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Congressmen of Texas' First District--Part IV

Updated on July 2, 2012
Congressman Wright Patman, the First District's longest-serving representative
Congressman Wright Patman, the First District's longest-serving representative | Source
Congressman Jim Chapman
Congressman Jim Chapman | Source
Congressman Max Sandlin
Congressman Max Sandlin | Source
Congressman Louis Gohmert
Congressman Louis Gohmert | Source

Patman to Gohmert

To continue our list...

  • John William Wright Patman--Born near Hughes Springs, Texas, August 6, 1893. He received his law degree from Cumberland University in 1916, and began practicing the same year in Texas. He was Cass County assistant county attorney in his late teens, and was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1920, serving two terms. He served as district attorney for the 5thJudicial District from 1924-28, and in the latter year was elected to the U.S. House for the First District, with his base in Texarkana. Patman started out as a strong critic of the Hoover Administration, sponsoring the Veterans Bonus bill, which failed under Hoover but was passed at the end of FDR's first term. He was a New Deal and Fair Deal supporter during the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations; and also supported Kennedy and Johnson programs in Congress. From 1963-75, Patman was chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency, as well as chairing the Select Committee on Small Businesses from 1955-63 and the Joint Economic Committee for several terms. He was one of the first Congressmen to call for an investigation of the Watergate complex in 1972. In 1975, his resistance to calls for a modernization of House procedures led to his removal as a committee chairman. He died in office on March 7, 1976, at Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland. One of his sons, William, was a Congressman from the 14th Texas District from 1981-85.
  • Sam Blakeley Hall, Jr.--Born and raised in Marshall, Texas, January 11, 1924. After attending various colleges and serving in the Air Force during WWII, Hall was admitted to the bar in Texas in 1948. In addition to his private law practice, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1962; and chaired the Marshall Board of Education from 1972-76. In 1976, he was elected First District Congressman in the special election called after Patman's death, and served until May 27, 1985. At this time, he resigned to accept the nomination by President Reagan to U.S. Judge for the Eastern District of Texas. Hall served as Judge for the next nine years, until his death at age 70 on April 10, 1994, in Marshall.
  • James Louis "Jim" Chapman--Born March 8, 1945, in Washington, D.C., but raised in SulpherSprings, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1968, and Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1970. He was district attorney for the Eighth Judicial District of Texas from 1976-85, where he achieved a high conviction rate and a reputation for toughness. Chapman was elected by special election to the First Congressional District in 1985, defeating Republican Edd Hargett, a former pro football player. He served in the House from August 3, 1985 until January 3, 1997. While in office, he became noted for his support of the Cooper Lake Project, a successful plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to build a lake between Cooper and Sulpher Springs; for this, Cooper Lake was officially renamed Jim Chapman Lake by congress. In 1996, Chapman ran for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate. He currently works in the Washington and Austin, Texas offices of Bracewell and Giuliani, a law firm based in Houston, Texas, where he helped organize a Homeland Security Practice in which he is a partner.
  • Max A. Sandlin, Jr.--Born September 29, 1952, in Texarkana, Ark. He graduated from Baylor University in Wacoo, Texas. He serveda term as county judge of Harrison County, equivalent of chief executive, and in his term of office he led in cutting ad valorem taxes, balancing the county budget, and left office with a budget surplus. He was County Court at Law for Harrison County in Marshall from 1989-96. Sandlin was first elected to Congress in 1996, where he served four terms; in 2002, he rose to Democratic chief deputy whip. After leading the ill-fated protest against the Republican-led redistricting of the First District--which made the district more urban and more conservative--Sandlin was defeated for reelection in 2004 by a wide margin. in 2006, Sandlin became co-chair of Fleishman-Hilliard Government Relations/Mercury Public Affairs Government Relations Operations, a pair of newly merged public affairs corporations.
  • Louis Bulller Gohmert, Jr.--Born August 18, 1953, in Pittsburg, Texas.   He earned his B.A. degree from Texas A&M, 1975; and his Juris Doctor from Baylor University, 1977.  He was a Brigade Commander of the Corps of Cadets at A&M, and Judge Advocate General in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., from 1978-82.  He was elected state district judge for the 7th Judicial District of Texas three times starting in 1992 before being appointed by Gov. Rick Perry as 12th Court of Appeals Chief Justice, serving from 2002-03.  In 2004, Gohmert was elected to the U.S. Congress from the First District, and was re-elected in 2006, 2008, and 2010.  In the House, he has compiled a comparatively excellent attendance record, missing only 8% of 4688 roll call votes since 2005 according to the web site http://www.govtrack.us/; he has established a record for reactionary ("far-right") conservatism.  His success record as a Congressman appears to be singularly low, according to the same site--of 51 bills he has sponsored in office, only three have made it out of committee, and none of these were actually passed.

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