Rep. William H. Natcher (1909-1994)

Rep. William H. Natcher’s (D-Ky.) notable life is chronicled in his official Congressional biography:

NATCHER, William Huston, a Representative from Kentucky; born in Bowling Green, Warren County, Ky., September 11, 1909; attended the public schools and received high school education at Ogden Preparatory Department of Ogden College, Bowling Green, Ky.; B.A., Western Kentucky State College, Bowling Green, Ky., 1930 and from Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, LL.B., 1933; was admitted to the bar in 1934 and commenced practice of law in Bowling Green, Ky.; Federal conciliation commissioner for the western district of Kentucky in 1936 and 1937; county attorney of Warren County 1938-1950; president of the Young Democratic Clubs of Kentucky 1941-1946; served in the United States Navy 1942-1945; commonwealth attorney for the eighth judicial district of Kentucky 1951-1953; delegate, Democratic National Convention, 1940; elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-third Congress, August 1, 1953, by special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Garrett L. Withers; reelected to the twenty succeeding Congresses and served from August 1, 1953, until his death in the naval hospital at Bethesda, Md., March 29, 1994; chairman, Committee on Appropriations (One Hundred Third Congress).

According to the New York Times, “He once said that he wanted his epitaph to read, ‘He tried to do it right.'” 

As far as I know, he’s the last major party nominee for Congress to run and get elected without establishing a principal campaign committee with the FEC.  Reports say he did not accept campaign contributions.  I don’t think he established a campaign committee in 1992 or in 1990, even though, as the Times reports, “he spent $6,768 of his own money to rack up 66 percent of the vote against an opponent who had spent $144,315.  One Republican who tried to unseat him in the 1980’s likened the race to running against God.”

Natcher cast a record 18,401 consecutive votes.

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