John H. Buchanan, Jr.

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John Hall Buchanan, Jr.
John Hall Buchanan portrait.jpg
U.S. Representative from Alabama's 6th Congressional District
From: January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1981
Predecessor George S. Huddleston, Jr.
Successor Albert L. Smith, Jr.
Information
Party Republican (later Democrat)[1]
Spouse(s) Elizabeth "Betty" Moore
(died 2011)[1]
Religion Baptist
Military Service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Service Years 1945–1946
Rank Hospital Corpsman

John Hall Buchanan, Jr. (March 19, 1928 – March 5, 2018) was a Baptist minister[2] and Republican from Birmingham, Alabama who represented a growing GOP power in the Deep South. He emerged initially as a strong conservative with a mixed record on civil rights, though became a Moderate Republican over time.

Coincidentally, Buchanan's segregationist Democrat predecessor in Congress was a parishioner in the church at which Buchanan worked.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives

Following a failed bid for the United States House of Representatives in the 1962 midterms,[4][5] Buchanan ran against pro-KKK[6] segregationist Democrat incumbent George S. Huddleston, Jr. in the following election cycle. Benefiting from Barry Goldwater's coattails during the election cycle, he easily defeated Huddleston by a landslide.[7]

John Hall Buchanan, Jr bioguide picture.jpg

In his first few years in Congress, Buchanan held a strongly conservative voting record.[8] He voted against civil rights legislation during this period though cooperated with Georgia Democrat Charles L. Weltner to end the violence of the third Ku Klux Klan,[1][4] pushing a successful investigation which decimated Klan membership.[8] This notable accomplishment earned Buchanan praise from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Over time, Buchanan became more open to supporting liberal federal initiatives as left-leaning black voters started comprising a strong voting block power in his district.[8] Along with the rest of the Alabama congressional delegation, he voted for the Equal Rights Amendment in 1971.[9]

Buchanan was one of thirty-two House Republicans in 1976 to vote against the Hyde Amendment,[10] a measure sponsored by Illinois pro-life congressman Henry Hyde which prohibits federal funding for abortions.

In 1980, some conservatives unimpressed with Buchanan's moderate record recruited John Birch Society member Albert Lee Smith, Jr. to oppose the incumbent representative.[8] Buchanan ultimately lost the GOP primary to Lee by eleven percentage points.[11]

Later life

Buchanan died in early March 2018 at the age of eighty-nine,[12] with the cause of death being dementia.[3] Former Minnesota governor governor Al Quie said of him:[2]

There was a basic goodness, solidness, that didn't take long to recognize and respect. He was serious minded, a man of God, who really respected other people, especially those different from himself.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Roberts, Sam (March 12, 2018). John Buchanan, Once a Deep South Centrist in Congress, Dies at 89. The New York Times. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Garrison, Greg (March 9, 2018). Former Alabama congressman, Baptist minister dies. AL.com. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Silverman, Ellie (March 7, 2018). John H. Buchanan Jr., Alabama GOP congressman who later joined liberal lobbying group, dies at 89. The Washington Post. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Derbes, Brett J. John Buchanan Jr.. Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  5. AL At-Large Race - Nov 06, 1962. Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  6. Derbes, Brett J. George Huddleston Jr.. Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  7. AL District 6 Race - Nov 03, 1964. Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 FascinatingPolitics (June 17, 2020). John Hall Buchanan Jr.: A Deep South Republican Who Went Moderate. Mad Politics: The Bizarre, Fascinating, and Unknown of American Political History. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  9. TO PASS H.J. RES. 208.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  10. ON A SEPARATE VOTE IN THE HOUSE, TO AGREE TO THE HYDE AMENDMENT TO H.R. 14232, WHICH PROHIBITS THE USE OF FUNDS IN THE BILL TO PAY FOR OR TO PROMOTE ABORTIONS.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  11. AL District 6 - Primary Race - Sep 02, 1980. Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  12. March 9, 2018. Former GOP Rep. John Buchanan, an Alabama moderate, has died. Associated Press. Retrieved September 20, 2021.

External links

  • Profile at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Profile at Find a Grave