Former Kentucky senator Dee Huddleston dead at 92


Former Kentucky Sen. Walter “Dee” Huddleston (D) died Tuesday at the age of 92 at his son’s home in Warsaw, Ky.

Huddleston served two terms in the U.S. Senate between 1973-1985, until he was defeated by now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a close election.

{mosads}The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Huddleston had been living at his son’s home in Warsaw for just over a year prior to his death. A centrist Democrat, Huddleston was described as an effective behind-the-scenes negotiator by his son in a statement to the newspaper.

“He was very intelligent, very even tempered and reasoned,” Stephen Huddleston told the Courier-Journal. “He always handled himself in a way that brought honor to himself and others around him.”

Huddleston won reelection in 1978 despite President Nixon’s (R) sweep of the state but was defeated in his bid for a third term by McConnell, who attacked the moderate Democrat over his attendance record and history of paid public speeches.

In a now-famous ad, McConnell depicted his opponent as a missing person being hounded across the country by a man using several bloodhounds to locate the Kentucky senator. The ads were credited as being widely effective in Huddleston’s loss. He lost to McConnell in 1984 by less than 1 percentage point. 

Despite his history as a Democrat, Huddleston served until his death as a member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an anti-immigrant group that lobbies for lower levels of legal immigration in the United States. The group is classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

Following his terms in the Senate, Huddleston went on to chair the Kentucky-based First Financial Service Corporation, a position from which he stepped down in 2012.

Tags FAIR Federation for American Immigration Reform Kentucky Mitch McConnell Senate

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