The Last Hurrah of Ross Bass

The Last Hurrah of Ross Bass

By Ray Hill The 1974 Tennessee gubernatorial campaign took a heavy toll on the finances of several aspirants.  Dortch Oldham, who had run in the Republican primary, acknowledged spending perhaps $300,000 of his own money to fund his campaign.  Oldham said, “I don’t believe anybody would do that if he ever sat down before the […]

The Last Vestige of the Crump Machine: Clifford Davis, Part II

The Last Vestige of the Crump Machine:  Clifford Davis, Part II

By Ray Hill Congressman Clifford Davis of Memphis had served in the House of Representatives since 1940 and in 1959 was the chairman of the House Public Works Committee.  A relatively obscure committee to most folks, it became of prime importance to Tennessee.  Davis was pushing a bill vital to the Tennessee Valley Authority, a […]

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, […]

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 […]

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