When Two Congressmen Collide, IV

When Two Congressmen Collide, IV

By Ray Hill Ridley Mitchell, the colorful congressman from Tennessee’s Fourth District, suddenly found himself embroiled in a debate with fellow Representative John J. Cochran of Missouri, an effective and acerbic speaker. The topic was the seemingly unimportant removal of Bedford County in Mitchell’s Congressional district to the jurisdiction of the federal court in Winchester, […]

When Two Congressmen Collide, III

When Two Congressmen Collide, III

By Ray Hill Tennessee Congressman Ewin L. Davis, a veteran of fourteen years, had lost his seat to freshman legislator J. Ridley Mitchell in the 1932 Democratic primary.  Mitchell’s district had been dismembered by the Tennessee General Assembly causing Mitchell to move from Crossville to Cookeville.  Mitchell, remaining the underdog for most of the campaign, […]

The Knoxville Focus for July 24, 2017

The Knoxville Focus for July 24, 2017

Remembering Jake Butcher By Ray Hill rayhill865@gmail.com For those wanting an opportunity to bask in the limelight, it would be well to remember the glare burns far more frequently than it shines.  That thought was rekindled yet again in my mind with the passing of Jake Butcher.  Media across Tennessee have recounted Butcher’s public career; […]

When Two Congressmen Collide, II

When Two Congressmen Collide, II

By Ray Hill When the Tennessee General Assembly reduced the number of Tennessee’s congressional seats from ten to nine, Congressman J. Ridley Mitchell had been displaced.  Mitchell’s home county of Cumberland had been placed in the heavily Republican Second District, which was represented by GOP Congressman J. Will Taylor.  “Hillbilly Bill” Taylor was considered unbeatable […]

When Two Congressmen Collide, I

When Two Congressmen Collide, I

By Ray Hill Every ten years legislative and Congressional districts must undergo some changes; redistricting always poses a danger to incumbents.  It is not uncommon for a sitting congressman to run for higher office when faced with the elimination of his district.  Congressman Albert Gore’s district was carved up in 1952, but he was already […]

The last years of Gordon Browning, part two

The last years of Gordon Browning, part two

By Ray Hill For three decades Gordon Browning had been a force to be reckoned with in Tennessee politics. Following his disastrous attempt to return to the governorship in 1954, Browning was relegated to the status of senior statesman. First elected to Congress in 1922, Gordon Browning left office thirty years later. Browning belonged to […]

The last years of Gordon Browning I

The last years of  Gordon Browning I

By Ray Hill Gordon Browning was a veteran of Tennessee’s turbulent and oftentimes brutal political wars. Browning had unseated a twenty-four year incumbent in his first race for Congress in 1920, although he lost the general election to a Republican. Stubborn to a fault, Browning ran again in 1922 and handily beat Lon Scott, the […]

Thetus W. Sims: The Senator Who Never Was

Thetus W. Sims: The Senator Who Never Was

By Ray Hill to 1915, United States senators from Tennessee had been elected by the state legislature.  That same year Democrats were anticipating a primary, a year in advance of the 1916 general election.  The primary would include a run-off election between the two top vote getters, something that has never happened since. The incumbent […]

Dr. John R. Neal: Tennessee’s Eccentric III

Dr. John R. Neal: Tennessee’s Eccentric III

By Ray Hill Disappointed by his failure to be appointed to the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, Dr. John R. Neal continued to be the Volunteer State’s political gadfly extraordinaire. John R. Neal ran for the United States Senate eighteen times, governor nine times and the U. S. House of Representatives once. […]

1 2 3 26