Richard Craig Shelby is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Alabama. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, succeeding Thad Cochran. In 1994, the day after the Republican Revolution, Shelby switched party affiliations and became a Republican. Shelby was re-elected by a large margin in 1998 and has faced no significant electoral opposition since. In February 2021, Shelby announced that he would not seek re-election in 2022.
About Richard Shelby in brief
Richard Craig Shelby is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Alabama. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, succeeding Thad Cochran. In 1994, the day after the Republican Revolution in which the GOP gained the majority in Congress midway through President Bill Clinton’s first term, Shelby switched party affiliations and became a Republican. Shelby was re-elected by a large margin in 1998 and has faced no significant electoral opposition since. He is currently the dean of the Alabama delegation. In February 2021, Shelby announced that he would not seek re-election in 2022. Shelby is a member of the American Bar Association and Alabama State Bar, as well as the American Judicature Society, Alabama Law Institute, Delta Chi fraternity, and Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity. A September 2009 poll showed Shelby had a 58% approval rating, with 35% disapproving. In 1987 Shelby opposed President Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, a move attributed to lobbying by African-American leaders that he had relied on in Alabama. In 1991, Shelby sponsored legislation granting federal recognition to the Choctaw Indians. At a meeting with Vice President Al Gore, he turned the TV cameras to the Vice President to get more documentation regarding the establishment of their tribal identity. The Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs voted 11 to 2 in favor of legislation on July 18, 1991, to grant federal recognition of MOWA Band of Chocta Indians.
Shelby voted against the legislation in 1991 because he believed it would pass the first time. He voted against it the second time because he thought it would be easier to get the bill passed the third time. In 2002, he voted against a bill that would have granted federal recognition in the first place to the Chickasaw Nation, a Native American tribe. In 2004, he was reelected to a fifth term and re- elected to a sixth term in 2016. He received an LL. B. from The University of Alabama in 1963. He attended the Birmingham School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor in 1961. From 1966 to 1970, Shelby was a U. S. Magistrate for the Northern District of Alabama and Special Assistant Attorney General of Alabama. He won a seat in the Alabama Senate in 1970 and served until 1978. In 1978 he was elected from the 7th District to the United States House of Representatives from the Tuscaloosa-based 7th district from which Congressman Walter Flowers was retiring. In 1986 he won the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat held by Republican Jeremiah Denton, the first Republican elected to Alabama since Reconstruction. In 1998 he won his first full term as a Republican in 1998 by aLarge margin. He faced nosignificant opposition in 2004. Shelby won a close race as the Democrats regained control of the Senate and was easily re-elected in 1992 even as Bill Clinton lost Alabama’s electoral votes. In 2010, Shelby won his third term as the Republican nominee for U.N. ambassador.