefner, Barbara B. Kennelly, George Miller, Tip O'Neill, Paul Tsongas, Tim Wirth
|Response to the State of the Union address
Served alongside: Max Baucus, Joe Biden, David Boren, Barbara Boxer, Robert Byrd, Dante Fascell, William H. Gray, Tom Harkin, Carl Levin, Tip O'Neill, Claiborne Pell
John Sherman Cooper
|U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Kentucky
Served alongside: Marlow Cook, Wendell H. Ford
|93rd||Senate: M. Cook | W. Huddleston | W. Ford||House: C. D. Perkins | W. Natcher | F. Stubblefield | T. Carter | G. Snyder | R. Mazzoli | J. B. Breckinridge|
|94th||Senate: W. Huddleston | W. Ford||House: C. D. Perkins | W. Natcher | T. Carter | G. Snyder | R. Mazzoli | J. B. Breckinridge | C. Hubbard|
|95th||Senate: W. Huddleston | W. Ford||House: C. D. Perkins | W. Natcher | T. Carter | G. Snyder | R. Mazzoli | J. B. Breckinridge | C. Hubbard|
|96th||Senate: W. Huddleston | W. Ford||House: C. D. Perkins | W. Natcher | T. Carter | G. Snyder | R. Mazzoli | C. Hubbard | L. Hopkins|
|97th||Senate: W. Huddleston | W. Ford||House: C. D. Perkins | W. Natcher | G. Snyder | R. Mazzoli | C. Hubbard | L. Hopkins | H. Rogers|
|98th||Senate: W. Huddleston | W. Ford||House: C. D. Perkins | W. Natcher | G. Snyder | R. Mazzoli | C. Hubbard | L. Hopkins | H. Rogers|