Remembering Those Who Left Us In 2018

It seems that each year brings more disheartening and dispiriting news; perhaps this has long been the case, but it feels like it’s just getting worse.  Maybe 2019 we’ll find reason for hope.

But for now, we’ll just stop and remember those who left us this year, those who believed in the good of politics, the good of public service.  Many who will be sorely missed.

What follows is a chronological list of those in the political and media world who died in 2018.  It doesn’t claim to be complete, but it includes many of those who made our lives more interesting and the world a better place.

Alan Sagner, 97, a Democratic fundraiser who was the finance chair for NJ Gov. Brendan Byrne, ran the Port Authority of NY/NJ and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and who was a founder of the Fair Play for Cuba Cmte in 1960. (Jan. 3)

Brendan Byrne, 93, a two-term Democratic governor of N.J., starting with an easy defeat of GOP congressman Charlie Sandman (who had ousted Gov. Bill Cahill in the primary) in 1973 and winning re-election four years later against Ray Bateman.  As governor he instituted the state’s first income tax. (Jan. 4)

Robert Crane, 91, a former longtime (1965-90) Democratic state treasurer of Massachusetts. (Jan. 5)

Marjorie Holt, 97, a Maryland Republican who was elected to a newly-created House district in 1972, running on an anti-busing and anti-abortion platform, and served until her retirement in 1986. (Jan. 6)

Thomas Luken, 92, the mayor of Cincinnati who was sent to Congress in a special 1974 election in a reliably Republican district thanks to the Watergate scandal but who lost the rematch to Bill Gradison (R) in the November general election.  In 1976 he moved to a nearby district and ousted GOP Rep. Donald Clancy and served until his retirement in 1990, when he was succeeded by his son Charles. (Jan. 10)

Doug Barnard, 95, an 8-term Democratic House member from Georgia, winning an open seat in 1976 and serving until his retirement in 1992. (Jan. 11)

John Tunney, 83, a California Democrat who served in both the House and Senate.  The son of former heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney, he knocked out freshman GOP Rep. Patrick Minor Martin in 1964 and served in the House until 1970, when he defeated Sen. George Murphy (R).  A close friend of Ted Kennedy and one who was considered a VP hopeful in 1972, he had a liberal record in the Senate.  But it was not enough for some on the left, who backed Tom Hayden in his 1976 primary challenge to Tunney, where he won nearly 37% of the vote and more than a million votes.  Tunney was defeated that November to conservative former college president Sam Hayakawa. (Jan. 12)

Dan Gurney, 86, a legendary auto racer who was somehow touted by Car and Driver magazine in 1964 as a candidate for president, a not-serious movement that nonetheless produced campaign buttons. (Jan. 14)

Romana Acosta Banuelos, 92, the U.S. treasurer under President Nixon. (Jan. 15)

John Spellman, 91, a one-term governor of Washington, winning in 1980 but losing his re-election bid four years later to Democrat Booth Gardner.  No Republican has been elected governor of the state since, the longest GOP losing streak in the nation. (Jan. 16)

Timothy O’Connor, 81, the speaker of the Vermont House of Reps who lost a close Dem primary for governor in 1980. (Jan. 16)

Paul Booth, 74, an anti-war activist who organized one of the first rallies against the Vietnam conflict, in 1965, and who later became influential in the SDS and unions. (Jan. 17)

Stansfield Turner, 94, the head of the CIA under President Carter. (Jan. 18)

Dennis Peron, 71, a longtime marijuana advocate who ran for governor of California in 1998, losing the GOP nomination to Dan Lungren. (Jan. 27)

J.D. Williams, 80, a former aide to Sen. Robert Kerr (D-OK) who became a leading Dem lobbyist and fundraiser. (Jan. 27)

Nicolas von Hoffman, 88, a courageous and provocative leftwing reporter and columnist for the Washington Post. (Feb. 1)

Jon Huntsman Sr., 80, a billionaire philanthropist who was briefly a candidate for governor of Utah in 1988 and whose son Jon Jr. is the US ambassador to Russia and a former governor himself. (Feb. 2)

Jack Davis, 82, an Illinois Republican elected to the House in 1986 but who lost his bid for re-election to Democrat George Sangmeister two years later in one of the closest House races in the country. (Feb. 4)

David Zwick, 75, a member of “Nader’s Raiders” whose environmental activism was credited for the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972. (Feb. 5)

Joe Knollenberg, 84, a Michigan Republican who served 16 years in the House, beginning with his victory in an open seat in 1992 which was being given up by his friend, William Broomfield.  In Congress he had a conservative voting record and became a big champion of NAFTA.  He was defeated in his bid for a 9th term in 2008 by Gary Peters, now one of Michigan’s senators. (Feb. 6)

John Gavin, 86, an actor who became active in Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign, which led to him becoming the U.S. ambassador to Mexico. (Feb. 9)

Jeffrey Bell, 74, an anti-tax conservative who worked for Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp and who upset four-term liberal Sen. Clifford Case in the 1978 Republican primary but was defeated that November by Democrat Bill Bradley.  No Republican has won a Senate seat in the state since.  Bell tried again for the Senate in 1982 but lost the GOP primary to Rep. Millicent Fenwick.  Out of politics for years, he attempted a comeback in 2014 as the Republican nominee against Sen. Cory Booker but lost by 14 percentage points. (Feb. 10)

Jon Fox, 70, a Pennsylvania Republican who defeated Rep. Marjorie Margolies Mezvinsky (D) on his second try in 1994 in a celebrated race that focused on her vote on behalf of the Clinton tax hike.  He was beaten in his bid for a 3rd term in 1998 by Joe Hoeffel. (Feb. 11)

John Schmidhauser, 96, an Iowa Democrat who was swept into Congress on LBJ’s coattails in 1964 when he ousted GOP Rep. Fred Schwengel, but who lost a rematch in 1966 and again in ’68. (Feb. 21)

Billy Graham, 99, the Southern Baptist minister and evangelist who was close to many presidents. (Feb. 21)

Marc Marks, 91, a Pennsylvania Republican who unseated Dem incumbent Joseph Vigorito in 1976 and served until his retirement in 1982. (Feb. 28)

John Buchanan, 89, a moderate conservative Republican from Alabama who got swept into Congress during the Barry Goldwater sweep of the South in 1964, when he clobbered Democratic incumbent George Huddleston Jr., but whose move to the center — or the left — led to his defeat in 1980 by Albert Lee Smith, a former member of the John Birch Society who was backed by the Moral Majority.  He later became chairman of the liberal People for the American Way. (March 5)

Charles Thone, 94, a Nebraska Republican who was elected to Congress in 1970 and served until 1978, when he was elected governor.  But he was defeated after one term, losing narrowly in 1982 to Democrat Bob Kerrey. (March 7)

Chuck Campion, 62, a longtime Democratic operative and chairman of the Dewey Square Group who worked for prez candidates Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. (March 7)

Togo West, 75, President Clinton’s veterans affairs secretary who led the investigations into sexual harassment in the Army. (March 8)

George Sinner, 89, a two-term Democratic governor of North Dakota, starting with his defeat of GOP incumbent Allen Olson in 1984. (March 9)

Bronson La Follette, 82, a four-term state attorney general of Wisconsin who, sandwiched in between his time as AG, was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for governor against GOP incumbent Warren Knowles in 1968. (March 15)

LOUISE SLAUGHTER, 88, a liberal Democratic congresswoman who represented Rochester, NY, from 1986, when she narrowly defeated freshman Rep. Fred Eckert (R), until her death.  A champion of equal rights for women and pro-choice, she was the first female chair of the House Rules Cmte during Democratic rule in 2007-10.  She had been planning on running again this year when she died unexpectedly. (March 16)

Betty Ann Bowser, 73, one of the first female TV correspondents, working first for CBS News and then PBS. (March 16)

Les Payne, 76, a fearless reporter and columnist for Newsday who wrote of racial injustice. (March 19)

Pete Peterson, 91, a financier and philanthropist who served as President Nixon’s secretary of commerce. (March 20)

Leo Zeferetti, 90, who won the Brooklyn House seat of New York Dem gov. candidate Hugh Carey in 1974 and served until 1982, when his district was merged with that of GOP Rep. Guy Molinari, who won in a landslide. (March 21)

Zell Miller, 86, a Georgia Democrat who served 16 years as lt. gov., unsuccessfully challenged Sen. Herman Talmadge in the 1980 primary, was elected governor in 1990 and again in 1994 and who was appointed to the Senate in 2000 following the death of GOP incumbent Paul Coverdell.  He was a keynote speaker at the 1992 Dem convention that nominated Bill Clinton and again at the 2004 GOP convention when, while remaining as a Democrat, he endorsed President George W. Bush and gave a blistering attack on John Kerry, his party’s nominee.  As governor, he pushed for more money for public schools. (March 23)

Lawrence Grossman, 86, the former head of PBS and later NBC News. (March 23)

Linda Brown, 75, who, as a black 12 year old girl living in Topeka, Kansas, in 1954, became the center of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case that outlawed racial segregation in schools. (March 25)

Anna Chennault, 94, a Republican fundraiser from China and a fervent anti-Communist who allegedly helped sabotage LBJ’s Vietnam peace talks in order to help elect Richard Nixon, who she told Saigon officials would give them a better deal. (March 30)

Peg Lautenschlager, 62, a one-term state attorney general of Wisconsin, elected in 2002 and defeated four years later in the Democratic primary by ex-gov. candidate Kathleen Falk.  Her son Josh Kaul was elected AG last month. (March 31)

Seymour Glanzer, 91, an assistant US Attorney who helped prosecute the original Watergate break-in defendants. (April 3)

Mary Regula, 91, a Democrat and the wife of longtime Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) who led the campaign to commemorate the roles of the First Ladies. (April 5)

Dan Akaka, 93, the first native-born Hawaiian elected to Congress, first in 1976 when he took the seat of unsuccessful Senate hopeful Patsy Mink, and then getting appointed to the Senate in 1990, following the death of Spark Matsunaga.  He won a special election that year, defeating GOP Rep. Patricia Saiki, and was easily re-elected thrice before retiring in 2012. (April 6)

John Melcher, 93, a Montana Democrat who received national attention for winning a special House seat during the first year of the Nixon presidency in 1969 and served until 1976, when he won the Senate seat being vacated by Majority Leader Mike Mansfield.  He was defeated in a third-term bid in a 1988 upset by Republican Conrad Burns, and his attempt at a Senate comeback six years later also ended in failure, a Dem primary defeat to Jack Mudd. (April 12)

Barbara Bush, 92, the wife of President George H.W. Bush and mother of President George W. Bush; an outspoken first lady, she was married to GHWB for 73 years, the longest married couple in presidential history. (April 17)

Vel Phillips, 95, a black local elected official from Milwaukee who became a national voice for fair housing. (April 17)

Carl Kasell, 84, a longtime NPR newscaster who late in life became a comedic straight man on the network’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” program. (April 17)

Al Swift, 82, who during his eight terms as a Democratic congressman from Washington (1979-94) was the lead sponsor of the 1993 “motor voter” law that made it easier for millions to register to vote. (April 20)

Charles Zwick, 91, the last budget director under President Lyndon Johnson. (April 20)

Pat Taylor, 94, who, as the lt. gov. of North Carolina, lost in his 1972 bid for the governorship in the Dem primary. (April 22)

Walter Mengden, 91, a longtime GOP powerhouse in the Texas state legislature who led Ronald Reagan’s 1976 presidential campaign in the state that upset President Ford in the primary; he left the state Senate in 1982 to run for the U.S. Senate but lost the Republican primary to Rep. James Collins. (April 23)

Philip Hoff, 93, who ousted Gov. F. Ray Keyser (R) in 1962 to become Vermont’s first Democratic governor in more than 100 years and whose stewardship helped turn Vermont into a two-party state.  A VP hopeful in 1968, he left the governorship in 1970 after three two-year terms to run for the Senate, but was defeated by GOP incumbent Winston Prouty. (April 26)

Steven Kamarow, 61, a longtime political correspondent for the AP who recently became executive editor at CQ Roll Call. (April 29)

George Deukmejian, 89, a two-term Republican governor of California.  As state attorney general, he was first elected governor in 1982, following the departure of Jerry Brown; in a close contest, he beat Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley by about 90,000 votes.  A fiscal conservative, he cut spending and worked out deals with Democratic lawmakers; in a rematch with Bradley in 1986, he won with 60% of the vote.  He was said to have been on George Bush’s VP short list in 1988. (May 8)

Eunice Groark, 80, who was elected lt. gov. of Connecticut in 1990 on a third-party ticket led by Lowell Weicker. (May 8)

Kevin Kamenetz, 60, the Baltimore county executive and a candidate for the Dem nomination for governor of Maryland. (May 10)

Steve Hogan, 69, the mayor of Aurora, Colo., who twice was the Democratic nominee for Congress, losing in 1982 to Republican/astronaut Jack Swigert, and again in 1983 in the special election to succeed the late Swigert against Dan Schaefer. (May 13)

Elaine Edwards, 89, the former First Lady of Louisiana who was appointed by her then-husband, Gov. Edwin Edwards, to fill a Senate seat in 1972 following the death of Allen Ellender. (May 14)

Richard Pipes, 94, a leading anti-Soviet foreign policy adviser to President Reagan. (May 17)

Richard Goodwin, 86, a liberal Democrat and a key adviser to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.  He wrote LBJ’s speech regarding the 1965 Voting Rights Act, as well as Al Gore’s concession speech in 2000. (May 20)

Faith Whittlesey, 79, a one-time Republican legislator from Pennsylvania who lost the GOP primary for lt. gov. and who became a national leader for conservative causes and one of the top-ranking women who served in the Reagan administration. (May 21)

Denny Farrell, 86, one of the giants in Harlem’s Democratic political organization who spent 40 years in the state Assembly and headed up the Manhattan Democrats, but whose challenge of NYC Mayor Ed Koch in the 1985 primary went nowhere, winning just 13% of the vote. (May 26)

Frank Zullo, 85, a former mayor of Norwalk who ran for governor of Conn. in 1974, losing the Dem primary to Ella Grasso. (May 26)

Bob Fuss, 64, a CBS News radio correspondent covering who covered elections and Capitol Hill and who previously worked for UP Radio, Mutual and NBC Radio. (May 27)

Dick Tuck, 94, a liberal Democratic prankster whose favorite target was Richard Nixon, starting with his 1950 Senate race against Helen Gahagan Douglas. (May 28)

Mel Weinberg, 93, a con artist who played a role in the FBI’s 1978-79 Abscam sting operation, which brought down Sen. Harrison Williams (D-NJ) and six members of the House. (May 30)

Frank Carlucci, 87, President Reagan’s national security adviser and later defense secretary in Reagan’s second term, replacing Caspar Weinberger. (June 3)

Doug Bennet, 79, a former aide to Vice President Hubert Humphrey and later Sen. Tom Eagleton (D-Mo.) who ran for Congress from Connecticut in 1974 but lost in the Dem primary to Christopher Dodd.  He took over NPR in 1983 and nursed it back to financial health.  He was the father of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet. (June 10)

Richard Valeriani, 85, an NBC News correspondent who covered the civil rights movement, the Bay of Pigs invasion and President Kennedy’s assassination, among other events. (June 18)

Bill Hendon, 73, a North Carolina Republican who defeated Rep. Lamar Gudger (D) in 1980, lost his seat in 1982 to James McClure Clarke, beat Clarke in the 1984 rematch, and then lost to Clarke in the 1986 rubber match. (June 20)

Charles Krauthammer, 68, a Walter Mondale speechwriter who morphed into a highly respected conservative anti-communist (and, often, anti-Trump) columnist and commentator for the Washington Post and Fox News. (June 21)

Miriam Bockman, 86, an ally of Ed Koch who in 1977 became the first and only woman to head up Manhattan’s Democratic Party. (June 25)

Brad Dye, 84, a conservative Democrat from Mississippi who was elected state treasurer in 1971, lost a bid to become lt. gov. in the 1975 primary to Evelyn Gandy, and then won the LG post in 1979 and held it until his retirement in 1991 — longer than anyone in state history. (July 1)

Art Pearl, 96, an Oregon Democrat who finished 2nd in the 1970 gov. primary. (July 5)

Ed Schultz, 64, a conservative radio talk-show host who morphed into an anti-Bush liberal MSNBC host and, after his program was canceled, resurfaced as an anchor on RT [Russia Today] America, a network paid for by Moscow. (July 5)

Bob Ray, 89, a popular Iowa Republican who served as governor for 14 years, starting with his victory in 1968.  A centrist who became more liberal the longer he stayed in office, he was re-elected in 1970, ’72, ’74 and ’78, retiring in 1982.  He was said to be on President Ford’s short list for VP in 1976. (July 8)

John Stormer, 90, an anti-communist author whose 1964 far right book, “None Dare Call It Treason” — which argued that the U.S. government was controlled by dupes of the Soviet Union — sold millions of copies. (July 10)

Pat Swindell, 67, a two-term Republican congressman from Georgia, first winning in 1984 over Dem incumbent Elliott Levitas but, following a perjury indictment, he was defeated in 1988 by actor Ben Jones (D). (July 11)

Tom Ellis, 97, a North Carolina Republican strategist who was most responsible for the political rise of Sen. Jesse Helms and who helped engineer Ronald Reagan’s surprise victory over President Ford in the 1976 primary.  In his earlier days, as a conservative Democrat, he played a key role in helping segregationist Willis Smith unseat liberal Sen. Frank Porter Graham in a 1950 primary that ranks among the ugliest in history. (July 13)

Donald Kaul, 83, a liberal former political columnist for the Des Moines Register. (July 22)

Maryon Allen, 92, an Alabama Democrat who was appointed to the Senate seat of her late husband, James Allen, by Gov. George Wallace in 1978 but who in her effort to keep the seat was defeated later in the year in a primary runoff by Donald Stewart. (July 23)

Elbert Howard, 80, one of the co-founders of the Black Panther Party in 1966, along with Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, often serving as the party’s spokesman. (July 23)

Guy Molinari, 89, a powerful New York Republican leader from Staten Island who defeated Rep. John Murphy (D) in 1980, beat fellow incumbent Leo Zeferetti (D) when their two districts were combined in 1982, and served until 1989, when he left to win election as Staten Island borough president.  His vacated congressional seat was won by his daughter Susan in 1990.  He was an early backer of Rudy Giuliani’s mayoral candidacy but their relationship was often contentious, as it was with other Republicans, such as longtime state senator John Marchi. (July 25)

Ron Dellums, 82, a fiery leftwing Democrat from California who represented Oakland and Berkeley in Congress from 1970, when he ousted liberal Jeffrey Cohelan in the Dem primary, and served until his resignation in 1998.  A Vietnam War foe and longtime opponent of nearly every military incursion and spending program, not to mention South African apartheid, he nonetheless rose to become chair of the House Armed Services Cmte in 1993.  He returned to politics in 2006, winning election as mayor of Oakland. (July 30)

Paul Laxalt, 96, a Nevada Republican who served one term as governor and then later two terms in the Senate, where he was considered President Reagan’s “best friend.”  As lt. gov. in 1964, he first ran for the Senate but, weighed down by the Barry Goldwater candidacy, he lost to Dem incumbent Howard Cannon, albeit by just 48 votes.  In 1974, with the retirement of Sen. Alan Bible (D), he ran again and this time won, over Harry Reid, by just over 600 votes.  He chaired Reagan’s 1976 and 1980 presidential campaigns and played a key role in persuading Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos to leave power.  In 1987, not long after leaving the Senate, he made a short-lived presidential campaign. (Aug. 6)

Margaret Heckler, 87, a liberal Massachusetts Republican whose 16-year congressional career began in 1966, when she beat Rep. Joseph Martin, the former speaker of the House, in the primary.  A champion of women’s rights, her strong anti-abortion views were one reason why she was defeated in 1982 by freshman Rep. Barney Frank (D), when their districts became combined.  She later became President Reagan’s HHS secretary and ambassador to Ireland. (Aug. 6)

Bill Schluter, 90, a Republican member of the New Jersey state legislature who ran twice for Congress, both times unsuccessfully:  in 1976 as the GOP nominee against Dem incumbent Helen Meyner, and again in 1978, losing the primary to Jim Courter.  He also ran for governor as an independent in 2001, getting just 1% of the vote against ultimate winner Jim McGreevey (D). (Aug. 6)

Thomas Hofeller, 75, one of the Republican Party’s leading strategists on the gerrymandering of congressional districts. (Aug. 16)

Leonard Boswell, 84, an eight-term Democratic congressman from Iowa, narrowly winning an open GOP seat in 1996 and serving until he was defeated in 2012 by Republican incumbent Tom Latham, whose district was combined with Boswell’s.  In office he focused mostly on agriculture and veterans issues. (Aug. 17)

David McReynolds, 88, a nuclear weapons opponent and anti-Vietnam War activist who was the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party USA in 1980 and 2000.  In 1968 he was the Peace and Freedom Party nominee in Manhattan against Rep. Leonard Farbstein, winning nearly 5% of the vote. (Aug. 17)

George Sheldon, 71, a Florida state legislator who ran for Congress in 1982 as the Dem nominee against Mike Bilirakis and who also sought to become state atty general in 2014, when he lost to incumbent Republican Pam Bondi. (Aug. 23)

Larry DeNardis, 80, a Connecticut Republican elected to the House in 1980, winning an open seat over Joe Lieberman, but defeated two years later in a tight race against Bruce Morrison; he lost to Morrison in a 1984 rematch that was not as close. (Aug. 24)

JOHN MCCAIN, 81, the six-term Republican senator from Arizona who was his party’s presidential nominee in 2008, when he lost to Barack Obama.  A war hero who was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 and who was tortured in a North Vietnamese prison for years, McCain first sought office in 1982, winning an open House seat in his adopted state of Arizona.  Four years later he succeeded Barry Goldwater in the Senate and was re-elected five times.  In 1987 he was among the five senators (“Keating Five”) caught up in a S&L scandal, a chastening that led him to a lifetime focus on curtailing money in politics.  In 2000 he sought the GOP presidential nomination and even won the NH primary, but in the end he was defeated by George W. Bush.  He ran again in 2008 and won the nomination.  But with Bush’s popularity falling and the economy in even worse shape, and with the Iraq War increasingly unpopular, McCain — along with his running mate Sarah Palin — lost the election to Obama.  In his last years, he was engaged in a famous feud with Donald Trump, who disparaged McCain’s service in Vietnam.  McCain, who never hid his contempt for the president, barred him from his funeral. (Aug. 25)

Samuel Bodman, 79, the energy secretary during President George W. Bush’s second term. (Sept. 7)

Adam Clymer, 81, a veteran political reporter for the New York Times (and other papers) who received unwanted notoriety in September 2000 when presidential candidate George W. Bush spotted him from a podium at an Illinois campaign rally and an open mic heard him say to his running mate Dick Cheney, “There’s Adam Clymer, major league asshole.”  Cheney responded, “Oh yeah, big time.” (Sept. 10)

Marilyn Lloyd, 89, a Tennessee housewife who was thrust into politics after her husband, Mort Lloyd, died in 1974 as he was campaigning against GOP Rep. LaMar Baker.  She took his place on the ballot, won the seat, and served in the House until her retirement after 1994. (Sept. 19)

Mel Elfin, 89, the Washington bureau chief for Newsweek for 20 years who covered the Vietnam War, civil rights movement, Watergate and various elections. (Sept. 22)

April Freeman, 54, the 2018 Democratic nominee in Florida’s open 17th CD, making her third bid for Congress. (Sept. 23)

David Schippers, 88, the chief investigative counsel for the House Judiciary Cmte who argued for the impeachment of President Clinton. (Sept. 28)

Juan Romero, 68, a busboy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles who cradled Robert Kennedy’s head shortly after he was shot by an assassin within minutes of claiming victory in the 1968 California Democratic primary. (Oct. 1)

Joe Tydings, 90, a liberal Democratic senator from Maryland who in 1964 ousted GOP Sen. J. Glenn Beall but six years later, under constant attacks from Vice President Agnew and the NRA, was defeated by Beall’s son, Rep. J. Glenn Beall Jr.  He attempted a comeback in 1976 but lost the Dem primary to Rep. Paul Sarbanes. (Oct. 8)

David Wise, 88, a former newspaper reporter who wrote books about the excesses of the CIA. (Oct. 8)

Carolyn Warner, 88, the Arizona superintendent of public instruction who lost to Dennis DeConcini in the Democratic primary for the Senate in 1976 and, ten years later, was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for governor against Evan Mecham. (Oct. 9)

Walter “Dee” Huddleston, 92, a Kentucky Democrat who served two terms in the Senate, narrowly winning the seat vacated by Republican John Sherman Cooper in 1972 over ex-Gov. Louie Nunn, winning a landslide re-election in 1978, and then losing a squeaker — by just 5,000 votes out of 1.3 million cast — in a 1984 upset to Mitch McConnell. (Oct. 16)

Dennis Hof, 72, a pimp and brothel owner who was the Republican nominee for a state Assembly seat in Nevada this year.  Running on a pro-Trump platform, he was posthumously elected in November. (Oct. 16)

Neil Gallagher, 97, a New Jersey Democrat first elected to Congress in 1958, when he defeated incumbent Alfred Sieminski in the primary, and was on his way to a long career in the House until 1972, when he was indicted on perjury and tax evasion charges.  Redistricting didn’t help either; he was thrown together with a fellow Democrat, Dominick Daniels.  Gallagher, who finished third with just 15%, later went to prison for 17 months. (Oct. 17)

Michael O’Connor, 89, who got clobbered as the Dem nominee for governor of South Dakota in 1982 by incumbent Republican Bill Janklow. (Oct. 24)

John Martilla, 78, a Democratic strategist who played key roles in the early campaigns of, among others, Robert Drinan, Joe Biden and John Kerry. (Nov. 3)

John Gargan, 88, a leader of the Ross Perot-led Reform Party (until his ouster in 2000) and a backer of term limits who ran for governor of Florida in 1994 as a third-party candidate (losing to Dem incumbent Lawton Chiles) and who challenged Rep. Karen Thurman (D) four years later, winning a whopping 34% of the total in his third-party bid. (Nov. 4)

Liz Patterson, 78, a South Carolina Democrat who unexpectedly won an open House seat in 1986 and held it until her defeat in 1992 to Bob Inglis.  The daughter of former Gov./Sen. Olin Johnston, her opponent in that 1986 race was the son of the man who challenged her dad in 1962.  In 1994 she tried and failed in a bid for lt. gov. (Nov. 10)

Herb London, 79, a conservative Republican from New York who briefly made a bid for mayor of NYC in 1989 and who, as the Conservative Party nominee for governor in 1990, finished only slightly behind GOP candidate Pierre Rinfret; both were swamped by incumbent Mario Cuomo.  He sought the governorship again in 1994, but was persuaded by GOP leaders to run instead for state comptroller, which he did, unsuccessfully, against Carl McCall. (Nov. 10)

Jim Hansen, 86, an 11-term Republican member of the House from Utah, knocking off Dem incumbent Gunn McKay in 1980 and serving until his retirement in 2002.  He sought the governorship in 2004 but lost at the GOP convention to Jon Huntsman Jr. (Nov. 14)

Mac Collins, 74, who unseated Rep. Richard Ray (D) in 1992 and stayed in the House until 2004, when he ran for the Senate but lost the GOP primary to Johnny Isakson. (Nov. 20)

Ed Pastor, 75, an Arizona Democrat who won a special 1991 House election to fill the seat vacated by Mo Udall and served until his retirement in 2014. (Nov. 27)

Richard Fulton, 91, a liberal Democrat from Tennessee who was one of 7 Southerners in Congress to support the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  He toppled incumbent Democrat J. Carlton Loser in the 1962 primary and served until 1975, when he was elected mayor of Nashville.  He sought the governorship twice, in 1978 and again in 1986, but finished 3rd in the Democratic primary both times. (Nov. 28)

George Bush, 94, the nation’s 41st President and the father of the 43rd.  He was also:  the unsuccessful GOP Senate candidate from Texas in 1964 against Dem incumbent Ralph Yarborough; elected to the House from the Houston area in 1966 and re-elected in 1968, giving up his seat in 1970, at President Nixon’s urging, to again take on Sen. Yarborough.  But the liberal Yarborough got beaten in the Dem primary by Lloyd Bentsen, who defeated Bush in November; named by Nixon as the U.S. ambassador to the UN in 1971; replaces Bob Dole as RNC chair in 1972, just as the Watergate scandal is starting to percolate; President Ford names him as China envoy in 1974 and head of the CIA in 1976; in 1980 he loses the GOP nomination for president to Ronald Reagan, who picks him as his running mate, and the two are elected easily over incumbent Democrats Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale; the ticket wins a landslide re-election in 1984; Bush wins the prez nomination in 1988, picks Dan Quayle as his running mate, and defeats Michael Dukakis (D) in November; in 1990, with the economy in trouble, he reneges on his “no new taxes” pledge, which helps with the deficit but hurts his standing with conservatives; launches the Gulf War against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in 1991, a limited conflict that ends successfully and earns Bush a record 89% approval in Gallup; with the economy failing to improve, he is defeated in his bid for a second term in 1992 by Bill Clinton (D); in 2000, his son George W. is elected the nation’s 43rd president. (Nov. 30)

Fred Greenstein, 88, a leading presidential scholar. (Dec. 3)

Lester Kinsolving, 90, a conservative gadfly White House correspondent who often asked somewhat oddball questions at news conferences. (Dec. 4)

Alfred Del Vecchio, 95, a Republican who served 18 years (1975-93) as mayor of White Plains, NY, the longest of anyone in city history. (Dec. 5)

Rosanell Eaton, 97, a North Carolina civil rights activist and a tireless fighter for the voting rights for blacks. (Dec. 8)

Bob Bergland, 90, a liberal Democrat from Minnesota who ousted GOP Rep. Odin Langen on his second try in 1970 and served until Jimmy Carter picked him as his agriculture secretary after the ’76 elections. (Dec. 9)

W. Brantley Harvey, 88, a former Democratic lt. gov. of South Carolina, elected in 1974, and who, in his bid for governor in 1978, finished first in the primary but lost in Dem runoff to Dick Riley. (Dec. 12)

Post-published obits:

Leo Ribuffo, 73, a political scientist who focused on the far right. (Nov. 27)

Ed Pastor, 75, an Arizona Democrat who was his state’s first Hispanic congressman, elected in a 1991 special election for the seat vacated by fellow Democrat Mo Udall, and served until his retirement after 2014. (Nov. 28)

Robert Keefe, 84, a Democratic consultant who served as executive director of the DNC. (Dec. 5)

John Culver, 86, a liberal Democrat from Iowa who served in the House from 1964, when he ousted GOP Rep. James Brownwell, until 1974, when he won the Senate seat of the retiring Harold Hughes.   Culver was defeated after one term in 1980 by Republican Rep. Charles Grassley, who still serves. (Dec. 26)

2 thoughts on “Remembering Those Who Left Us In 2018”

  1. I was surprised not to see US Senator Dick Stone, the one term senator from Florida from 1975-1980, and the first Jewish senator from Florida since Reconstruction. Stone died on July 28 at the age of 90 and did a lot to bring the bacon home to his state, including opposition to the Florida Barge Canal, promoting native Seminole rights, and expanding the boundaries of the Everglades. He was a great supporter of Israel and consulted with President Carter during the Camp David talks. Ultimately, he ran into some trouble due to his perceived lack of union support and flip-flopping on the Panama Canal Treaty. This led to his defeat in the Democratic primary in 1980. Despite the electoral loss, he was appointed to two ambassadorial posts, one as Special Envoy to Central America by Ronald Reagan, and the second as Ambassador to Denmark by George HW Bush. He was from a different era, when Florida had had only one Republican senator since Reconstruction, before the state’s reddening, where Senators are likely as not to be Republican.

    • Hi Gerard, that’s because you’re looking at our 2018 list of those who passed. He died this summer and yes, he’s on our 2019 list … which will be up by this weekend.


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