Tuesday, September 25, 2007

John Claggett "Jack" Danforth (born September 5, 1936) is a former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and former Republican United States Senator from Missouri. He is an ordained Episcopal priest. Danforth is married to Sally D. Danforth and has five adult children.

John DanforthJohn Danforth Education and early career
In 1976 Danforth ran to succeed retiring Senator Stuart Symington. He ran in the Republican primary with little opposition. The Democrats had a three-way battle among Symington's son James W. Symington, former Missouri Governor Warren Hearnes and rising political star Congressman Jerry Litton. Litton and his entire family were killed when the plane taking them to their victory party in Kansas City crashed on take off in Chillicothe, Missouri. Hearnes, who had finished second in the primary far behind Litton, was appointed to challenge Danforth and Danforth easily won the election.
Danforth was narrowly re-elected in 1982. His Democratic opponent was Harriett Woods, a relatively unknown state senator from the St. Louis suburb of University City, Missouri. She was active in women's rights organizations and collected union support. Her speeches denounced Ronald Reagan's policies so vigorously that she ran on the nickname, "Give 'em Hell, Harriett" (a play on the famous Truman phrase). Danforth won 51% to 49%. Woods' pro-choice stance was said to be the reason for her defeat. [1]
Woods and Danforth stayed on good terms following her defeat. In January 2001, when Missouri Democrats lined up against former Missouri governor John Ashcroft to oppose his nomination for U.S. Attorney General, Danforth's name was invoked. Woods testified in the Senate Judiciary hearings: "He (Ashcroft) is indeed a man of deep conviction, but in Missouri, he increasingly has been seen as an extremist who can be ruthless for political ends." Former U.S. Senator Tom Eagleton reacted to the nomination by saying: "John Danforth would have been my first choice. John Ashcroft would have been my last choice." [2]
In 1988 Danforth crushed Democrat Jay Nixon, 68% to 32%. Danforth chose not to run for a fourth term and retired from the Senate in 1995. He was succeeded by John Ashcroft.

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